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Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite
The Soul Mender by R.S. Dabney is the first part in The Soul Mender Trilogy, a gorgeous read for fans of the paranormal genre. Meet Riley Dale, a woman who has had a troubled childhood characterized by nightmares. Now, she is targeted by a mysterious Rocky Mountain killer and she could be his next victim, running for her life. But she is suddenly plunged into a parallel universe, with Las Vegas becoming a place with a cornucopia of churches and terrorist activities. As she plunges into a world where nothing seems like what it is, she gains a deeper understanding of good and evil, and makes the shocking discovery of her ancestry. She is a descendant of a race with unique and powerful skills, who lost their skills through a stupid mistake. She could be the ransom for an error not of her making. Read on to discover how she survives, pursued by a dangerous sect and by shady government agents. What really is her destiny?
First off, I found the prose irresistible, the kind of seductive language that inundates the reader’s imagination with vivid images. R.S. Dabney had me hooked from the very beginning of the story with the stunning image and the intriguing dialogue: “Dark hair swirled around the faces of two figures looking down on the lights of a city far below. They stood motionless on a precipice, unmoved by the wind and pelting rain. Sharp daggers, gilded and set with precious stones, hung from scabbards hidden beneath long coats that billowed with each gust.” I couldn’t stop reading because the pace moves faster than in most books of this kind and the reader is suddenly swept off their feet into a whirlwind of action, punctuated by dramatic conflict. The Soul Mender features compelling characters, a gritty plot, and a world that will absorb the reader into itself until the very last page.