The Soul Reader

This is the first book I read entirely on my new Kobo. Thank you to my family for such a wonderful Christmas gift.

I found it difficult to set aside Gerard Webster’s The Soul Reader. In fact, I motored through the last seventy pages today because I had to know how it ended – and I won’t peek.

Action. Adventure. Intrigue. Redemption. And just a little Romance. Each a component of the book.

I enjoyed the fact that, although I hadn’t read the first book in the series, I was able to follow the story. I enjoyed, too, that I could foresee some of the plot twists, while others took me completely by surprise. I love that.

There were some stumbling blocks along the way, however. I wasn’t aware this book was Catholic fiction when I picked it up. Being Protestant, my beliefs differ a great deal from the author’s. Mind you, I did agree with several faith statements made throughout the book.

From a more writerly perspective, I have a couple of problems with Webster’s style. While I appreciated that he shared enough of the backstory that I wasn’t lost, I found the book redundant in several places. That could primarily be because I read it so quickly. I would likely have appreciated the refreshers if I’d read it as slowly as I do many books.

Another problem I had was with the point of view. While the protagonist has a gift that allows him to read people’s souls, the author often takes us inside the heads of several characters in any given scene. Webster could have legitimately done this if through the eyes of the protagonist. This wasn’t the case, so I found flitting from one mind to the next halted the flow of the narrative.

Too often I feel the author disregards the adage show don’t tell. Often he almost has it, but then gives just a bit too much information, something the reader could have deduced for him- or herself.

If I used a rating system, which I often don’t, I would give The Soul Reader a three out of five.

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