Soul Release

Young Adult - Action
223 Pages
Reviewed on 08/28/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Stephen Kunkler is a mentally disabled author who enjoys the adventures of writing and reading. His works attempt to stray far and away from all worn paths and are generally influenced by his Religious background, among other things. He has won awards such as The Official Sons of the American Revolution Award, even before he graduated from New Lexington in 2012.

Soul Release, his first book, is inspired by both Anime/Manga and Religion . Also in his catalog: Soul Prison (a prequel to Soul Release, delving into the lives of two brothers on separate paths and struggling to survive), The Ring of Lucifer (told from the perspective of a well-known entity in the Christian Religion), and The Ancients and the innocent (staring a dinosaur and a penguin, who team up for a rather confusing journey).

He is not done writing yet!

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite

Risan Ingel possesses the strongest soul in the human world, the strongest to ever exist. Or at least that is what Light, the angel from Henava, tells him along with the news that he is about to be hunted and possessed by denom. Risan is destined to become a Spirit Guardian, but 99% of those tested fail. Forced to execute the five forsaken sins by Vetogro, Risan is opened to a demon, and with Light's help he is taken back into the past where he will be required to train and grow stronger, aligning and strengthening his soul power. Vetogro has dark and sinister plans; he intends to turn the world of Man upside down, and Risan is now Man's only hope. But does he have enough time to learn everything he must to become a force worthy of confronting this threat, and can he survive the challenges before him?

Soul Release by Stephen Kunkler is a metaphysical fantasy aimed at the new adult and younger age range that would translate well into an anime, and appeal to a target audience of manga and anime fans. It follows the tale of Risan and his transcendence into a Spirit Guardian. There is action, enlightenment, manipulation and superpowers as the forces of light stand against the latest threat to the world of Man. Action and danger fill the pages as the strongest human soul is pitted against a powerful enemy. This is a tale of self-discovery as Risan begins to learn everything his new responsibilities entail. As a character, he makes for a strong protagonist and has his own distinctive personality that is enhanced by the supporting characters. He has a lot to learn in a short time, and the journey is certainly a fun one for the reader.

Christian Sia

Soul Release by Stephen Kunkler is a supernatural novel with strong spiritual themes. Risan has supernatural abilities and his strongest gift is the ability to touch souls. Now a terrible, encroaching darkness threatens his hometown, a dreadful phenomenon that is about to destroy life as he’s always known it. Does he have what it takes to stop the evil from taking the lives of people he loves? Does he have enough fight in him for this, and can he accept the ultimate sacrifice to bring light where darkness lurks?

Soul Release is a novel filled with religious symbolism, a story that reflects the religious themes of faith, blind trust, sacrifice, and redemption. Readers encounter a character with a unique vocation — the call to stand against evil — and while they admire the strengths of this extraordinary character, they are also struck by the suffering he goes through. Indeed, with great gifts come great responsibilities and it is interesting to see Risan live this reality. Stephen Kunkler starts the narrative with a powerful premise and introduces a phenomenal conflict, building the tension to an explosive level pretty quickly. I loved the characters and the way the protagonist is developed.

The prose is strong and the author’s unique phraseology allows the message to come across powerfully. The timely paragraph breaks and the clear and well-crafted sentences are designed to create a dramatic effect that readers can’t miss. I enjoyed the different elements of the story—the fast pacing, the strong conflict, the beautiful message, and the entertainment the overall reading experience offers.

Ruffina Oserio

Soul Release by Stephen Kunkler is an inspirational story that follows the journey of a hero, Risan, a strong young man with unusual powers. He has a wonderful gift, one that allows him to touch souls, literally. When darkness threatens his hometown, he becomes the only hope of survival for his people. But what is coming after them is very strong. Can Risan find the faith, the strength, and what is required to defeat the encroaching darkness? In this battle, he will need more than his supernatural gifts.

The narrative begins with an unusual phenomenon and an encounter between the protagonist and an angel. The premise is strong and the reader can understand the anxiety of the young protagonist from the very start. This is the story of a hero who, like everyone else, has his moments of darkness, of doubt, and of lack of faith. He grows weary and wants out. Stephen Kunkler’s prose is crisp and highly descriptive and it is interesting how he unveils the emotions of the characters. He gets readers to see that which is hidden, articulating brilliantly on religious themes — faith, hope, salvation, and perseverance. Soul Release is filled with light and it is difficult to ignore the inner journey of the protagonist. While it features a young protagonist, the narrative has lessons for a mature audience and for anyone engaged in a spiritual battle — and are we not all engaged in one?