Review: Battle of the Soul

Battle of the SoulBattle of the Soul by Carl Alves
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

“Andy Lorenzo has no family, few friends, poor social skills, and drinks and gambles far too much. But in a time when demons are becoming increasingly more brazen and powerful, he has one skill that makes demons cower in fear from him — he is the greatest exorcist the world has ever known.”

Carl Alves is a new writer on the scene and The Battle of the Soul is one of his first published works. Please understand going in that this is a story that may require the reader to suspend their own beliefs for a time due to its Catholic religious overtones. Now, I don’t say that as a warning, I certainly do not mean it that way but this story does deal with the Catholic church and their belief structure, so if the reader does not have the same belief system simply be prepared to suspend your own personal beliefs for the sake of an interesting story. I did that, and I’m certainly not Catholic or even…Christian (I know…”gasp”, get over it.) What I found in this story is that we all believe that there is both good and evil in the world, regardless of what form it may take; and In many ways that’s what this story is about.

You see, Andy isn’t your typical hero, he is truly much more relatable than that. He is socially awkward and definitely not someone you would think could be the self-sacrificing type but when push comes to shove, he’s the guy you want in your corner. He is a terribly flawed person with addictions that get his butt in trouble and while others believe in him and his abilities, he truly sees himself as definitely less than worthwhile.

Poor Andy has NO game with women at all and is always saying the wrong thing in the most awkward manner possible; until he travels to the spirit world where everything about him changes, except for his heart.

You see that’s the great thing about Andy, his heart. He just cannot abandon someone who is being tormented by demons. Once he goes in he doesn’t come out until the victim has been freed….until Kate.

Kate is a sweet girl tormented by demons, what has she done to bring this on….absolutely nothing. She is nothing more than a vessel; a vessel meant to lure Andy back into the spirit world…..and that is all I will tell you in order to find out more you will simply have to read the book yourself.

I really enjoyed the idea for this book. I’ve read mean good v. evil books in my day, but they never really get old. That is the crux of good conflict often times. But here we have a deeply flawed individual who could be drawn in by evil…will he be? That remains to be seen. Will Andy give in to ultimate power or possible love? That could truly be a very difficult decision.

So why did I give this 3.5 rather than 4 or even 5 stars. I’ll explain. First, 3 stars alone means I like this story, and I do. 3.5 says I like pretty well; yet I see room for improvement with this author. That’s to be expected too with a fairly new author but the frequent stops and starts in his current writing style often lead to his voice not being heard effectively. Still, that is something that improves with experience; I was still able to read past that and enjoy the story.

The second reason I left my rating at a 3.5 is the climax of the story. That portion felt rushed to me, as though our eeeeevil villain was vanquished much too easily and quickly once it finally came down to it. For me, I just didn’t find that as plausible as Mr. Alves wanted me to as a reader. I guess you could say, in a way I felt let down by that final confrontation….yet, he did leave this story open for a potential sequel as well. Perhaps not with the same villain, but then again….maybe the same villain; possibilities abound.

The third reason I left my rating at this level is that there were too many times that my own mind had to fill in descriptions, particularly toward the beginning of this story. I wanted to know what someone looked like, how they spoke, or what the room looked like that the characters were in and I just didn’t receive that. I’ll never forget the old monacher when it comes to writing “show don’t tell”, too many times I found Mr. Alves told the reader about things rather than describing it to me and allowing me as a reader to really immerse myself in the scene.

But you know what? These for a new author are minor complaints that will improve with experience. They could also be completely subjective observations on my part, maybe you won’t see it the same way.

I can definitely recommend a 3.5 star rating for this book as this is a solid rating and also recommend others read it as well. Truly, if you read it I want to hear your opinions on it. I want to know if you noticed any of the same things or if you just really found yourself immersed in the story. This is an author to watch.

View all my reviews

About Anita Dugan-Moore

This blog gives me the opportunity to talk about the book covers I create for some wonderful authors and share my thoughts on movies and books that I love. Who knows...I may even share some of my own writing on here...or whatever else happens to pop into my mind.
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