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on May 20, 2012
Robert Brumm's science fiction novella plows a lot of familiar ground-- a dystopian future with a tyrannical government; an overpopulated world with vanishing resources; mandatory "retirement" (euthanasia) at age 60. We've seen this movie before (the story echoes major elements from "Logan's Run" and "Soylent Green, " with a bit of "The Matrix" thrown in), but Brumm writes well, and the pages keep turning. In fact, the story's fast pace is the only thing that keeps you from noticing that some of the plot elements make no sense at all. Despite the implausibilities and the lack of originality, I read this in a single afternoon. Not great SF, but certainly a fast, fun read.
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on April 15, 2012
Could this be our future - permanent retirement at 60, one child only allowed, criminals teminated, and what else could follow??? On the plus side; an endless supply of energy, food (ask the Donners), organ donors and anything else Big Brother could capitalize on. What about the "resistance" to this wonderful lifestyle?

This would certainly put an end to "rest homes", Medicare and Medicaid, and many other social programs and their costs. It would also put an end to family units as we now know them.

Windigo Soul is a well written, well thought out work of fiction which could just be an accurate eye into the future, you never know. An excellent read and I am in full agreement with another reviewer about wanting to see the sequel to this story.
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on August 16, 2013
I realize I'm never going to be fair to stories under 200pgs. It's impossible to give you enough details to fully grasp you in.

Reading chapter one was touching to say the least. You see the life of Hank who has just turned 60, coping with the fact that he must retire. The goodbyes, the tears... I was definitely engrossed in this story; and then came chapter 2. I wouldn't consider what happens next ridiculous but it was definitely predictable. I no longer felt emotion, I know longer felt like Hank was 60. As a matter of fact he transformed as well as the book into Chuck Norris from Delta Force.

It's not a bad read, but it's not a great one either. The potential that the first chapter illustrated was quickly dissipated. Realizing that I am biased against short stories coupled with the change between Chapter one & two, I feel you should read other reviews just to be safe.
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on December 19, 2012
I love reading self-published sci-fi on Amazon, but lately I've been feeling strongly that people are being paid to write glowing reviews of crap. Windigo Soul is a prime example - the reviews are outrageously good compared with how bad the book is. I got it for free, or I never would have made it out of the sample. It's hard to explain why it's so bad without spoilers, so here they come.

<<<<<<<<SPOILER ALERT>>>>>>>>>>>
The premise of the book, that the government euthanizes everyone on their 60th birthday to control the population, is potentially interesting. The government conspiracy that the protagonist uncovers, on the other hand, is laughable. First of all, it's a rip-off of the Matrix - human bodies being used to generate heat for power plants? Really? Not only did they do this in the Matrix, it was the single worst part of the movie, since conservation of energy dictates that you're not getting as much heat out of these bodies as the energy you are putting into them to feed them. Then the author throws in a few more implausible twists, like the army of freedom fighters hiding in the woods near the power plant, somehow invisible to all the government's advanced technology. There's also the explanation that bodies not used for the power plants are being processed as meat and fed to the population. Ugh.

<<<<<<<END SPOILERS>>>>>>>>>>>>

In addition, the writing isn't good, the characters limited in complexity, and there's a distinct lack of believability going on here.

Summary:
Writing: 2.5 stars (mediocre)
Characters: 2.5 stars (mediocre)
Story: -5 stars (full-on atrocious)
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on December 30, 2012
The idea was interesting, but the writing was pretty awful. As another reviewer mentioned, there was a lot of "telling" and hardly any "showing" of the plot. Character depth and/or development was nil. I think that this author would really benefit from some writing courses, as there is some potential here. The editing was mostly pretty good at least, as I found only a few grammatical errors (and there's one spot where it says that Grayson's son was carrying the old woman over his "soldier" instead of over his "shoulder."). A lot of kindle books seem to have had sparse or no editing which can make even fun and compelling reads totally unbearable to slog through, so that was appreciated.
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VINE VOICEon April 27, 2012
This short novelette really captured my attention and my imagination. Its premise is frighteningly realistic given the current alarming world population growth. Combine that with the large (and still to be larger) glut of elderly in our society as a consequence of the ever-aging baby boomer generation and Mr. Brumm's curiously gruesome imagination, and what evolves is an, at times, intensely graphic horror story decidedly not for squeamish readers. I do not want to give any of the story away, but suffice it to say I will never look at retirement in quite the same way again.

