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Soul Trapper: A Novel Hardcover – January 4, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Computer game designer Lennon's debut, the first novel to be adapted from an iPhone app, will disappoint those who expect some scares from a supernatural thriller involving ghosts and evil spirits. A priest's request to rid his Lompoc, Calif., church of "a mischievous entity" leads L.A. ghostbuster Kane Pryce, who uses the soul trap, a device Kane's late scientist father invented, to the shade of six-year-old Ollie Lonzi. The paranormal investigator soon determines that Ollie, who was killed 50 years earlier with his mother in a car crash, is a friendly if lonely ghost. Kane's efforts to re-examine the circumstances of Ollie's death take him to Las Vegas and eventually somewhere much, much farther away. In the process, Kane falls for the ghost of Ollie's actress mother, who gave her soul to a demon to protect her son. The over-the-top plot and hokey ending don't best serve Kane's intriguingly misanthropic personality. (Jan.)
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About the Author

FJ Lennon is a writer and independent interactive executive producer and designer based in Los Angeles, CA. In addition to Soul Trapper, he is responsible for Cool School, a web-based game/educational tool. He is the author of the 2001 business book Every Mistake in the Book: A Business How-Not-To.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; First Edition edition (January 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439184445
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439184448
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,539,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By jeffjacobs on January 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
FJ Lennon's Soul Trapper is a fun and fascinating reading experience. Told in a first person narrative reminiscent of a 1940's film Noir thriller (think Sam Spade or Phillip Marlow as Ghost Hunter), Soul Trapper starts off as a wild fun-house ride (almost literally) and then slowly sucks the reader (and it's world weary narrator) into deeper and deeper realms of both danger and meaning.

The scenes clip along at a very fast pace (with never a dull or down moment), the writing is crisp and clear, the characters are compelling enough that you want to see them all again (and I hope we do), and the story telling is such that you don't want the tale to end. In fact I found myself unconsciously slowing down my reading as the book was coming to a close, so that it wouldn't end too soon.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By JlWelch on September 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The story of Kane Pryce reads a little like a mix between Ghost Busters and pretty much any ghost hunter show on SyFy. The story is riddled with pop cutler references from music icons like Jimmy Hendrix, The Ramones, The Doors, Nirvana, The White Stripes, Eric Clapton to iPhones, iPads and the Olsen Twins; it is all done so well that it fits the story perfectly and doesn't make the story seem dated in any way.
Another cool thing about this novel is that it is loaded with locations in L.A. like Houdini's Manson in Laurel Canyon and the Hollywood Cemetery. As a Los Angelian myself, it's fun to read a story that takes place where you live. You can tell that the author lives in L.A. and has been to these places himself.
Kane is not your typical hero. Kane Pryce is bitter, cynical and snarky not to mention his alcohol and drug abuse. Kane is damaged and tarnished, carrying loads of baggage but he is still lovable and witty. F.J. Lennon pulled off the persona of a damaged hero well, better than Rob Thurman did in All Seeing Eye, and I find myself loving this character more, even with his faults.
This story was done rather well and I breezed through it rather quickly. One of the things that I liked was the unique ending..not going to give anything away, I just found it interesting how F.J. Lennon chose to end the story and that rates high for me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Shannon M. on February 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I found the story itself to be exciting. The idea of a camera that can trap spirits of the dead so that they
can be released to the other side is very interesting. With the addition of several nasty demons, it gives the
story plenty of good scares.
The reason I only gave it three stars is because I loathed the main character. Kane Pryce, an amateur musician
and paranormal investigator is a selfish, morally bankrupt jerk who routinely treats everyone, including his
friends, like crap. Why they remain his friends, I'll never know. His partner and tech guy is an overweight,
junk food devouring, bad joke cracking math professor named Ned, and although he is not as "cute" or "cool" as
Kane, he is infinitely more likable.
Kane does have his moments of heroism. Halfway through the book, he descends into Hell to rescue the soul of
a woman trapped there. With what he endured, I almost felt sorry for him. I was nearly on his side, but when
he returned to the world, he hadn't learned a thing. He was still a total jerk.
I do recommend this book. It is a riveting story full of drama, thrills and chills. All you have to do is
get past the fact that Kane is a nasty, unlikable person.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert H. Calverley on May 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
F.J. Lennon's Soul Trapper is hell of a read. The title character Kane Pryce goes Audie Murphy one better in that he actually does go to hell and back. That wimp Murphy was just speaking metaphorically. And what a delightful hell. Torture, entombment, chains, flames, and legions of hideous man-beast demons herding their multitudes of suffering souls. Did I mention that hell smells bad? And it's noisy. You wouldn't want to live there, especially forever. Really, you wouldn't. But Kane's visit was fun, the high point of a crackling good story. And yes, it is a good story, with a clever plot that just gallops along. Of course, there's a fair maiden in need of rescue. While Kane is fond of saying he pretty much hates everybody, he's an excellent liar. He's part wise-cracking private eye, part ghostbuster and never boring. He has a device that can trap souls and scratches out a living ridding haunted venues of their pesky spirits. With his geeky junk-food addicted sidekick Ned, he releases those souls to their proper places in the afterlife, which in some cases smells bad, and sounds loud. The story is a mashup of the occult and paranormal, the classic detective tale, new age folderol and rock and roll trivia. It's populated with sharply drawn and interesting good guys, bad guys, evil demons and hot babes. Some of them are not alive. Kane often wakes up hung over and in need of medical aid. And in order to book his trip to hell, he has to die. He does it all with a sense of humor, inspired by an endless quest to recreate Eric Clapton's recording of Layla. Did I say I'm looking forward to the next Kane Pryce installment? And I'm not a good liar.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy N Ross on March 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
First off, you need to know that, although I used to devour novels, I haven't finished one in years.

Something about Soul Trapper made me forget about my excuses for not reading fiction (yeah yeah -- bifocals hurt my eyes when I read, no time, other stuff to do) and gulp down this book in an evening.

Kane appeals to me. He's a man steeped in ways of several eras from the 1940s to today. His character offers me a number of ways in, from his obsession with creating a tribute version of a song with epic significance to his dogged determination and basic desire to help the good ones.

Music plays a huge part in Soul Trapper, but it is neither gratuitous nor self-indulgent on Lennon's part. Chandler's Marlowe may have had great background music in his films, but he did not grow up in a generation that defined itself by its music. The scenes where Kane relates to women, both alive and ghostly, by checking out their shared musical taste, are a fantastic modernization of the noir genre. Kane's ranking of women through the rock songs and bands of the last 50 years that they like augments his 1940s-style fascination with women's bodies.

In fact, it is Lennon's meticulous attention to detail in his description of the real that makes the scenes that spring from his imagination so believable. When demons materialize in Las Vegas, I can see them in my mind as clearly as I can envision the dingy Hollywood apartment building where Kane lives -- a place that I drive by almost every day.

This book begs for a sequel and I'm glad to have learned that one is on the way. Soul Trapper would make a damn good movie, too.
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