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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Soul Machines is a work of fiction in the history, mystery, family saga, and interpersonal subgenres. The work is best suited to the general adult reading audience and was penned by Alexandru Czimbor. Set in Transylvania, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 1800s, this is an epic tale depicting a time of great religious and social conflict for the people of a little mining town. Three central characters take the stage as unlikely close friends - a poor Romanian, a gypsy, and a rich Hungarian. Together, they face intense scrutiny and intrigue when an artifact purported to be a symbol of all the evils in the human world comes into their possession. As love beckons for some and conflict awaits others, we find ourselves forming a picture of a world gradually heading toward the most dangerous war the planet has ever seen.
Alexandru Czimbor offers an unusual historical fiction account that is unlike anything I’ve read for a long time. If you’re intrigued by the cultural and social issues explored, Czimbor will not disappoint you with the intense level of vivid detail and deeply-considered narrative. He explains and contextualizes many religious, social, and cultural conflicts taking place in this interesting melting pot of a location. The period is represented evocatively, and that same level of attention to detail flows into the daily lives of the characters. Their personalities are distinctive and brought to life with clever dialogue, inflection, and referencing that keep their cultures and attitudes clear and unique. I would not hesitate to recommend The Soul Machines to fans of historical fiction seeking an outstanding and original read. I can’t wait to see what more this author brings us in the future.