Sorry, Potential Spoiler Alert!
Published in 2013, this is Michael Andrews’ first novel. A twisting and turning adventure of angels and demons battling for the Soul Key, that will unlock the gates of heaven to the Fallen Ones. The Lost Soul himself, Joe, a bullied, teenage suicide victim, currently in Limbo, has been assigned Protector of the soul of an innocent child, Adam. If he can save Adam from Satan’s’ clutches, he will also save the souls of every other child who has taken their own life as a result of bullying.
The opening of the book immediately grabbed my attention and made me want to read on. It was intriguing and set the context well. I really wanted to settle down find out what had happened to Joe to make him do what he had done.
I wasn’t expecting what would happen next, as I was quickly immersed in a supernatural world of angels and demons, more intricate and complex than I could ever had imagined. We even ended with a bit of a Sci-Fi twist! For me, this is one of the great strengths of Andrews’ writing. His imagination is incredible, as evidenced in his series, The Alex Hayden Chronicles, a teenage fantasy tale, rich with vampires, werewolves, pixies and witches.
I enjoyed the refreshingly irreverent and humorous take on God and his gang of celestial creatures. Some of the characters are extremely well-crafted. I loved the little demon, Durchial, and hated Gill, Joe’s evil sister, in equal measure. I’ll be honest, I was really looking forward to meeting the Big Man himself and was a little disappointed when we met everyone else but him.
The book touches on some difficult subjects which the author handled sensitively. Bullying and child abuse were central themes of the novel. The thoughtful exploration of youthful sexuality was particularly well handled.
This is Andrews’ first novel and it did show in places. At times it was overwritten and clunky, with a tad too much tell and not enough show, leaving the reader feeling a little bit patronized. I also found the middle third of the book a bit slow and had to force myself to push on through.
However, I’m glad I did. The closing chapters were fast-moving and exciting. Poor little Adam encountered some horrible people and got into some truly awful situations. I greedily consumed the last few chapters, as it built to a spectacular climax with a plethora of unexpected plot twists.
So, did Joe save Adam’s soul? Did Satan win the Soul Key? Was Joe damned to hell?
You’ll have to read the book to find out!
For the Lost Soul is available on Amazon at £10.99 for the paperback edition and £2.99 on Kindle.