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The Borrowed Souls: A Novel Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The afterlife is not at all what Jack Duffy had expected.
A failed suicide attempt launches him into a world that continually tests his ability to forgive and forget. With each new soul that he’s entrusted to collect, he learns more about himself and his horrific decisions in life.
Through the tutelage of his befriended trainer, Jack will be compelled to make decision after decision about who gets to live and who will lose their soul.
The Borrowed Souls concludes when Jack comes to a crossroads: continue on with his eternal commitment, or forfeit the tremendous power that has been bestowed upon him.
Kohler is an author I found out about on October 30, 2014. I won a copy of the original Borrowed Souls story. When I first received the story I did not know what to expect. The cover was interesting, it might have scared me a little. I am not too big on horror stories and for some reason this cover had that feel to it. The story summary intrigued me but the cover kept me at bay for a few days. This is the original story summary:
519aYkJb09LJack Duffy is average. He lives an ordinary life with a mediocre job. He is a distracted husband, lives in a comfortable apartment, and is married to an extraordinary wife. That’s how he would explain it.
At the end of an unusually bad day, his life is turned upside down. The only thing that can catch him from falling is the soul collector.
Will he be allowed to keep his soul? Or will he have to give it back?
A few days after I received the book I decided to start reading it. What a mistake that was. I could not put the story down. I have never written a story before, besides the stuff you have to write in elementary school or middle school, but I wanted the story to continue. Kohler and I had chatted online a few times and once I finished reading I sent him a message about the story, I needed to know more. If he wasn’t going to continue the story then I wanted to write in the world. He told me that he planned on writing more in the Borrowed Souls world and that excited me.
From the middle of August to the end of December 2015, Kohler released the seven parts of The Borrowed Souls series. He changed the cover and I love the new cover. The park bench plays an important part in the story and I love how he incorporated that into the cover. I could not wait to read this series that I had started nine months before. I enjoyed the first story so much that I knew I would have to wait until all seven parts were out so I could read them as fast as I could. Borrowed Souls is like finding a new show on Netflix and binge watching the whole thing, I knew I wouldn’t be patient enough to wait for each part to come out. Speaking of Netflix, Borrowed Souls would be a great mini-series, you could make it a seven episode or fourteen episode show.
As you can tell from both summaries, Jack has a really bad day and attempts suicide. While reading about his bad day, I felt every emotion Jack was going through: anger, betrayal, sadness, loneliness, regret, love, forgiveness, compassion, etc. In fact, Kohler has a way of making you feel them as the character is feeling going through them themselves.
The story is fast paced and a constant page turner. One of the things I love about this book are the chapter lengths. The chapters are short enough that you don’t feel guilty about reading one chapter before bed, but several chapters go by and you lose track of time before you realize that you will be tired at work the next day.
There were two things I would change if I could:
1.) The story ended with two story lines left open. One of the story lines is a major one in my opinion and I hope that Kohler has plans on returning to the world to wrap it up. The other one isn’t a major story line but would be interesting to see what happens.
2.) I felt like the Epilogue wasn’t necessary, but yet it was. I still debate on if he could have changed it or left it out all together.
Besides these two things, this story is a great read. I am so glad that I have discovered Kohler and I love seeing how he keeps growing as an author. I have never been let down by any of his stories and Borrowed Souls is no different.
Leighgendary Rating: 8.5/10 Stars
Find more reviews and author interviews at www.leighgendarium.com
Jack accepts the challenge of becoming a soul collector; the only thing is, he has no experience and has received minimum instructions on how to actually do the job. Add to that the fact that the first soul is that of his own wife Cyndi and we can see that he has a problem!
On his way to his apartment, he realises that Cyndi must be close to death to be in need of his services. Before he knows what is happening, he is transported to the hospital where Cyndi is lying in intensive care, seriously injured. Once there, it becomes obvious that he can only be seen by those who are about to die. Using the coin which he received from Wilson, he is able to re-live Cyndi's last 24 hours.
As Cyndi dies, Jack finds himself able to forgive her and realises that he still loves her, despite her mistake. After all, on looking back on things, he was just as much to blame for their problems.
Having battled his way through his first collection, it's time for Jack to really get down to work. He has been assigned a trainer, Hauser who fills him in on the things that he is expected to do and accompanies him to some collections. As diverse as people are in life, so they also appear to be in death. The contrast between collecting the souls of teenage victims of a gang war could not be more different to the collection which then follows.
Although Jack is officially dead, this does not prevent him from experiencing real human emotions and feelings towards the dying. This complicates things as Jack becomes involved with the life of his next ‘collection’ and decides to try and help the victim continue living. He is able to use the rosary that he inherited from Wilson to look into the future, or the possible future of his clients, and thinks that he may be able to be at the right place at the right time to change things. But by doing something like this, is he then 'playing God'?
Add in various other elements such as a sort of ‘governing body’ called the Sentinel who oversee the activities of all the soul collectors, confrontations with a truly evil ‘bad guy’ and even some occasional light relief (Jack can not only be seen by the dying but also by animals), and you will understand that Paul Kohler has written a novel which is entertaining, thought provoking and easy to read. He is a consummate writer who understands his craft, reading his work is inevitably a pleasurable experience. Highly recommended!
I received a review copy of this book from the author and this review is my own honest opinion.