Half a Soul Apart


Young Adult - Fantasy - General
277 Pages
Reviewed on 05/09/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

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.

Lit Amri

In Half a Soul Apart by Lindsay C. Sharp, Hessy Fairbird is an apprentice engineer waiting for the opportunity to leave Craggen for a better and exciting life. The golden opportunity comes knocking on her door when the Caelum Militia arrives in town, looking for engineers to join their crew. Hessy and several of her fellow apprentices are chosen and they eagerly start their job, leaving Craggen as the militia airship Darkturnalus takes to the sky. Days of familiarizing themselves in their new job are mostly uneventful except for a few silly incidents, and their assigned tasks are easy - that is until Hessy accidentally joins Lieutenant Halcrow for a secret mission. It changes everything and Hessy and the engineers realize that the leader of Darkturnalus, General Rudyard, has a dark agenda of his own.

Half a Soul Apart is an imaginative and thrilling combination of steampunk fantasy, horror, and a dash of romance. Airships, alchemy, and the terrifying Half-Souls - it's definitely a fascinating concept that is familiar but different at the same time as readers delve deeper into its world-building. The story premise is solidly developed into a well-paced plot separated into three parts. The characterization is strong and I admired Hessy's resourcefulness and determination. She's sometimes too inquisitive for her own good, but best friend Nattie, the loyal Arky Gruber, the grumpy Mr. Arman, and the strapping Lieutenant Halcrow are competent allies. There's also Maps, an adorable pygmy tiger cub that fearlessly defends Hessy when needed. Ambitious in breadth and vision, Lindsay C. Sharp's Half a Soul Apart proves that the retrofuturistic world offers endless exciting tales for its fans.

Vincent Dublado

Half a Soul Apart by Lindsay C. Sharp begins just as a young aviation apprentice, Hessy Fairbird, from a mountain town is eager to prove herself. As a mechanical engineer at Craggen, she renders her expertise for a small fee. Her big opportunity comes when the airship Darkturnalus docks in search of recruits, and Hessy is among the first to join the crew. Mr. Arman, Hessy’s instructor, disapproves of Hessy’s decision to join but simply reminds her to stay out of trouble. Something has been bothering Mr. Arman about the group from Starsland. His words are not empty warnings, as Hessy soon discovers the true intentions of Darkturnalus: They are hunting down and killing alchemists! As long as Hessy is a part of the crew, she knows that her life is in danger. But she has a lucky spanner and a tailless tiger cub named Maps by her side. The question is, are they enough to help her overcome the odds?

Half a Soul Apart is a rather enjoyable piece of adventure fantasy with a main character that you will grow to like. Hessy has an adventurous, outgoing spirit that goes with the confidence of knowing what she is capable of doing, but you will like her for it. Her mentor Mr. Arman makes an ideal counterpoint for her personality, being old, grumpy, and mainly unamused by everything. The thrill of Sharp’s Half a Soul Apart lies in its resolution. While Hessy has forged friendships aboard the Darkturnalus, she must equally watch her back because she is unsure of who to trust. The question of whether or not she will make it lingers in your head, and it works so well in many scenes that follow after she sorts out the wolves from the sheep. Half a Soul Apart by Lindsay C. Sharp is a highly recommended book. A solid story of an opportunity of a lifetime that turns into a battle between good and evil.

Christian Sia

Half a Soul Apart by Lindsay C. Sharp is a gripping fantasy written in excellent prose; it is fluid and evokes a world both eerie and strangely realistic, the world that we remember from our dreams. Hessy Fairbird is a young aviation apprentice who quickly joins the militia airship Darkturnalus when it docks in search of new recruits. She discovers new friends and creates new bonds. And while she works on her drone creation, Yellow Bee, that keeps her excited, she increasingly becomes aware that things are not what they seem. She has been thrust into a world that grows darker by the day, and with the war between Half-Souls and Alchemists becoming a painful reality, what hopes are there of survival? In this adventure, she will discover the cruelest form of betrayal, and when she gets the final blow, can Dr. Spring be able to bring her back to life?

I loved how Lindsay C. Sharp’s characters are written, and they are an interesting mix, from Lieutenant Halcrow and General Rudyard to Raphael, the limping Mr. Arman, Cana, Natie, and many others. The author combines action and mystery with intrigue to create a story that will appeal to fans of young adult fantasy. The plot is unpredictable and the characters are multi-dimensional. I particularly enjoyed the idea of Half-Soul and how the author uses it to create interesting characters. The author creates a world where Alchemists and Half-Souls are no longer creations of legend, but characters engulfed in a deadly conflict. Half a Soul Apart is a gripping story that is fast-paced, delightful, and packed with twists.

Rolanda Lyles

Hessy Fairbird is a brilliant apprentice mechanical engineer from Craggen. Orphaned at a young age, Hessy and her best friend, Nattie, along with other kids, work hard tinkering and building machines under the watchful eye of Mr. Arman. Hessy dreams of getting a job on a spaceship so she can travel the skies of the universe. One day, the Caelum Militia pays a visit to Craggen, and Hessy's brilliant engineer mind draws the attention of Lieutenant Halcrow. The Caelum Militia offers the apprentices the opportunity to work aboard their ship. Around the same time, Mr. Arman begins to act strangely as if he has become insane, and warns Hessy to be careful. While working on the Militia's ship, Hessy begins to notice strange things that begin to happen. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the group of apprentices seems perfect, maybe too perfect.

Lindsay C. Sharp's Half a Soul Apart is an outer space, fantasy/sci-fi novel full of action and adventure. The experimental, zombie-like sci-fi creatures are so detailed and descriptive that I could vividly imagine their grotesque features. This story kept me awake some nights! The characters were relatable and very realistic. I found them unique, original, and refreshing. I've read all types of stories, but Lindsay C. Sharp's writing is like none other, and I look forward to reading more of her work. Half a Soul Apart is a story full of twists and turns at every corner and packed with action that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. This book is a must-read.