Alex’s life is turned upside down after his father’s sudden death. An old pamphlet found in his father’s belongings leads Alex and his mother, Charlotte, to a remote Polynesian island. His mother longs for a place untouched by past memories, and Alex hopes the trip will help her to heal.This wasn't the type of book I normally read. But I loved it. Souls of Darkness by Eleanor T. Beaty was a great read.
Their arrival on the island elicits an eerie episode of déjà vu for Alex, and he begins to wonder about the pamphlet and his father’s past. Why did he have it? Had he been there before?
Alex senses something is off with the island. Progress is unwelcome by the inhabitants. A local girl reveals the history of the island and its dark spirits. She warns him to never be caught outside after dark, but Alex finds it all hard to believe... Until inexplicable and terrifying events begin to unfold. While digging for information, Alex finds his presence on the haunted island is not by chance. Rangur, the most evil of souls, aims to use him to acquire great power. There's only one way Alex can stop him and for that he must uncover his father's past connection to the island.
Alex and his mother take a "vacation" to an island they believe Alex's father visited at some point in the distant past. They're hoping, or at least Alex's mother is hoping, to kind of refresh and recharge batteries, if you will. Alex is just hoping the island has a night life full of fun. He doesn't know he could not be further from the truth. The island is the complete and polar opposite of anything he knows. There are no tourists. The island itself seems to be stuck in some earlier part of the century. And poor Alex finds that to explore the island or get anywhere period, he is going to have to rent a bicycle that was probably made some time in the 1960's.
But there is one bright spot. Taiya works on the island and lives just down the street from where Alex and his mother, Charlotte, are staying. She's full of spunk and she's feisty and Alex is smitten with her from the start. Luckily for him, the feeling is mutual. She becomes his tour guide and with the help of her father, Michael, Alex learns the history of the island. It's a history that changes his mind about things like spirits and the afterlife. A history that frightens him and every other person living on that island.
I liked Alex. It's not often I read a story like this. He's a teenage guy but without the arrogance and cockiness that I see in a lot of other novels. He's normal. And he's a genuinely good guy. He cares about his mother and despite the fact that he's been on that island all of 5 minutes before he's thrown in to the middle of this... battle... he cares about IT too. Even though it scares him.
Taiya is a sweet character. She's smart and she's quick to jump in to the action and help wherever she thinks she can. I pictured her as kind of looking like Q'orianka Kilcher. She and Alex grew quickly together and she was a fantastic heroine.
There were a lot of likeable characters in Souls of Darkness. Nehn, the little boy who jumps around like a Kangaroo. Butler, even though he seems cowardly to others, he proves himself extremely brave. Hanu, the helpful healer Alex and Taiya work with to try and rid the island of Rangur, the malevolent spirit who just won't leave it and its inhabitants alone. And Gabe, the ever watchful Australian "babysitter". If there's trouble he jumps in to save the day.
Once I'd gotten through the first few pages and understood what was going on, this book just seemed to speed right by. I was finished with it before I realized it. It was exciting and full of twists and turns and thrills and setbacks galore. I found myself giving in to the history and the lore of the island, wishing I, too, could be like Alex and Taiya. Or even Hanu. There were definitely some surprises thrown in throughout the story. Some that seemed to come just in the knick of time and some that just made me sad.
I would recommend this book to everyone, but especially those interested in spirits and paranormal things. It's a book that can span many age groups so I might recommend this for anyone ages 16 and up. It may be a bit complicated for young readers. I know I loved it, and it's a definite must read!
Follow her at www.EleanorTBeaty.com.Eleanor T. Beaty is a Young Adult Paranormal author. A worldly person born in beautiful Brazil and spent much of her childhood in several places (Argentina, Switzerland, and the US to name a few). She holds a BA in English Literature and is published in both Brazil and Turkey.
Eleanor loves spirituality and magic - both have allowed her to gain a strong grip on life and enjoy what it has to offer. She believes that everything has a reason and understanding those reasons help us deal with the difficult moments. Eleanor currently enjoys life with her husband in Brazil.
Amazon eBook: http://www.amazon.com/Souls-of-Darkness-ebook/dp/B00BC5KWM8
Amazon Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Souls-Darkness-Eleanor-T-Beaty/dp/0988590115
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for review from the author. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”