I’ve always been into the supernatural, and I love the urban fantasy stuff that has been circulating lately. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts – you name it, I’ll read it. But give me something about zombies and I’m more likely to make fun of it . For some reason, zombies and I don’t mesh. They’re the one fictional construct that I just can’t digest. I know it’s irrational (I mean, come on, I like vampires) and honestly, I can’t pinpoint exactly why I feel like this, but its always been this way and I never thought I’d change.
Christopher Golden’s Soulless was so much better than I thought it was going to be. Admittedly, when I picked it up I didn’t really know it was a novel about zombies, so I probably didn’t approach it with the same prejudice that I would if I’d had that information. Silly me didn’t read the blurb properly before I bought it, and I walked out of the store thinking it was a novel about ghosts. I’m happy to report, however, that I’m not sorry I made that mistake.
Written in third person, Soulless is one of those novels that follows a whole bunch of different characters through their experiences until they all meet up and cross paths at the end. It starts with Phoenix, the daughter of a renowned Medium who is appearing on the local breakfast news show for a major séance with other known Mediums. No one, not in their wildest dreams, expected that they’d wake the dead for real. Chaos falls upon New York City and quickly spreads to neighbouring communities. Suddenly, America is locked in the biggest stand off of all time: the dead versus the living.
What I liked most about this novel was not the zombie, supernatural elements, but the way the characters changed and adjusted to the circumstances around them. What would you do to survive? If it came down to killing just a few innocent people to save several dozen more, could you do it? What exactly would it take to turn you into a murderer? The majority of the novel follows everyone as they run away from trouble, but when they decide to turn around and face trouble head on, these were the questions I found myself thinking. Not surprisingly, some of the characters deliberately put themselves in situations that offered me some answers. And I can’t say I was happy about all of them, either.
Fast-paced and action-packed, I could see this making a really great movie. Golden does a superb job of creating a very clear picture of the chaos. And while it was closed off nice and clean, I have to ponder whether there will be a sequel.
Soulless wasn’t one of those jaw-dropping, life changing reads, but its definitely worth a go. As long as you’re not too put off by the violence, I reckon everyone will get a little kick out of this one!