Welcome to my tour stop for The Soul Summoner by Elicia Hyder. This is an adult contemporary fantasy (rated PG13). The tour runs November 9-20 with reviews, interviews, guest posts and excerpts. Check out the rest of the tour schedule here.
Title: The Soul Summoner
Author: Elicia Hyder
Publisher: Forge Creek Press
Release Date: November 2015
Length: 290 pages
Series?: The Soul Summoner Series Book #1
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon
Blessed–or cursed–with a connection to the souls of others, Sloan Jordan can see the best in people… and the worst. For twenty-seven years, she’s kept her ability to judge the innocent from the wicked a secret, but eleven young women have been murdered in the mountains of North Carolina, and Sloan may be the only hope of finding their killer.
She has just agreed to help Detective Nathan McNamara with the case, when a stranger–who is as alluring as he is terrifying–shows up at her doorstep with a dark past and another puzzling mystery: she can’t see his soul at all.
Now, Sloan is on the hunt for a deadly psychopath with two irresistible men. One of them would die for her, and the other would kill to keep her safe.
***** Guest Post *****
I asked Elicia a few questions for this guest post, based on Sloan’s abilities. If she had the, would she keep them completely secret? If not, who would she share them with? How would she decide to use them? Would she ever use them for personal advantage or gain?
These were the things she said.
Sloan has the ability to summon people to her just by talking about them, so I can imagine that this would be a very problematic gift to have if a lot of people knew about it. When I released chapter one of this novel to my readers, a comment storm happened that went something like this…
“Can you have Sloan summon Chris Hemsworth for me?”
“Tell Sloan I need her to summon Richard Armitage.”
Someone even posted a photo of a shirtless male model with the caption, ‘Dear Sloan, all I want for Christmas is…”
Those were funny, but some of the comments were tragic. One was, “Can she summon back my dad?” Ouch! Another was, “I’d like to tell my mom I love her one more time.” That went right in the feels!
It was then I decided if I had her gift, I’d keep it a secret for as long as humanly possible. Unfortunately, I’m a bleeding heart that can’t say no to someone in need, so I doubt I’d be very successful at keeping my mouth shut.
On the other hand though, her gift could be very useful to me. I have five children who are all going to be teenagers very soon and I’m already having trouble keeping up with them as it is! Being able to summon them to me–no matter where they are or what they are doing–at any given moment would be awesome! They would probably hate me for it though.
Aside from my kids (and possibly Johnny Depp or Thor), I like to think I wouldn’t use the gift for my own personal gain… unless I also had the ability to summon more hours in the day, lost socks from the dryer, or millions of dollars into my bank account. Sadly, I’m pretty sure that’s not how the gift works!
***** Review *****
Sloan is freaky-weird, called a witch by her best friend. The problem is she doesn’t know what she is. She’s lived her whole life thinking she’s the only one like her, and she can’t even tell her parents. They just know that there are odd coincidences about their daughter. The new detective in town has caught her attention, and he knows there’s something different about Sloan. When Sloan meets a total stranger at a festival her world completely changes.
Sloan – a not-so-average hometown girl; she has a few abilities that make her very different
Nathan – the hunky detective who derails Sloan’s life
Warren – a dark and brooding figure; he has a soul that Sloan can’t read
Adrianne – Sloan’s best friend for most her life
I thought Sloan’s relationship with Nathan was the most natural of all. I felt they were in sync in more ways than just for the investigation.
It’s like Cold Case meets Theresa Caputo. I knew there would be intrigue about Sloan’s abilities and the case of the missing girls. The cover did throw me off a little, but after reading the book it makes more sense.
Sloan’s parents have always thought everything that happens around Sloan is an odd coincidence, never wanting to confront it. Sloan has learned never to talk about it with her parents.
I could tell my father didn’t believe me, but he didn’t push the subject. My parents enjoyed their voluntary ignorance concerning the oddities that always seemed to follow me. If they didn’t bring it up, they knew I wouldn’t. And our mutual silence on the matter would allow them to keep on believing there wasn’t anything medically or psychologically unsound about their child.
The plot was very well-developed, and each character served a specific purpose in the story. There were other things sprinkled in throughout, but Sloan, Nathan and Warren are integral to solving the missing cases/murders.
Nathan is hot on the trail of these missing persons reports. He has broken it down into a theory, and is based in Asheville where he predicts will be the site of the next person. After Sloan makes a slip-up and helps Nathan with one individual case, she is pressured and agrees to help Nathan with his investigation. The more she learns of the circumstances surrounding the cases Nathan has pieced together, the more she is convinced there is a serial killer in their midst.
Sloan’s abilities allow her to discern good or evil in others. Essentially, she can read their souls, which is an incredible power she has used to steer others (ahem, Adrianne) away from others. She has never known a stranger in her life. However, it has it’s own drawbacks, like when she has to visit the jail with Nathan. Too much evil takes its toll on her.
I hugged my arms to my chest as we passed down the fluorescent lit hallway that reeked of antiseptic and sickness. “What are they saying?” I asked.
He looked over at me with an expression that made it clear he was worried I might either cry or punch him in the face.
As the title suggests, she can also summon people. It obviously doesn’t work to summon Johnny Depp, but it has proven useful and dreadful in equal measures.
Sloan and Nathan have this incredible relationship they just easily slide into. It’s like they know each other so well, the kind of way you would know someone after years. There is a brewing issue beneath the surface between them that is compounded when Sloan meets Warren, who has a soul she cannot read. Enter the love triangle.
Sloan has her hands full when she meets Warren. Their stories intertwine in a way that leads to a sense of security but also more questions. The abilities that Sloan and Warren posses made me think good and evil, light and dark. Their abilities parallel and mirror one another, like two pieces that compliment and complete the other. Sloan is referred to as an angel, and Warren’s dark disposition seems to repel others. She is like an angel of light, and he is like an angel of darkness.
I typically hate love triangles, but this was a hard one to dislike because both of the guys were so great. Nathan is that wholesome, all-around good guy you can’t help but root for and Warren is that dark, brooding bad-boy type who isn’t so bad at all. I found the friendships that formed to be one of the best outcomes of Nathan’s investigation.
The Soul Summoner is humorous and suspenseful in equal amounts. Each piece of the mysterious puzzle all fall into place in the end, and it was such a glaring truth that I never even suspected it. It was there all along. This is another wonderful read for the fall months that I highly recommend.
***** About the Author *****
Elicia Hyder is the author of several contemporary fantasy novels such as The Soul Summoner, The Siren, The Angel of Death, and The Daughter of Zion as well as a few contemporary romances, The Bed She Made and To Be Her first. Elicia studied American Literature and Creative Writing at the American Military University. She lives with her husband and five children in central Florida.
Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
***** Giveaway *****
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