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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Arsenic for the Soul by Nathan Wilson is a dark story that twists until a surprising conclusion. Vivian Xu and her friend, Camilla Vesely, have experienced a lot of darkness and psychopaths. In this follow-up to Red Widow, Vivian has re-invented her life after her time on the streets as Red Widow, after nearly being killed by a deranged detective. She’s a med student, back at home with her parents, and has just met a handsome man who understands her. That’s when everything takes a turn for the worse. Camilla has a stalker intent on killing her, leaving her clues she struggles to understand. Coupled with a tuberculous outbreak that no one believes her about, Vivian has to fight to keep her sanity as she tries to protect her friend.
Arsenic for the Soul isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s dark, edgy, and morbid, but in a good way. Everything horrific about it is balanced by Camilla and Vivian’s charm. Their friendship brings some light to the gloomy world of theirs. A delight to the story is Gavin, Vivian’s former mentor. The few scenes with him gave a much needed break from the darkness of the story. The twist at the end, I didn’t see coming, but after everything is revealed I wondered how I missed it. It’s heartbreaking and horrific. Vivian gets a chance at normality before her life takes a dark turn. By the end, it reads like this is just part of the beginning for Vivian. She’s a rich, engaging character with so much story potential. I can’t wait to see where her story goes!