Soulstealer (Book 2)


Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
319 Pages
Reviewed on 06/13/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

Steven, the follow-up novel in the Soulstealer series by Shane Boulware, is an alternative narrative to the events in book one, Nythan. Some of the same events on the same timeline are shown through the points of view of two distinct characters. This is Steven Carpenter's turn. Bane is the legitimate name of the Souleater whose moniker is attributed because he will eat the soul of a person and commandeer their body solo. He's already done this with Nythan and this is explored through Steven's perspective as the novel progresses. Bane's history stretches back hundreds of years but he has been gone so long that when Steven, who is the last line of defense as one of the only guys left in the credibility-deficient, purpose-created ancient order of Ordo Solis, is not believed when he starts to tell people what he never, ever thought he'd say: the Soulstealer is back, and he's coming for everyone.

There is so much to look at in the two Soulstealer novels that I feel sort of bad about secretly wishing for a book from the perspective of one of Bane's groupies. The Soulstealer has diehard followers and they are as deliciously sick and twisted as any villain worth their salt. The second book, Steven, is an armchair travelogue and lesson in politicking all wrapped up in a paranormal thriller. Steven the character is part of Ordo Solis except when I say “part,” what I really mean is he had one biker boot out the door when the souls of all living people were endangered. Like most protagonists, Steven didn't intend to be one and this is why we like him. Also like most protagonists, they work better in pairs and Boulware writes in Adeline who is awesome, except for her dialogue, all in a phonetic German accent. At one point I did say right back to her, “I don’t like ze vay you do zat.” It does not matter because I adore everything else Soulstealer has to offer and will scoop up the next book that Boulware dishes out.

Rabia Tanveer

Soulstealer: Steven is the second book in the series by Shane Boulware. Steven Carpenter was one of the last remaining Ordo Solis to keep believing the Soulstealer existed, but his faith was shaken. That changed when he saw the Soulstealer with his own eyes and made it his mission to stop it once and for all. The best way was to expose it, but how? The Soulstealer, Bane, was ready to do whatever it took to stop Steven before it was too late. It was now a race against time as its followers were prepared to destroy the evidence before it reached the masses. Did Steven have what it took to expose the Soulstealer?

With intensity, heat, and plenty of action, Soulstealer by Shane Boulware was everything I wanted it to be. The character development was incredible, the narrative was outstanding, and the overall feel of the story was perfect. Steven’s character development was remarkable. He was never short of confidence, but that doesn’t mean he didn't second-guess himself. He kept his courage up, his head held high, and his eyes on the prize. Steven desperately wanted to expose the Soulstealer. But Steven was not the only character who had my heart. I adored Adeline and how she seemed to breathe new life into the events gave Steven the courage to push on. The paranormal element of the plot was refreshing and not over the top. I enjoyed how cohesive elements merged exceptionally well into the story. I highly recommend this novel and series to anyone who enjoys action, adventure, and paranormal novels.

Pikasho Deka

Soulstealer: Steven is the second book of the Soulstealer series by Shane Boulware. As one of the only two remaining members of the millennia-old secret organization, Ordo Solis, in America, Steven Carpenter has difficulty believing that Satan would return one day to steal the souls of innocents. But after he witnesses the Soulstealer's return and his partner and his family are brutally murdered, Steven must find a way to apprise the world of this apocalyptic threat. After the tragic death of his soulmate, Steven and a European Ordo Solis member named Adeline travel throughout Europe to warn global agencies of the Soulstealer and the cults following him across several continents. But with human civilization on the brink of a disastrous collapse, will Steven and his friends be able to stop the Soulstealer?

Shane Boulware delivers a high-octane urban fantasy thriller bound to keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. Soulstealer: Steven is an action-packed entry to the Soulstealer series with a gripping story that barely lets you take a breather. Boulware's narrative is fast-paced, with a plot full of unexpected twists and turns that keep you guessing what's happening next as you fly through the pages. The characters are well-developed, and Boulware provides them with unique traits and personalities that make an impression on the reader. Steven and Adeline make a compelling duo who play off each other in every scene. Overall, I found the book thoroughly entertaining, and if you enjoy urban fantasy, you will too.

Stephanie Chapman

Shane Boulware continues his series in Soulstealer (Book 2): Steven. Jeff and Steven are the only members of the American Ordo Solis. They spend their days watching videos to spot the demon, Bane. Jeff’s wife Sara threatens divorce because of his neglect of their daughter, marriage, and paying job. Steven and Jeff discover shocking evidence on their last evening when the Gatekeeper video shows a suspicious young man. Steven takes a copy to have Raleigh decipher the conversation. While he is away, a group of masked thugs murders Jeff, Sara, and Trista. Steven receives a call from Raleigh’s fiancée, who confirms his affiliation with the Raptors. Steven seeks help from a group of masons, only to have their meeting raided. The Raptors kill the men and abduct Steven. They take him to a secret location where his decisions could result in torture and death.

Shane Boulware builds an unpredictable story with realistic features. Most people do not believe in monsters or demons. Steven’s entire life has been focused on taking down Bane and his followers. The Raptors are ruthless, using violence and mental manipulation that showed the psychological effects of Steven’s actions. His quest to avenge Jeff’s family builds steady suspense. Steven’s attempts to persuade others show relatable responses from disbelief and dismissal to questions concerning validity. The book painted the mental aspects and violence in vivid detail. With seamless transitions from one location to another, technology becomes the driving force. I felt the end left an opening to continue the story. I recommend Soulstealer (Book 2) to readers who like mystery thrillers full of constant danger.

Asher Syed

Soulstealer: Steven by Shane Boulware is the second book in the supernatural series, this time following Steven Carpenter, a member of the dying organization Ordo Solis. Steven and his fellow Solis members believe they have proof of soul-eating Bane's return, but are met with doubt as it has been centuries since Bane's last appearance. The Soulstealer's followers, the Raptors, threaten Steven and his love interest Raeleigh, demanding the evidence. Nythan, the subject of book one and the Soulstealer's human vessel, seeks peace between Ordo Solis, the Raptors, and other cults. Steven seeks help from the Freemasons and government agencies to legitimize the Ordo Solis and convince the public of the threat. They must either find a peaceful resolution or eliminate the Soulstealer before it can cause widespread destruction. The fate of millions hangs in the balance as Steven races against time to save humanity.

“Well, he countered, we aren’t supposed to see someone’s soul ripped from their body either, yet here we are.” Soulstealer: Steven by Shane Boulware is a creative twist to the genre of paranormal stealing and eating soul novels, particularly with a new character arc in Steven that does not pick up where Nythan starts, but jogs alongside it as an alternate point of view to the events of book one. The benefit of this is that it works as a standalone, although reading it that way robs a reader of a brilliant opening to what is turning out to be a fantastic series. Boulware loves his anti-heroes and Steven fits the bill. The writing is polished and exceptionally well executed, and the pacing takes off at a clipping speed without losing steam in the second half, which is more methodical but no less exciting. I really liked the development of Steven's companion Adeline Faehrmann who makes up for some super shocking losses. Very highly recommended.