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340 of 354 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CAN YOU REALLY TAKE IT WITH YOU??
This will not be one of those "why buy the book reviews", which I deplore. I am always turned off by reviews that divulge the entire plot line and outcome of a book in the review. Hopefully, I will give you just enough to whet your reading appetite.

The author of Soul Identity presents a fascinating fantasy for his readers to contemplate and savour. He...
Published on January 25, 2008 by Red Rock Bookworm

versus
87 of 95 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars simplistic story line, entertaining idea
This story was certainly worth what I paid for it, and was actually the first book I read on my Kindle2. I thought the idea was clever and intriguing, and it really could have been a great story. My objection to it is that it read like a high-school junior's idea of a book. There was a single story arc. Even children's books have multiple arcs to flesh out the story...
Published on June 16, 2009 by busy mama


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340 of 354 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CAN YOU REALLY TAKE IT WITH YOU??, January 25, 2008
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This review is from: Soul Identity (Paperback)
This will not be one of those "why buy the book reviews", which I deplore. I am always turned off by reviews that divulge the entire plot line and outcome of a book in the review. Hopefully, I will give you just enough to whet your reading appetite.

The author of Soul Identity presents a fascinating fantasy for his readers to contemplate and savour. He immerses us in the adventures of a computer security geek and his "hot" Russian female counterpart and allows us to theorize as to our own feelings concerning the possibility of reincarnation. Would any of us be interested in engaging the services of a company that would act as a depository for our money, life experiences, and other valuables, and return them to us in our next life because, through the use of modern technology, they have developed a system of tracking and identifying souls through time? If there were such an organization, how long would it be before someone would hatch a scheme to infiltrate and usurp control??

Want the answers to these and a myriad of other questions, then buy a copy of Soul Identity and get ready for an entertaining, thought provoking and engaging read with plenty of action for the thrill seekers among you. I guarantee that even the most jaded reader will be hooked by page twenty.
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87 of 95 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars simplistic story line, entertaining idea, June 16, 2009
This review is from: Soul Identity (Kindle Edition)
This story was certainly worth what I paid for it, and was actually the first book I read on my Kindle2. I thought the idea was clever and intriguing, and it really could have been a great story. My objection to it is that it read like a high-school junior's idea of a book. There was a single story arc. Even children's books have multiple arcs to flesh out the story and keep things interesting. The characters were pretty flat, underdeveloped I think. But even with those critiques, I have to say that I enjoyed reading it, and what more do you want in entertaining fiction?
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67 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soul searching good read!, August 14, 2007
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This review is from: Soul Identity (Paperback)
Scott Waverly is a great hero - he is smart, wise-cracking (reminds me of John Corey), and a security analyst - He is contacted by Soul Identity to do some work for them, and is sent a device to take images of his eyes - instead of doing what they asked, he takes photos of a bluefish's eyes and sends it - His next door neighbor, who had applied for membership is bummed because SI wouldn't admit him because he only has 1 eye - (they think it takes 2 for the whole soul identity thing to work). To help his neighbor, Scott agrees to work for Soul Identity and see what problems need fixing...
Turns out that the eyes ARE the mirrors of the soul - and the eyes, like fingerprints, are unique - Soul Identity's members can register their Soul Identities and can bank their money/investments etc for themselves for the next go 'round - in other words - if you are a believer in reincarnation you can have your cake and eat it too!
Scott and the good guys at SI soon see the problem and also see that SI needs some tweeking too...Someone within the organization is stealing members away, saying SI doesn't represent the organization anymore - Scott and Soul Indentity members work to get Soul Identity back and stop the bad guys - They go literally all around the world to work out what is going on and take us on this wild ride too!
The premise is really interesting and Batchelder's style is so easy you get caught up in the chase - very entertaining book and I look forward to sequels with this great bunch!
Very unique premise and deep thoughts and nonstop action - good combination!
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Clumsy would-be thriller, July 11, 2009
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This review is from: Soul Identity (Kindle Edition)
I don't know much about the provenance of this book, but it's hard to imagine it being anything but a self-published affair. The book simply isn't written very well. Although the author shows some flair for pacing and has an agreeable, breezy style, it's not enough to make up for flaws that make it unsuitable for publication.

