The Soul Collector by Tracy L. Carbone

The Soul Collector

When a young adult “horror” book crossed my path, I was concerned. As I finished it I was surprised, and most pleasantly so. This isn’t a horror book in any sense of the word. The Soul Collector is a book about an young girl, American Stonehenge, alien presence and (just for good measure) divorce. At first, it seems like a lot is thrown into the pot but the reality is, this is a slick, fun read with engaging characters and an inventive story line. This book in some ways reminded me of The Goonies, but  it is also very reminiscent of Robert Heinlein’s early “juvenile fiction” in that it combines crisp storytelling with young characters in adult situations that have positive outcomes.

The adolescent protagonist of The Soul Collector is Abby McNabb, your typically tortured sixth grade girl, whose parents are divorced, more or less amicably. Also typical are her young compatriots and schoolmates/antagonists (which makes for some beautiful sub-plots). Splitting her time between her very grounded mother and UFO/Alien author father, Abby learns about herself and her fathers obsession with American Stonehenge.

Set in New England, where author Tracy Carbone  grew up, Soul Collector has a knack for giving the reader a nice visual understanding of this locale. Carbone’s writing style is clean, precise and very imaginative, which allows readers to immerse themselves in her deliciously complex plot and detailed settings. She sets the reader on a journey and intricately twists it over and over. When one finishes this story of Abby and her friends, it is with a welcome smile, something quite rare these days.

I want to make another connection between this book and the the young adult fiction of Heinlein because this book is not just for young adults at all. It is a fun exciting, intricate read, with an interesting plot, beautiful detailed settings  and wildly outlandish escapades which in the end makes this book an incredibly satisfying read that was greatly enjoyed and I highly recommend.

For the purposes of full disclosure, this book was a review copy sent to SFSN. No other remuneration was given or implied.


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