Sunday, March 18, 2012

Review: Dead Harvest by Chris F. Holm

Dead Harvest by Chris F. Holm will grab your attention and drag you from the heights of Heaven to the depths of Hell in this divine little tale.

Publisher's Description:

Meet Sam Thornton. He collects souls.Sam’s job is to collect the souls of the damned, and ensure they are dispatched to the appropriate destination. But when he’s sent to collect the soul of a young woman he believes to be innocent of the horrific crime that’s doomed her to Hell, he says something no Collector has ever said before.“No.”

Holm deftly weaves loads and loads of religious imagery and mythology into an urban thriller that features a chorus of morally tainted characters grappling with free will and the consequences of actions both natural and supernatural.

The story revolves around Soul Collector Sam Thornton and his would be collected soul, Kate.  Sam is just another demonic button pusher, until something strange happens when he attempts to collect Kate's soul.  Sam begins to doubt the veracity of his orders to collect Kate and when the implications of her collection dawn on him, his mission changes quickly instead of her executioner he becomes her protector.  Sam soon finds that there are those in both heaven and hell that are after him, with more enemies then they have answers Sam and Kate are forced to make some strange alliances and some very risky actions in an attempt to survive.

Holm does a tremendous job filling out his cast of supporting characters on both sides of the heavenly divide. Fans of religious imagery and fictional works set against religion, will really enjoy this book. The way Holm approaches demonic possession gives the book added suspense, and the rules and world building that he does is much like you would commonly find in a vampire novel.  Holm details his characters abilities and characteristics in a way that give them an internal logic that works.

For Star Wars fans, if you enjoyed Star Wars: The Old Republic: Deceived by Paul S. Kemp, you should like this novel and will finds some interesting similarities between Sam and the character of Zeerid (Z-Man) Korr.

Dead Harvest proves the point that a hero isn't someone pure of soul, but someone who would sacrifice his soul for what is right.  Dead Harvest gets Lightsaber Rattling's full-hearted endorsement and the good news is that the subtitle, "The Collector Book One" tells us there will be more where this came from.

You can read a sample of Dead Harvest courtesy of Angry Robot Books below:

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