Coincidence drives the plot. The consultant who is consulted to help the titular organization happens to live next door to a wronged client. Co-conspirators to the plot reveal precisely the necessary information to the wrong people at the wrong time, and conduct phone calls detailing their plans while standing next to their intended victims. An organization that requires total secrecy has members who carelessly reveal details of their plans while sitting in a sauna with the protagonist's parents.

There are two adjectives per character. The love interest is smart and sexy, the various functionaries of the Soul Identity organization are honest and naïve, the head of the conspiracy is snide and cruel. Sometimes the adjectives don't match very well: an employee of the organization who drives much of the plot seems to be simultaneously stupid and resourceful. When one of the characters is revealed as treacherous, I actually had to search backward through the book to remember who he was.

The book has scenes set in three countries, but there isn't a hint of description. Instead, one of the characters says something like, "Here in India..." The climax in Venice is particularly awkward; all of the action takes place inside an office and an amphitheater. It might as well have happened in a Holiday Inn.

This is a bad book. I paid $.01 for it, and that was a fair price.
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66 of 81 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Even at a penny, it's priced too high, December 2, 2009
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This review is from: Soul Identity (Kindle Edition)
This is a terrible, terrible book--an unimaginative, sophomoric effort by an author who seems to have learned everything he knows from Wikipedia, letters to Penthouse, and a few back issues of Wired magazine.

Unfortunately for me, the beginning of the book is a really fun read. The main character is a "white hat" security consultant who's employing a few fun tricks to poke holes in the security at a major airport. It's a little unrealistic, but entertaining. Then the plot thickens as he is hired by a secretive organization that claims to connect people to their past lives. It's an interesting idea, and it was enough to make me think that the book might not be so bad. Oh, how wrong I turned out to be.

First, there's the technical inaccuracy. The book is chock full of howlers that'll make savvy readers yearn for the rigor and attention to detail of a Sandra Bullock movie. The interesting parts aren't remotely realistic, and the parts that are even somewhat realistic aren't at all clever. One pivotal scene has the main character "hacking" the antagonist's website... by entering a url. That's right--the main character is a high-powered security consultant, and the best enemy the author can come up with isn't smart enough to disallow anonymous access to the website's admin page. (At least the author has the decency to have the main characters admit to how easy it was: "we didn't even have to use any buffer overruns!" Never mind that they'd almost certainly have tried SQL injection or XSS long before they looked for a buffer overrun exploit.)

But that's not all. The love story, such as it is, seems to have been written by a fifteen-year-old. Guy meets hot Russian programmer, goes gaga, and then she (a) sleeps with him immediately and (b) isn't sleeping with anyone else. That's it. There's no banter, no flirting, no tension. One moment the guy is single, the next moment he's got a steady girlfriend who just thinks he's the greatest. I call BS.

The plot isn't much, either. The company that hires him (which has sole discretion over the investment of a two trillion dollar capital fund and employs over one hundred thousand people, yet is still able to keep its existence completely secret) is being threatened by a competitor who may have a man on the inside. The author steps in to try and help. Betrayals ensue, and his life is threatened, but in the end he's saved by the cartoonish incompetence of the forces arrayed against him. The ending is lifted almost verbatim from "Weird Al" Yankovic's movie "UHF", with the villain watching in horror as the hero plays a recording of his private words about how much he despises his own followers. The only difference is that UHF's villain compares his customers to "a festering bowl of dog snot," which shows a level of maturity and imagination that Dennis Batchelder can only dream of reaching.

