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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Soul Seeker by Kaylin McFarren is a paranormal thriller with a nod in the direction of new adult and is the first book in the acclaimed Gehenna series, followed by book two, Annihilation. The book begins in a sleepy Illinois suburb with the family of Benjamin Poe. Secrets between him and his wife are exploited by the book's main character, a demon named Crighton Daemonium. This demon, who goes by the much simpler “Crighton,” is in the business of filling hell with what it needs: good souls gone bad. Poe is ensnared when trying to save his son, and Crighton ticks him off the list alongside another. But it is ultimately Crighton who gets ensnared when he is trapped with an angel named Ariel. Do you know what happens when a demon starts to get the warm fuzzies for an angel? All hell breaks loose.
Soul Seeker might be centered around the concept and actual culture Kaylin McFarren has crafted out of hell, but the storytelling is absolutely heavenly. I have read the Gehenna series in reverse order because the second book came to me first. Having now read the story that started it all, I feel like I'm better filled in. That said, the writing is so good that McFarren does not leave a reader who jumps in elsewhere confused. She is exceptionally skilled in both narrative and dialogue and it was amazing to dive back in. Crighton is a character that a reader would think they could never possibly root for...until we do, and it's pure mastery to be part of that evolution. The distinction between good and bad is not so clear-cut. Crighton is bad; Lucifer is worse. I liked Ariel but not more than Crighton. Given the choice between the two, the poor little angel would be roadkill. This is an adult book with adult themes and plenty of heated sex scenes. It's fun and scary and entertaining and sexy. Enjoy!