20 January 2016
[Review] Soul Breaker
Author: Clara Coulson
Year of publishing: 2015
Publisher: Knite and Day Publishing
I requested this book on NetGalley
Two years ago, Cal Kinsey was an up-and-coming cop in the Aurora Police Department. But during a fateful nighttime stakeout in search of a prolific killer, Cal witnessed the darkest corner of his dreams come to life. A rogue vampire slaughtered his partner — to put it nicely — and introduced Cal to the supernatural world he never knew existed in the shadows.
Now, Cal is a newly minted detective at the often mocked Department of Supernatural Investigations. By day, the agents of DSI are called “Kooks” by local law enforcement. By night, they’re known as “Crows,” reviled by the supernatural underworld.
Mere weeks out of the academy, Cal catches his first real case, a vicious murder at a local college. An unknown sorcerer has summoned a powerful creature from the Eververse, a realm of magic and mayhem that borders Earth, and set it on a dangerous warpath through the city.
Between butting heads with his grumpy team captain, stirring up ill will with the local wizards and witches, and repeatedly getting the crap beaten out of himself, Cal must find a way to stop the Eververse monster and send it back to the hell it came from…
…preferably before Aurora, Michigan runs out of coffins for the dead.
Soul Breaker is the first book I downloaded on NetGalley and it looks like I got lucky. I like Soul Breaker a lot. The story itself - the case, that is - is very interesting and dark, and I'm fascinated with Coulson's choice of villains. One would expect werewolves or ghouls, but she Went for something completely different which, I think, makes the story all the more original.
Plus the whole concept of the Eververse - a parallel Multiverse that fits every supernatural realm and underworld from every mythology and religion - is intriguing. I really hope that Coulson will build up on that in her upcoming books. Eververse has just so much to offer to the readers.
What I like the most about this book is the hero. Cal Kinsey is exactly what a (supernatural) action hero should be like: vulnerable and human. He gets injured, he makes mistakes, and he blames himself for said mistakes. From the prologue, Kinsey is the character you can easily root for. He sees his partner die in the most gruesome way, and the guilt for not being able to save his partner is always there with him. He joins the DSI because of that incident, so we understand his motivations and his feelings.
He is young - only twenty two. And usually, I have a problem with very young heroes. Often they are way too smart and experienced and strong and badass for their age and at some point it becomes unrealistic. But Kinsey isn't like that at all. He's a rookie agent, and the baby of the DSI-family. He makes mistakes because of his lack of experience and discretion. And that's what makes him so realistic and easy to relate to.
What Kinsey lacks in experience and patience, he more than makes up for with his courage and strenght. All in all, Calvin Kinsey is a very likable hero. And he's very charming too.
My second favourite part about this book is the DSI. DSI stands for the Department of Supernatural Investigations, and they're an international monster-fighting organisation. They're like the Men in Black of the supernatural world (they even have black uniforms). DSI is a very tightly knit organisation, with its own unique structure and its own principles. I like this world that Coulson has created, that's has his loyalty and camaraderie.
Soul Breaker is a strong book. And when I say strong, I mean there is a lot of research and a lot of world-building behind it, and that makes for a strong foundation to build the story on. It has strong characters, especially the main character. It's also a very humorous book. Not only is Kinsey a likable hero, he's also very funny and witty.
There is violence and gore, as you would expect in a story that involves supernatural monsters. But the gore never gets in the way of the story and the characters. At the end of the day, it's the people in the book that we remember, and people in Soul Breaker are memorable.
Soul Breaker is a great beginning of what might be my new favourite series.
My rating: 4 stars
Recommend in to: everyone, especially fantasy and horror fans, Supernatural fans and X-files fans.