If I weren't borderline OCD I would never have finished this book. Every page was torture. It is poorly constructed, poorly edited, poorly researched, and poorly written. I want my penny back.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of potential..., September 3, 2007
By 
Bradley Beck (Greenfield, MN USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Soul Identity (Paperback)
I thought the ideas behind the story had a lot of potential and I very much enjoyed the historical connections with ancient dynasties.

I was hoping for a few more surprises in the "who done it" aspect of the story.

I still think the is some life left in the story line, but I hope the next one has a few more twist and turns.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Is your time worth more than a penny?, August 16, 2009
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JengaJ (Bethesda, MD) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Soul Identity (Kindle Edition)
I feel bad writing a one-star review on a book that I downloaded for a penny, but as a service for all those who take the time to write Amazon reviews that have helped me spend money and time wisely in the past, I feel I need to add some balance to the reviews here - the overwhelmingly positive reviews were what caused me to download this book and get most of the way through it (could not finish it)....

I assume there's a target market for this book that explains the higher ratings. If you don't mind thin plots, tongue-in-cheek writing, lightly drawn characters, developments you can predict immediately, things that happen that defy common sense , then this book is for you. You can just skim across the surface, like you would a Saturday morning cartoon, or a Get Smart episode taken at face value, I guess, and get what you can out of the major plot device relating to "soul identity" that others have discussed.

That's probably not enough for a lot of readers out there, but hey- it's one penny on Kindle. What's your time worth?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars dissappointing, November 11, 2010
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This review is from: Soul Identity (Kindle Edition)
This entire book read like a teenage boy's fantasy, like the author was projecting his own fantasies onto the main character and vicariously living out his dreams. The hero always seems to know what to do next, always miraculously gets out of situations that he shouldn't escape, and just never makes a wrong turn. He meets a hot Russian computer programmer and they are sleeping together almost immediately. Not in that "she's actually a Russian spy trying to get state secrets way" but in a "oh gee you are the greatest guy in the world I'm so lucky to be your girlfriend" way. I wanted to vomit. As far as the technological thriller aspect, while I'm not all that computer savvy even I was wondering whether or not the author did any fact checking with his facts. Most of it reads like he is writing in some alternate reality where the normal rules of computer security (and general common sense) do not apply. Things blow up. Bodies turn up. The police never show up. This sounded like a great plot and it could have been a great book if the author had bothered to check his facts and maybe stop projecting his own fantasies onto the main character and not make everything so easy for him.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy Read, Great Flow, Superficial Characters, July 10, 2009
This review is from: Soul Identity (Paperback)
This book is like reading an action movie with smart-alec protagonists and soulless antagonists. Young Mel Gibson in the "Lethal Weapon" series or Bruce Willis in the "Die Hard" series would recognize these characters and know just how to play them.

The problem is that while I like the fun in these silly action movies, the same fun (and it is fun) seems a bit more empty in a book. When I watch the movie, I invest less than two hours. When I read the book, the much longer duration leads me to long for more. I want characters who just survived an attempt on their lives to react in some human way instead of some sterotypical Mel or Bruce way.

Dennis Batchelder show great promise. But, he recognizes the problem himself in this quote form an interview,

"I am so impatient--I can't wait for people to read what I write, and I have to constantly fight the urge to release before I'm done rewriting."

If he finds that patience; if he makes his characters more believable; we may just see a writer on the order of Grisham or King on the rise. He has the imagination. Does he have the talent? Time will tell.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story for the most part....., August 25, 2008
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This review is from: Soul Identity (Paperback)
I purchased this book because the author cleverly marketed himself on a blog. It was a good story and I enjoyed the plot. Some dialog was hard to follow and I think the author has opportunites to better clarify key points in future books--for example I got the "idea" of what Soul Identity as an organization did, but I wasn't ever really clear on how it all worked.

All in all, I enjoyed the book and will read others written by Dennis.
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Soul Identity
Soul Identity by Dennis Batchelder (Paperback - July 7, 2007)
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