Book #55: The Soul Mender by R. S. Dabney

In a wild escape to avoid becoming the sixth victim of the elusive Rocky Mountain Murderer, twenty-two-year-old Riley Dale finds herself flung into a universe parallel to her own, where Las Vegas is known for its churches, terrorist attacks are initiated by the United States, and peace can be found in the darkest corners of the globe.

As the deadly visions that have haunted her since childhood become real, Riley is confronted with the implausible story of a world split in two and the stark contrast between good and evil in people she thought she knew.

Racing deeper into the mystery of the new world, Riley discovers the explosive truth about her ancestors who have been hunted for thousands of years because of a single mistake made long ago.

And now it’s her turn to pay for that blunder.

Pursued by both the government and a clandestine sect of assassins, Riley must ally with the only people in the parallel universe willing to keep her safe—the drug-addicted, prostituting other half of her soul, and the counter soul of a man who tortured and killed five young women.

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley for an honest review. There was no compensation and all that follows is my opinion from what I’ve read.

This book bored me. Plain and simple. The description on the blurb was intriguing and caught my attention. Parallel worlds and a woman being hunted, it sounded awesome. And yet, I was not pulled into the story.

The writing is decent. It has multiple viewpoints early on that confused me. I’m not sure what the point was for the President’s viewpoint, a killer’s, or a professor’s early on. It felt disjointed and an attempt of word count or adding tension when it didn’t make sense.

Riley’s viewpoint was interesting and most of the book. I liked her “nightmares” and the confusion that followed them. It was a great way to get the reader caught on something big.

The big issue though was the way the story was written. It was more of a tell than a show. When multiple characters are talking, there were no indicators as to what they were doing or facial expressions. I found myself thinking the characters were monotonous robots.

All in all, I wasn’t sold on the book. I feel it is a great first or second draft and with a bit more revisions it would be an amazing book. Right now though, I didn’t care one way or another for anyone.

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