Cal Kinsey is a young man that’s a bit out of his depth. See, he’s a rookie at DSI – that’s the Department of Supernatural Investigations – and though he looks to have a bright future at the agency, his first case is a humdinger with a fire spirit, multiple dead college students, and a blue demon with a big hammer. It’s gonna be a rough week.
The DSI is a government agency that polices and studies the things that go bump in the night. Think Men in Black or Hellboy, except more official and out in the open. The DSI’s true knowledge of events is still very need-to-know, and the general public doesn’t realize they regularly engage in firefights with demons, but they’re no secret hush-hush urban legend sort of deal. Admittedly I haven’t read a whole lot of urban fantasy, but I thought that approach to the fantasy worldbuilding was pretty unique.
Worldbuilding is a specialty for Clara Coulson (AKA Therin Knite, author of Othella and Echoes). She has a special talent for creating a live, breathing world on the page, with all the small details figured out. Beyond the DSI and their complicated role in our world, there’s also the Eververse, the place where all the demons, gods, and creepy crawlies come from. I would’ve liked more of the Eververse in Soul Breaker (the sections of the book concerning this alternate dimension are some of the book’s finest moments) but that seems to be something Coulson has in mind for next time.
By the end of the book, many parts of the mystery are left unsolved, many plot threads left hanging. So many questions are left unanswered. (Too many?) But the sequel is right around the corner, so one hopes that at least some of those questions will be answered soon enough.
Soul Breaker is the foundation for which a new series is being launched and I think it’s a pretty solid foundation. Coulson’s a pro at worldbuilding and it’s clear she has something big in mind for the world she’s created here. I liked Soul Breaker’s unique fantasy world and I liked the characters, especially the lead Cal Kinsey. Count me in for Book 2.
*I received an ebook copy of Soul Breaker in exchange for an honest review*
Writer of horror, science fiction, and dark fantasy. Lover of fiction and film. Lifelong Godzilla fan. Reluctant blogger.
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