Book Description: From the gothic eccentricity of Asheville, North Carolina, to the terrifying recesses of the Appalachian wilderness, from modern demonology to ancient Cherokee mythology, Soul Catcher follows the tormented journey of folk artist Livia Belane, who has been stalked through many lives by a sadistic and vengeful demon. Livia and her loved ones, including her frontier-era soulmate and husband, Ian, a Soul Hunter, have never beaten the demon before. Now, in this life, it’s found them again.
If I hadn’t been sent this book for review, I would not have finished it and that was before reaching the first of two horribly disturbing and graphic rape scenes. I don’t know why there is a trend in urban fantasy to have main characters suffer through rape, but I can think of three other series that have done so (some tastefully, others less so), but this was by far the worst in terms of sheer vileness.
Livia Belane was only a little girl when her grandmother informed her that she was a Soul Catcher who can see demons, draw/paint them, and then burn the pictures to vanquish them. After her loving mother, possessed by a demon, killed her brother and Livia was forced to draw/burn her mother, she spends the next several years in an insane asylum. When she is released as a ridiculously foulmouthed adult (she manages to use the f-word in almost every sentence she speaks) she is befriended by a group of ‘good’ souls whom she has known, but forgotten about, in her many past lives. This is about the time when Livia dreams about an uber ugly demon whom she calls Pig Face. When Pig Face escapes from her drawing, possesses a human, and viciously beats and rapes her, she recovers only to learn that Ian, her true love through all her lives, has now possessed the body of her rapist. Livia has forgotten, but she, Pig Face, and Ian have all faced each other in previous lives with similar outcomes: savage rape, torture, and then death (we get to relive these past lives with Livia).
The only aspect of Soul Catcher that I found remotely compelling was how Livia struggled throughout the book to see past the physical appearance of the demon/man who raped her to the soul of Ian inside. The rest was a convoluted mess. The premise was intriguing and the prologue featuring Lavia and Ian more so. But from page 1 and on it was every bit as tortuous as an encounter with the ridiculously named Pig Face. I never understood why any one of the many characters did anything; Lavia, while a sad character given her life experiences, was supremely unlikable; her true love Ian a jerk for being offended by that fact that Lavia didn’t want to ‘feck’ as he called it soon after his body raped her (she still had stitches down under); and the whole endless cycle of life, fight, torture, rape, die was never justified: the villain was just evil, that’s it.
Wow, I really didn’t like this book. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I disliked a book so much.
Sexual Content: Graphic rape scene followed by graphic sex scene, then a demon orgy, followed by another graphic rape scene and another graphic sex scene.
I love the urban fantasy genre, I love folk art (see samples at my website, deborah-smith) and I love Asheville, North Carolina. So putting all three together in a fast-paced, sexy, and some might say way-violent novel was great fun. SOUL CATCHER is not for the faint of heart, and it’s not the same tone or style as my women’s fiction, so that’s why I picked a pen name. I also write the Solomon’s Seal ebooks under the Bridger name. They’re softer, paranormal romance. Anyhoo, let’s talk about demons. I know demons are all the sexy new thing in fiction, not drooling monsters and such in many cases; often quite attractive, likable, and, like vampires, just another fun OTHER to mix with we mortals. But I wanted to write about down-and-dirty, drooling, vicious devil-kind. Old School Demons. And angels. And other critters I made up for my own mix of modern and mythological, Biblical and Cherokee spirituality. So I’ve got banes, boons, pogs, lesser demons, greater demons, angels and, in Book Two, SOUL HUNTER, there’ll be vampire-like folks and probably shapeshifters, too. All with what I hope is a special twist to bring my unique, some might say odd, perspective to this very haunted, very involved, very southern Appalachian world. On another note: Why is Asheville one of my fave places? The food, the scenery, the bohemian ambience, the arts crowd, the film festival, Bele Cher, the Biltmore, Pack Square on a warm summer night when the musicians are strolling; the drum circle at Pritchard Park, the Grove Park Inn, and much more. -Leigh Bridger
Click HERE to read an excerpt of Soul Catcher
Disclosure: I received this book for review courtesy of Bell Bridge Books
- Paperback: 284 pages
- Publisher: BelleBooks, Inc. (October 20, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 098217568X
- ISBN-13: 978-0982175682