Friday, August 19, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Fallen Souls (A Realm of the Claimed Novella) / Linda Foster

TITLE: Fallen Souls (A Realm of the Claimed Novella)
AUTHOR: Linda Foster
PUBLISHER: Glass House Press

Young Adult--Paranormal

[Note: I actually reviewed this book on Goodreads when it was published in 2014, but apparently forgot to copy it over to my blog... something I just noticed when reviewing its sequel, UNNATURAL SOULS, and found myself scratching my head when I couldn't find a link to this review!]

Full disclosure: Linda Foster and I share a publisher, and I received an early copy of this novella for an honest review. The below represent no one's opinions but my own.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, let the gushing begin!

Fallen Souls comprises two short stories: Condemnation and Fallen, which set the stage for Linda Foster's "Realm of the Claimed" series. Condemnation reveals how Ash, a good-hearted teenage boy, found himself face-to-face with a wrenching decision: sell his soul to a demon or let his sister die, and Fallen takes the reader back to the very beginning, telling of the day Kali, an avenging angel, learned of the rebellion brewing in Heaven and tried to stop it.

After reading both stories, I'm finding it hard to actually write a review because the only word on my mind is "WOW." Just like that - in all caps. Because man, does Linda know how to bring the drama! Tension fills every single sentence, driving you forward to find out what happens next even though you know things can only end badly. Reading this novella is like watching a tragic opera - you know the direction the story is heading in but read on with dread out of the irrational need to see it happen anyway. And then when the ending does happen, you're left with a heaving heart and the word "NOOO!" echoing through your head.

Ash and Kali are both instantly likable characters, and realizing from the very first sentence that they're doomed gives everything that follows a dark aura of tragedy. The only consolation is knowing that because there's a series of books around the bend, their stories can't be over - they're just beginning.

So if you like stories with tension, drama, paranormal dangers, and vividly drawn characters, do yourself a favor and read "Fallen Souls." The language is riveting, and the plots set up a story you won't be able to resist returning to.

Linda Foster was born and raised in Colorado, where she still lives with her (very patient)

husband and four (very spoiled) ferrets. Linda became an avid reading enthusiast the moment she picked up her first book, and has grown steadily worse with time. By the time she was 15 years old, her library had become too big for her shelves, and she was forced to donate all of her books to the local school, just to make room for new ones. She started writing short novellas for her friends in middle school, and expanded into full-length novels several years later. Soul Bound will be her first published novel.

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