Think about all the food additives that are already an accepted part of the foods we eat (pink slime immediately comes to mind). Think about how our planet is being systematically plundered of its precious resources in order to satisfy the demands of a population deluded into believing that its every demand can be met without repercussions. Then think about the fact that more than 25,000 people die daily from starvation. Then think about a government conspiracy of massive proportion determined to keep certain secrets at all costs. When I think of all these things and more, I can not help but wonder if Windigo Soul may be something of a predictor of something chillingly similar in our not-too-distant future.
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on March 1, 2012
... Logan's Run. But, this turned out to be so much more! The world is over-populated, over-polluted, and resources are running out. As a way to preserve resources and cut population, the goverment enacts a law forcing people to "retire" on their 60th birthday. At their alloted appointment time, they enter a small room with a doctor and guard, and are lethally injected. Or, are they?

This is an excellent, and relatively short, story. I read it over the course of 2 days. Unfortunately, I didn't start it until late on the first day, and didn't want to put it down! Non-stop, fast-paced action kept my interest, and didn't disappoint right through to the end! I highly recommend reading this one! I also see that this author has another book available on Amazon, so I'm off to get that one, too!
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on February 17, 2014
I didn't read the first version so I can only say that THIS version is an incredible, page-turning ride that won't have you forgetting the storyline anytime soon!

The scary part is that I CAN envision a world where it's the end of the line for people after a certain age: in this case, 60 is that number and it's government-enforced that you are 'put to sleep'. I mean, we already have a world where some nations enforce the number of children born---and some parents murder one sex to keep the preferred.

When you think you've just got a grip on where the story is going, there goes another zinger---something Robert Brumm has a habit of throwing into his incredible storylines and plots.

While this is not a book that will have you nail-biting for days due to length (it's about 160 pages or so), most will not be able to put it down and finally catch their breath at the end of it in one sitting. It's that good.
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on February 27, 2014
This is a review for the 'first edition' of "Windigo Soul." Brumm has since updated his novella to a longer prose, but I would have to purchase the book again to review it as such.

I came into this novella as a fan of Brumm's other work, Desolate, and knowing that people often compared it to the 1966 novel "Make Room! Make Room!" (or Soylent Green, as it was renamed for the film adaptation). I don't think it's nearly as good as either, however. The first quarter of the novella is well written and presents readers to main character Hank Reed and his 60th Birthday predicament. But what happens after his 'retirement' is briskly told to readers as opposed to shown. From that point on, the plot gets very rushed into the second and third act. The latter of which seems more rushed of all. I feel as though Brumm just wanted to be done with the book and wrapped it up as fast as possible, leaving the ending feeling rather rushed, anti-climatic and blandly predictable. It read like a short novelization of a Saturday night popcorn flick, and that's not a good thing.
That being said, the story has promise and given it could have been executed better, I would be happy to re-review it as such, but in the form I was given, "Windigo Soul" just isn't good.
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on May 3, 2012
*** Spoiler Alert ***

Hank Reed is approaching his 60th birthday, this means he is due for retirement, in this overpopulated earth it means that he will be euthanised. His wife Peg will reach her retirement a few months later.

The retirees are euthanised and cremated .... or are they? I won't spoil this for you but the story completely captured my imagination and piqued my interest.

This is only a short book so I read it in one go, I was keen to find out the outcome.

The part of the book where Hank has to go for his appointment to be euthanised is really quite emotional.

There are some quite shocking parts in the book which are disturbing and some sad parts too about couples only being allowed one child and what happens if they fall pregnant again.

If Sci-Fi is not your usual Genre and you would like to give it a go this book would be a good starting point. It is well written and keeps you engaged.

The story is fast paced and has a few twists and turns on the way.

The main character Hank is very likeable and the main bad guy Lieutenant Hendricks is extremely hateful. The other characters in the book have been developed well too.

I also liked how Hank and John's relationship developed in the story as I feel all may not have been well in the past.

This is a story where it's a fast race for good guy to overcome bad guy and save a few people along the way.

I thought the author ended the book well and it was unexpected which is something I like when reading a book.

This is the first book I have read by this author and would be interested to read more of his work.

4 stars from me.

Becky Sherriff (The Kindle Book Review)
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