Unwilling Souls by Gregory D Little #SPFBO
Today I’m reviewing my chosen book from the second batch of books. For the SPFBO I split my books into 6 batches of 5 with the aim of choosing one favourite book from each and then to pick an overall winner from those final 6. When I wrote my original update for the second set of books I had two potential books that I wanted to continue to read: Unwilling Souls by Gregory D Little and Vergence by John March. I’ve revisited both these books now and read further and having done so my book choice from batch No.2 is Unwilling Souls and today’s post is my review of that book.
I originally had a bit of a slow start to Unwilling Souls and in fact in my original post I mentioned that I had a few niggles but as I read on the author managed to iron most of those out and did a good job of keeping my attention in what turned into a very enjoyable read with a complex and unique world.
At the start of the story we make the acquaintance of Ses Lucani. Ses is being trained to forge wrightings, tools that help to keep imprisoned the Gods that were banished many years earlier. She lives at the core of the planet, a strange hollowed out cavernous place where the gravitational pull seems to be more akin to what you would expect in outer space. As the story commences Ses is forced to flee the prison after a terrorist attack throws suspicion on her. Ses is the daughter of two powerful people. Put in very simple terms her father is the iconic leader of a terrorist network and her mother is one of the top officials of the centrality which basically means they are on opposing sides and when her parentage comes to light obviously Ses falls under suspicion.
On the run Ses returns to the home of her grandfather but finding that this is unsafe she is forced to move on and seek out the parents who have, for most of her life, denied her existence. Ses has a dangerous road to travel, pursued by the government and a host of their operatives, attacked by cultists and befriended by a boy from a shady network her adventure is going to go a little wild and she will encounter revelations, home truths and treachery along the way.
This is an intriguing world and one that I would definitely like to revisit. I don’t think I fully have a grip of everything, even now at the conclusion of the story, but I think that’s because there is quite a lot going on and the author has had to make a decision about not slowing things down by trying to cram in too much information. I would like to have a bit of a trip down memory lane, as it were, and find out some more about the strange cities and the way that they have grown out of the bones of mammoth beasts – I was especially intrigued by Arach Arbor – which is the realm of spiders – and spiders there are aplenty! I’d also like to know more about the war and subsequent imprisonment of the Gods.
In terms of the characters I found myself liking Ses. She’s a very believable protagonist, she isn’t perfect, she’s not totally kick ass and she certainly isn’t capable of getting out of every situation without help but she’s resourceful and determined and it makes a great combination. We also meet Ses’s parents and a young man called Murien who befriends Ses in her hour of need. I can’t say too much about those at the moment as they’re not quite as well developed as Ses but nonetheless they’re a good supporting cast.
Overall I found this a well written and enjoyable story, I found Ses easy to like, there’s intrigue and deception and lets not forget walking skeletons, soul driven magic and huge spiders – really, what more could you possibly want.
My books so far:
- Batch 1: Rebel’s Honor by Gwynn White
- Unwilling Souls by Gregory D Little
- As the Crow Flies by Robin Lythgoe – review to follow
- The Amber Isles by Ashley Capes
- Outpost by F T McKinstry – review to follow
- My book from batch 6 to be forthcoming soon!
My aim is to review As The Crow Flies/Outpost and my final book from batch 6 over the next 3 days so that I can then announce my final book.