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Soultaker (Leisure Fiction) by Bryan Smith

Soultaker (Leisure Fiction) (edition 2009)

by Bryan Smith

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1023253,879 (3.44)5
Rockville, Tennessee seems like a normal small town. But in reality it's become a nest of evil, the home of the Lamia, an ancient shape-shifting creature that survives by harvesting souls through seduction and manipulation.
Title:Soultaker (Leisure Fiction)
Authors:Bryan Smith
Info:Leisure Books (2009), Mass Market Paperback, 303 pages
Collections:Your library

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Soultaker by Bryan Smith


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Soultaker takes place in the small town of Rockville, TN. There is nothing special about Rockville with the exception of an ancient evil that wonders the streets, woods, and the hallways of the local school. An author, Jake McAllister, shows up in his hometown to help his brother who has changed since he started dating a mysterious, new girl. Like other Smith's novels, the book goes between different perspectives to flesh out the characters. I don't think he fully succeeded in this, some characters felt flat. By the latter part of the novel, characters seemed randomly to meet up. In my opinion, the most jarring part of the book.

Sex and violence are highly interconnected. But the use of both elaborates upon individual characters and their motives. For instance, there is a character who gains great pleasure leading on possible lovers only to destroy them with insults and physical violence. Characters often used sex as a means of control. This is a common trope I have found in Smith's books. He writes a strong female adversary(ies) and weak or just deeply flawed males.

There are many aspects of the novel I greatly enjoyed. I liked the setting of small town that didn't contain inbred mutants. The main antagonist was interesting as well as its relationship to the main character, Jake. If you like supernatural evil creatures, sex cults, and mass killings give Soultaker a chance. ( )
  ericreeves3 | May 19, 2019 |
Bryan Smith is an author that I've been looking forward to reading for a while. I've been hearing a lot about him: about what a great writer he is, about how violent and sexy his stories are, about how he's beginning to get the recognition that he deserves. I'm happy to report that all of that is true. Or at least it is true from the one book of his that I've read.

SOULTAKER focuses on Jake McAllister as he comes back to the hometown that he escaped from so that he can help his younger brother Trey. Jake's abusive, drunk mother saw Trey's personality change due to his new girlfriend and thought that Jake could help. The problem is that Trey's girlfriend Myra is a centuries old demon who is looking for some fun and games before charging up by consuming a lot of souls.

The premise might send a bit cliché and it kind of is. In fact, as the climax approaches in the book, Jake recognizes and points out the same exact thing. Since he is a horror writer, yes, another cliché, he thinks the announcement of demons is a prank. The book could very easily have fallen into that pattern and simply been yet-one-more-horror-novel out there. Instead thanks to three dimensional characters with complex and interweaving story lines and a level of paranoia that infects the readers, the book and the author stand out as being quality material. For most of the book, I doubted the sincerity of one of the main characters, Kristen, and kept waiting for her to reveal her true side. I won't spoil the suspense and will keep her actions to myself but suffice to say that I believed in her as a character with complex issues. Smith is similar to Edward Lee in that the novel is filled with extensive sex and violence. It all fit within the story but if you are semi-squeamish, then you'll want to avoid this book. Otherwise, find it and read it. Now! ( )
  dagon12 | Jul 21, 2014 |
Pulp horror-paperback-author Jack McAllister returns to his small, white trash hometown to discover his brother's girlfriend Myra is a lot more than she appears to be on the outside. In fact, Myra's an ancient demon who gains power from taking the souls of those around her. Having taken control of influential people across the town of Rockville, she's planning on a mass soul-harvest at the local high school, a massacre to dwarf all other Columbine-type tragedies.

While SOULTAKER reads like a novel the protagonist himself would have written, Smith once again manages to take a simple premise and keep the pages flipping. There's some scares, sex, conspiracy and BUCKETS of gore, i.e. everything a fan into old-school "supermarket" horror novels would want. The author knows his audience and he delivers the goods.

As pre-possessed high school snob Bridget says, "A teenager's soul is the equivalent of spiritual crack or Ecstasy" (pp. 162). So, too, is the spirit of a Bryan Smith novel. This one (his 5th for Leisure Books) is a lot of blood-soaked fun, just don't expect anything too different. ( )
1 vote NickCato | Feb 21, 2009 |
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Rockville, Tennessee seems like a normal small town. But in reality it's become a nest of evil, the home of the Lamia, an ancient shape-shifting creature that survives by harvesting souls through seduction and manipulation.

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