Written by: Tim Meyer
Elan spends her free time exposing psychics and spiritual mediums for exactly what they are—scam artists. She videotapes their shams and posts them on the Internet for all the world to see. One day, Elan receives a phone call, someone informing her that her mother—whom she no longer communicates with—has gone missing somewhere in Egypt. Despite her mother being a very prominent reason why she loathes psychics and their phony-bologna, Elan journeys to where her mother was last seen—the set of her paranormal reality show. With the help of Ramsey, a local who has the power to summon demonic forces, Elan searches the grounds for her diabetic mother. However, things don’t go that smoothly. When a member of the film crew is found dead, a local legend resurfaces—the return of the Soul Cutter. Can Elan save her mother before she slips into a diabetic coma? Or, will the Soul Cutter find her first, and lay claim to her eternal essence?
Soul Cutter was somewhat of a surprise for me. Usually, I’m not one for teen fiction. Especially one that follows a seventeen-year old girl becoming romantically entwined while partaking in perilous adventures. However, the novel definitely has some fine points, as well as an original storyline that kept me on my toes. The story had a lot of meat to it and the characters I found to be fairly interesting. Elan’s snarky attitude and internal struggles were somewhat amusing. The only thing I didn’t like was the continuous mention of her being raped, which I thought was a bit excessive (especially for a Y/A novel), and honestly, didn’t really add much to the story and probably could have been cut. Ramsey, her love interest, the guy who can command evil spirits, was entertaining. Although he didn’t get nearly as much page-time as Elan, he still had his own story arc and I thought the author did a swell job fleshing out her hero.
From a technical standpoint, I thought Soul Cutter was written well. This appears to be Lexa Cain’s first published novel, and as far as first novels go, I think she did great. The story flowed well and the characters were fairly easy to envision. There were some sentences that seemed clunky here and there, but nothing that hindered the composition overall. Like I said, the only thing that seemed to drag the story down was the sporadic flashbacks of the rape, which is hardly graphic, just not important to the overall plot. That, and I thought the legend of the Soul Cutter could’ve been more of a focal point throughout the novel. But I see why the author took it in that direction and it by no means takes away from everything else that happens. I thought the third act was fantastic, and perhaps the strongest part of the story. There’s a certain point where the pages fly by.
Overall, I enjoyed the read, despite not being a huge fan of Y/A, or Teen Fiction, or whatever the kids are calling it these days. If you happen to like this genre, Soul Cutter might just be up your alley. It’s like Indiana Jones, if Indy was a seventeen-year old girl exploring the feelings and emotions seventeen-year old girls feel. It’s worth the journey.
Soul Cutter will be available from MuseItUp Publishing in December.