Soulstice by Simon Holt (September 1st 2009—Little Brown)
Grade: 4 stars out of 5
Summary: “The terrifying, nail-biting, and grossly intriguing sequel to The Devouring.
It's been six months since Reggie first discovered and fought against the Vours, malicious and demonic beings that inhabit human bodies on the eve of the Winter Solstice.
The Vours still haunt Reggie, but only in her dreams-until one night, when an unexpected visitor turns her nightmares into reality.”
Review: I swear this series is out to get me. I read Devouring, Soulstice’s prequel, on Sorry Night, and guess what else? Turns out not only do the Vours come out during then but also on my birthday! June 21st, summer solstice. Case in point, this series is really out to get me.
Soulstice really outdid The Devouring by a much larger margin than I had anticipated. There was a whole new factor of fear. This time it was not the physical fear—spiders, clowns, and killer mothers—but rather desolation, fear of oneself, and guilt. It is more of the essence and the ever lingering taste that never fully leaves unlike the more physical fears. The tone of the novel developed into a larger reader’s group from the child-like stance to the more teenage/young adult. I much prefer this type of story as the characters can be empathized. Spiders and clowns are fine but children typically grow out of that fear as they age and yet guilt and isolation will forever be a part of you.
As far as the characterization goes, we focus more between Quinn and Reggie now. I have come to grow fond of Quinn, who knows why. He has that dry humor that I seem to enjoy quite a bit and the interaction with Reggie was cute. It was like two feisty little kittens that made that smile. Maybe not kittens per se…
Reggie was an independent person that stood up when no one else would. That was what I really appreciate. I have come across some many female leads that depend on someone so much that irritates me. She was a kick-butt heroine!
The writing style however was disjointed. It has been rumored that Simon Holt does not exist but rather it is an assembly line of writers that forms this so called “Simon Holt”. Personally I do not care if it means that we will get quality books such as the Soulstice and The Devouring has proven. But the difference in style can be detected when we switched from Aaron and Reggie. It slightly disrupts the flow of the book in my opinion.
Overall: Soulstice surprised me in the most pleasant way with its unexpected twists and great scare tactics. I look forward to the third installment of the Devouring series.