Published by Bloomsbury Publishing on February 3rd 2015
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review, via Netgalley
From the author of FRACTURE, a riveting new thriller which draws on cutting-edge science.
Alina Chase has been contained on an island for the last 17 years—whether that’s for the crimes of her past life, or for her own protection, well, that depends on whom you ask. With soul-fingerprinting a reality, science can now screen for the soul, and everyone knows that Alina’s soul had once belonged to notorious criminal, June Calahan, though that information is supposed to be private. June had accomplished the impossible: hacking into the soul-database, ruining countless lives in the process.
Now, there are whispers that June has left something behind for her next life—something that would allow Alina to access the information in the soul-database again. A way to finish the crimes she started.
Aided by three people with their own secret motivations, Alina escapes, only to discover that she may have just traded one prison for another. And there are clues. Clues only Alina can see and decipher, clues that make it apparent that June is leading her to something. While everyone believes Alina is trying to continue in June’s footsteps, Alina believes June is trying to show her something more. Something bigger. Something that gets at the heart of who they all are—about the past and the present. Something about the nature of their souls.
Alina doesn’t know who to trust, or what June intends for her to know, and the closer she gets to the answers, the more she wonders who June was, who she is, whether she’s destined to repeat the past, whether there are truths best kept hidden—and what one life is really worth.
Well, well, wasn’t this the pleasant surprise! I honestly didn’t know what to think of this going in, and figured it was going to go one of two ways: Unbelievable and silly, or thought provoking and exciting. And thankfully, it was the latter.
The thing that made it really work for me is that no one completely understood how the soul worked. I liked that they admitted that, because I think anything else would have been really hard to believe. In Soulprint‘s world, souls move on to another body after death, and science has allowed for the soul to be “tested” so a person could find out who their soul belonged to before them. In this situation, it was “we know souls transfer, we just don’t know why or how”, and honestly, I can’t imagine any other way to feasibly handle the topic.
Alina, whose soul used to belong to a wanted criminal who was attempting to overthrow the soul database system, was quite a sympathetic and likable character. She was literally paying for someone else’s crime, as she was confined to an island. It seemed a bit farfetched, but the government didn’t want to appear to be imprisoning children for something they had no control over, so they basically locked her up, just in a luxurious setting.
Alina wants her freedom, of course, so when the chance arises, she grabs it. Her escape comes at the hands of siblings Casey and Cameron, and former guard Dominic. These characters had good backstory and development as well, so I found myself invested in each of them. Though I had figured a few major things out early on, the unravelling of their individual stories was almost as intriguing as Alina’s.
This was the escape, but only in my twisted mind.
Obviously, Alina and her escape partners are on the run. They have to hide, and for some time it seems that Alina has simply traded one prison for another, much less comfortable one. But since Alina is a strong willed character, and wants to have an actual life, maybe even find her family, so she decides to try to figure out what June was involved with and attempt to clear her name- or go down fighting.
Some other aspects that I enjoyed:
- The romance was enjoyable, but not the main focus. I was definitely invested in it but it didn’t take over the story.
- I loved the questions that were brought up. I mean, the entire concept of a soul was at the core of this book, and what exactly makes us who we are is questioned. I love a book that can really make the reader think, even long after the book is read. This fits the bill.
- The ending was really quite perfect. Not wrapped up completely, but enough that you didn’t want to rip your hair out. Hopeful, but not unbelievable. I really thought it was well done, and fit with the tone of the book.
- June’s backstory was so fun to delve into. Imagine trying to find clues from someone who’d been dead as long as you’d been alive, someone who you have a connection to that goes beyond life. It was all pretty incredible.
The only thing that really kept me from giving the book five stars was that some of the plot moved a little slow at times. I didn’t exactly mind, because I was anxious to continue the story, but it was a factor. My other issue was that I did figure out a few of the twists quite early on, which was kind of a bummer, BUT there were a lot of other twists that took me by surprise, so it ended up working out fine.
Bottom Line: This book kind of has it all: Science, romance, mystery, conspiracy, friendship, and quite a bit of thought provocation. Definitely a win.