Imagine if reincarnation were a certainty. Imagine everyone could remember their past lives. Imagine all those past lives and past personalities fighting for dominance. That’s the world that Nadia lives in. A broken, fearsome, dangerous, mad world, in which everyone has lived many, many lives and in which everyone has to fight every day just to survive. Except Nadia’s different. She wasn’t born with a soul imprint and she has no memories of any previous lives. Soulless tells us her story.
There is no doubt that this is an intriguing concept. Reincarnation is a fascinating premise anyway, but the idea that everyone (bar Nadia, of course) could remember their past lives is captivating. Jacinta Maree explores how this would affect people and how it would affect the world, and she does this really well. I would have liked a bit more about the history of it (hint hint for a prequel…), and perhaps more about how it affects everyday people in a personal sense but despite this, Maree did a really great job in creating this dystopia and making me believe in it.
The concept is explained well at the beginning, with plenty of pace and excitement to prevent the introduction from reading like an ‘info dump’ or a boring manual, and that pace is maintained right to the end. As a reader, you are dragged along a dirty, bumping floor, kicking and screaming, until the end builds to a massive crescendo of excitement. As the story rolls to an action-packed conclusion, I could barely tear my eyes away from my Kindle; this book is most definitely a page turner. The characterisation is good too. Maree has created characters that have an ‘old’ feel, characters who have lived for hundreds of years (albeit in different bodies), and the juxta-position between these and the young (non-reincarnated) Nadia is, for the most part, impressive.
The author is excellent writer, and has a wonderful way with words, creating beautiful turns of phrase and descriptive narrative that jumps out of the page, but in truth, this book reads a bit like a first draft. Don’t get me wrong, it reads like a really really good first draft, but I couldn’t help thinking throughout that the whole thing could do with a good scrub. I wondered if it had been edited at all (partly because of the tense issues, the typos, and the occasional word confusion) but looking at the copyright page, I see it has. I was surprised. I understand the difficulties to spotting mistakes in your own work (I make plenty of them myself!) but still…It’s a real shame that this book wasn’t polished in the way that it deserves to be, because sometimes Maree’s wonderful writing and her captivating storyline are lost behind a façade of silly, easily fixable errors. With that little extra shine, this book could rocket from a 3.5 star book with a decent storyline and enjoyable narrative, to a 5 star book that simply blows the reader away. That said, I wouldn’t say no to another instalment…
Soulless by Jacinta Maree
(The Immortal Gene #1)
Publication date: October 1st 2015
Genres: Dystopia, New Adult, Supernatural
Welcome to Soulless.
We are the generation that laughs at death.
Reincarnation; what was once considered a gift of immortality has become an eternity of nightmares.
Nadia Richards lives in a world plagued by reincarnation, a system of recycling souls where all past memories, personalities and traumatic events are relived daily in disjointed sequences. Trapped within their own warped realities, not even the richest and most powerful are saved from their own minds unraveling. Madness is the new human nature, and civilizations are crumpling beneath themselves trying to outrun it.
Within a society that ignores death, Nadia appears to be the one exception to the reincarnation trap. Born without any reincarnated memories and with printless eyes, the hot tempered 19 year old quickly becomes the ultimate prize to all those wishing to end the vicious cycle, or for some, to ensure they could evade death forever.
Readers discretion: Adult language, violence and some adult scenes. For mature audiences only.