The Soul Summoner by Elicia Hyder tells the story of Sloan Jordan. Sloan is someone who has the ability to see other people’s souls and determine whether they are mostly good or mostly bad. She shares this secret with her best friend only. Even her parents don’t know — though Sloan suspects they do.
Sloan soon falls into helping Detective Nathan McNamara on a case of a little girl gone missing. Detective McNamara discovers that there is something special about Sloan. She may be the key to helping him resolve his own dark past as he pursues a serial killer.
Not long after Sloan meets Detective McNamara, she meets a stranger. Someone whose soul she cannot read. Who is this dark stranger and is he good or evil?
Disclaimer: I review and discuss the book more thoroughly beyond this point. Book spoilers may happen! So, if you don’t want to be spoiled, skip down to the rating!
Soul Summoner was a book that I found easy to slide into. The concept of the main character being a soul summoner was a new paranormal topic for me, so the initial premise was intriguing. The set-up of Sloan’s personality as well as the other supporting characters made her relate-able and the story intriguing.
Nathan McNamara’s introduction was seamless. He has chemistry with our heroine, so, I soon began to ship them as a couple. Plus, they were chasing a serial killer. On that alone I figured the story could only get better from here. Right? Right?
The story is good up until the point where “The Stranger” that Sloan cannot read comes into the picture. Let me digress here for a second — “The Stranger” would actually be an awesome element to the story if he was somehow connected to the serial killer or even somehow connected to the mystery that is Nathan McNamara — but he is neither. He actually comes in to the story as a love interest for Sloan.
I like a good love triangle as much as the next person, however, I prefer to have both love stories fleshed out completely before the person in the middle has to choose. For example, Twilight did it right. First, we had Bella introduced to both suitors. Then, one suitor was the front-runner and their love story fleshed out. When he was gone, the other suitor came in and had his story with Bella. As the audience, we kind of knew how that story would play out but it was nice to have some complete “histories” with all three characters in the triangle. So, whether you were team Edward or team Jacob, you had some grounds to go from. You felt connected to all characters.
Okay, getting back on track. So, “The Stranger” comes in as a love interest. Sloan’s interaction with “The Stranger” spells serious game-over with Detective McNamara. Their attraction doesn’t have much time to grow. Also, most of the story is spent on the non-love-triangle and by the end of the book, I found myself highly annoyed with all of the characters (for different reasons). The serial killer sub-plot was very weak, in my opinion. Very few moments of tension.
I also want to mention that Detective McNamara has a girlfriend who comes off as kinda vapid. At first, the author set her up to be a plot device to keep Sloan and Nathan apart. I mean, the idea that one of the love interests has a significant other is not new (Dex and Perry anyone?). This can actually be a good thing because it adds to the tension of the story. However, she quickly became the butt of jokes as she was written very 1-note and only trotted out or mentioned out of convenience, it seemed. It’s like the author said, “Oh right! He’s got a girlfriend. Must say her name here.”
For me, there was a lot to love about this story but more to be very lukewarm about. I wanted to love this and I did, initially. Actually, the first couple of chapters had me hooked, so I went and bought the entire Soul Summoner series.
I’ve decided to give the entire series a shot and see if I change my mind, so stay tuned!
My Rating for The Soul Summoner: