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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Half a Soul Apart is a steampunk fantasy novel written by Lindsay C. Sharp. Hessy Fairbird is a young mechanical engineer whose dream of working on the airship Darkturnalus comes true when the Caelum Militia visits her port town of Craggen and recruits Hessy and her friends. But her long-term dream turns into a nightmare when she witnesses one of her friends being turned into a Half-Soul by an Alchemist on the orders of General Rudyard. With the help of Lieutenant Raphael Halcrow, Hessy and her friends escape and flee to Craggen, only to find the Caelum Militia following in pursuit. The ensuing chaos leads Hessy and Raphael away from the group, and they must now brave unknown dangers to reach the safety of the northern city of Scerah.
Half a Soul Apart is one of the best debut novels I've read in years. Author Lindsay C. Sharp weaves a fascinating tale of airships, monsters, and romance that instantly takes you to the wondrous land of Rultia. The pacing of the plot is fast, and the narrative runs as smoothly as melted butter. The characters felt well-realized with distinct personalities. I particularly enjoyed Hessy, Raphael, Arky, Nattie, and Mr. Arman. I found elements of horror in some of the scenes, and it made for an unpredictable yet enjoyable story. The action scenes are described with an attention to detail that makes them seem realistic. Fans of steampunk fantasy books such as Mistborn or The Books of Babel should find Half a Soul Apart especially rewarding. I enjoyed every moment of it, and I hope to see sequels set in the same world.