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Monday, August 31, 2009
Review - The War of the Soulites by Natasha Bennet
Title: The War of the Soulites
Author: Natasha Bennet
Publisher: Lyrical Press, Inc.
Buy The War of the Soulites Here!
Rating: You Want to Read
Reviewer: Nerine Dorman
Renolds Osirus spent most of his life as an accountant. To his shock, his life-long dream of becoming a spaceship captain is suddenly granted, and before he can even celebrate, Earth is decimated by a race of mysterious and terrifying aliens. His new ship, the Vigilant, is transported to hostile territory.
The Vigilant’s first officer, Marcus Collingway, is a terrorist leader and a mass murderer. Long believed dead, he suffers the crew's wrath when he's blamed for the attack on Earth. As Renolds investigates, he exposes a complex web of secrets and lies.
Now trapped on a crippled ship, can the captain and first officer work together to save the Vigilant from alien Soulites?
Anyone who was petrified watching The Event Horizon a few years ago will appreciate author Natasha Bennet’s vision in The War of the Soulites. She succeeds in capturing some of that horrid claustrophobia brought on by the knowledge that you’re stuck on a damaged space ship travelling through hostile, unfamiliar territory…
The Vigilant is a ship with a dark history and Captain Renolds Osirus has little idea what he’s getting himself into when he takes the helm. A loyal supporter of NAVA—the organisation in control of Earth—he’s about to have all his preconceptions of right and wrong challenged.
Marcus Collingway carries a terrible secret. A good few years ago he played a pivotal role in a rebellion against NAVA’s autocracy and was responsible for killing thousands of people. Now he’s a NAVA man, mysteriously placed in a leadership position upon the Vigilant.
Elizabeth is a telepath—a member of a group of humans who are oft reviled even though their abilities make them a vital component within this mission. She is faced with some difficult choices when things go pear-shaped for the crew of the Vigilant.
In a nutshell, the Vigilant has been refitted and, for some bizarre reason, populated with one of the most dysfunctional crews in NAVA’s history. Just about everyone on board has some sort of dark secret and personal agenda, so it’s only a matter of time before the cracks start showing, leading to some explosive encounters.
Added to this is the additional trouble with the Soulites, a mysterious race of aliens, and they’re anything but friendly when they make an attempt at wiping out Earth and the entire human race. The Vigilant gets caught in the wake of one of the Soulite ships and is dragged into Soulite territory and it’s up to Renolds to keep his crew from murdering each other and find out the secret behind the Soulites so that he can somehow get everyone back home.
Overall, the author succeeds in building up enough tension for me to keep turning the pages while wondering how the hell the characters were going to get out of their assorted predicaments. At times I did feel that she hopped around a bit with the large cast of characters, which did make the story feel a bit diffused, but overall she kept the pace. The Soulites were a very different take on the usual alien cultures encountered in science fiction, reminiscent of Star Trek’s Borg but infinitely creepier. Natasha has put a lot of thought into creating her universe and I look forward to reading more of her offerings.