*Honest Review Requested by Author in Exchange for Free eBook
Published: December 6 2013
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Website: Author’s Blog
*BTW, the author has a fascinating post about Christmas in Egypt that everyone should go check out!
Élan, daughter of the psychic on the show “Psychic for the Stars”, spends her time debunking paranormal phenomena. After a traumatic experience, she became cold and cynical, especially towards her estranged mother. That is until the day her mother goes missing in Egypt without her insulin. Fearing this might be the last time to get her mother back for good, she hops aboard a plane for Egypt. Meanwhile, Ramsey is already in Egypt, working on the crew with Élan’s mother. Unbeknownst to him, the violent spirits that follow him and the legend of the murderous Soul Cutter have entangled him in a terrible game meant to hill him.
When I read that this is set in Egypt, and the author is from the very same place, I knew I was in for a more interesting read that I am used to. I can’t recall ever reading a story set in Egypt, and the author makes me believe in this Egypt because she has the authority and experience to write about it. Have you ever read a book about a foreign place that the author has never been? (The easiest example I know of is the Twilight Saga.)
It might not be obvious at all times, but an author’s imagination and research can only take the reader so far. Lexa Cain is from Egypt, so I am inclined to believe the culture and the atmosphere she describes. Egypt is vastly different from my Western perspective, and I appreciate a book that is outside of my norm without it being a complete fantasy.
POV and Characters
This book uses subjective third-person narration, and I enjoyed something different from the first-person books that are everywhere now! The focus switches between Ramsey and Élan, so we get a great sense of the two. I especially like it because Ramsey knows more about the culture, the forces behind everything, and the paranormal than Élan does. They play off one another nicely. They are both fully realized people with histories and motivations. Why can’t all main characters be this well written?
The Bad Guys
I knew who the baddies were from the start, yet I didn’t know what exactly was up until it was revealed. I think most readers will be like this too, and I felt like Sherlock Holmes or Agent York – you know who’s behind it, and the mystery is why and how exactly is it being pulled off. The legend about the Soul Cutter was compelling and, as it is the title of the book, a driving force in the novel. The Soul Cutter is a complex element in the story, and I enjoyed how it unfolded. There were times when I was so into the story, I worried about the main characters bumping into him. Every encounter with the Soul Cutter had me anxious. Every dark room and shadowy forest had me reading on edge. That, everyone, makes for a fantastic read.
My only gripe about this novel is my nagging question involving Élan and the Mace she brings with her. How does one bring a canister of Mace on an airplane from the U.S. to Egypt?
I didn’t get a sense of closure with a lot of issues by the end of the book, especially with the relationships. After all that happens, it all just ends abruptly. There are lots of loose ends that could have been tied off before the final page. The book insinuated possibilities, but the bit concerning the mom is driving me batty. Perhaps the author will continue with the series, I don’t know, though that would be awesome. A world of demons and psychics in an international setting with two amazing characters at the helm? Yes, please!
I highly recommend this to readers who are bored of the usual “Western” fare that they are bombarded with. Because Élan is from the U.S., readers can experience the culture shock vicariously through her. Older teens who can handle some of the more mature themes and the horror will enjoy this. Personally, I love it. We need more well-written books set outside of the West to give to our readers, and Soul Cutter by Lexa Cain delivers.