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"Depth of Lies" by E. C. Diskin
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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
An example, "Speaking her name jarred something loose in my head, and the memories from the past twenty-four hours began to resurface. A feeling of loss and despair rushed in, but I could not pinpoint the reason behind it. I felt my pulse rise, anxiety shot to the surface, and my pace quickened. I looked back at the man following me, and he also increased his pace. Not wanting to discover his intentions, I turned the corner..."
This stranger, Wilson had a special coin he handed to Mr. Duffy, "I turned the coin over, and as I did, my morning came flooding back to me." Wilson was a soul collector and he was there with Mr. Duffy waiting to take his soul.
Great first installment of the Soul Collector, once you get the hang of how the book is written, this reader raced on to find out what will happen next. Excellent writing and original story line.
"Now here I was, sitting next to a soulless body, and for all intents and purposes, I was no longer a living, breathing man, either."
Jack Duffy, was now a soul collector, Wilson retired giving Jack his position but leaving Jack with more questions than answers. Jack had the coin that he knew could help him see the past when he used it with his mark. Jack's first soul to collect was his cheating wife's, how she died was a mystery to Jack.
"I seem to keep mysteriously beaming, or whatever it's called, from place to place,"
Jack takes Wilson's rosary from his pocket before the police pick up his dead body. Like the coin it probably has a benefit, so Jack would need to figure it out.
Lots of questions, the reader can't help feeling sorry for Jack and his wife and the situation.
Great second story, now on to the third.
"To think of myself as dead is a little disingenuous , as I really am alive. I just can't talk or intereact with the living, only the dying. So it goes."
Jack is wanted by the police for questioning on his wife's death. He spends time in his apartment watching the police pack his belonging up. He had some fun unpacking boxes that had already been packed to be moved to the crime lab. "I was about to lose everything I've ever owned and there wasn't a damn thing I could do about it."
Hauser appears to get Jack back on track. He teaches him to use the rosary to foresee the near future with his marks, the park bench becomes Jacks home base.
Again excellent writing and the story and characters are expanding and getting more interesting.
As the story continues Jack meets another character Enoch Gant. Gant tells Jack sometimes you need to speed up the process. "Well, that's because Wilson and Hauser are a bunch of pansy-ass wimps. Let me tell ya', I've been around for a lot longer than those two yahoos, and if you want to rise to the top, you'll have to actually take a life every once in a while," Enoch said calmly.
Jack realizes he may have the power to change the future and the dreams he has when he falls asleep are enough to keep him awake for good.
Jack realizes animals can see him, and this leads to comedic relief in this book.
"That's it? Boy, you've just come closer to time travel than any of the living population would believe, and all you can say is, "Yeah, sure?"
"No, I don't want to play God. I just think it's completely unfair that good people die when they shouldn't, while bad people continue to live."
"Just remember that no one is dead yet, ...and what was up with the wink afterward?"
I enjoyed this book the best so far in this series.
This story starts again in the hospital with Jack searching for a Calvin with no last name. Turns out he is an infant not yet born and room to room searching has Jack with Hauser's assistance trying to find the right room to be ready to collect the soul. Jack struggles with the job:
"What we have, Jack, is a responsibility.Yes, it's a difficult proposiiton, but it really is quite spectacular, what we do. We've been given the opportunity to maintain the balance of humankind. Whether you see it like that or not is totally up to you."
Jack tries to quit his job, but Hauser states he will take Calvin's box and collect his soul. Jack disappears. Jack seems to gain abilities as the story move along, he now reads minds fairly well but still struggles to hid his own thoughts from the others.
"Deep inside, I hated to see anyone die. But it was only through Hauser's-or was it the Sentinel's?-training regimen that clarity was being brought forth in my own soul. I truly wanted to save everyone, and I was fairly confident that that realization was not what the training was intended for."
Jack finds himself pursuing the souls of two lovers; and the woman, much like Cyndi, who was cheating on her husband. While Jack is scoping out the situation and trying to figure out how they will die he finds that the husband will also kill himself. Jack again, tries to change the situation to avoid the deaths.
Enoch appears again outside of Jack's dreams and Jack struggles with his presence and what it means for everyone involved.
This final story brings back all the characters and Jack's helpers, Wilson is like an old friend from the past. Jack travels to the Sentinel to tell them about Enoch's appearances and his interferring and stealing souls meant to be collected by Jack. Then Jack ends up with a nasty bump on his head and eh and Wilson try to figure out how it happened.
"I shook my head in utter confusion. "you know, Hauser...just lead the way. I shouldn't be surpriesd about anthing that you tell me on how things work in the afterlife."
"Here I was, the most recent recruit to the soul collecting ranks of the afterlife, being thrust into the presence of some truly great people. Despite their historically benevolent natures, I was unsure just how compassionate they'd be if they fully realized my most recent past."
This last book was an absolute pleasure to read. The creativity of this author really shone through these chapters. From the famous people around the Sentinel table, to how the story wrapped up and how I felt when it was all complete. Excellent, well done. Can't say enough about this series.
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