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Reviewed by Jennifer Donovan for Readers' Favorite
Soulstealer by Shane Boulware is a supernatural urban fantasy. Nythan has his future planned out, determined to make a life for himself in the military. Everything changes when he is assaulted and a strange mist leaves his assailant and enters Nythan. From that point forward, Nythan hears a voice in his head urging him to consume the souls of other people. Food loses its appeal as everything suddenly tastes rotten; he will need to either steal people’s souls or slowly starve to death. He goes to great lengths to rid his mind of the intruder, even traveling to a monastery in India. What he doesn’t know is that this voice has an international network of humans who seek to fulfill its plan and another network set on killing it—thereby killing Nythan. He isn’t just possessed; he harbors an entity that has existed for millennia.
There is a lot of exposition in the book where Shane Boulware explains the history of the Soulstealer, whom Nythan names Bane. As Nythan and Bane inevitably get to know one another, we learn about the people who have preceded Nythan, as well as all of Bane’s exploits and the history and traditions of the networks who know of Bane’s existence. A lot more time is spent world-building, which may deter some readers. The book contains a good amount of humor, particularly in the banter between Nythan and Bane. The ending came as an absolute shock, and I’m interested in how the story will progress as the series continues.
Soulstealer was narrated by Daniel Wisniewski who did a phenomenal job of portraying numerous characters. His narration is distinct from his character voices, and he effortlessly transitions between his narration, Shane’s young voice, and the Soulstealer’s deep, sinister one. He also effectively portrays female and male characters, young and old characters, and several different accents. His performance and the production quality elevated my enjoyment of the book, bringing it to life.