Adventure (Teen), Dystopia (Teen), Science Fiction, YA Fiction

The Soul Mender by R.S. Dabney

I received this novel as an advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I love reading books about alternate realities/worlds. I just recently read Dark Matter, which dealt with parallel universes, and it was absolutely fascinating. I just love the concept of having multiple versions of the world existing on different planes of reality; if I could travel to those other dimensions, I would in a heartbeat. That was one of the reasons why I was so excited to read this novel. So here is my review:

Riley Dale has an ordinary, loving family. She has nice friends, and has just graduated from university with a degree in a program that she loves. But Riley herself is unusual – and not in a good way. She has visions and hears voices in her head. And sometimes, those visions come true. When she returns back to her hometown, she finds herself caught up in the chase to find the elusive Rocky Mountain Murderer, who has raped and killed 5 young women. When she discovers the identity of the killer, Riley desperately runs to avoid becoming the 6th victim – only to find herself thrown into a parallel universe. In this world, everyone she knows has a completely different personality, Las Vegas is famous for its religious fanaticism, and the United States is known for its terrorist attacks. But even in this parallel universe, Riley isn’t safe. There are people who know she doesn’t belong here, people who believe she has special powers… and they want to capture her as soon as they can. There are only two people who are willing to help her: Riley’s drug-addicted doppelganger who is the other half of her soul, and the counter soul of the Rocky Mountain Murderer.

At first, I found myself a bit bewildered with the story; there were a lot of random details thrown in that didn’t seem to make any sense. However, as soon as Riley moved into her parallel world, everything fell into place. By the end of the novel, I was hooked and I just had to read what happens next. Overall, this novel is fast-paced and has a good storyline. I think that a little more character and plot development in some areas would be beneficial and could elevate the story a bit more, but it was still a solid piece of good work. I liked the way the author broached the subject of two halves of one soul, and I was impressed with the way the other world was created. This novel is definitely gripping and will keep you wanting more, so if you are looking for a new science fiction novel, I would definitely suggest this one!

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