Tuesday, 23 August 2011
Review: Soul Beach - Kate Harrison
Published: September 1st 2011, Indigo
Pages: 266 pages, ARC
Series?: Yes, this is the first in the trilogy
Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads): When Alice Forster receives an email from her dead sister she assumes it must be a sick practical joke. Then an invitation arrives to the virtual world of Soul Beach, an idyllic online paradise of sun, sea and sand where Alice can finally talk to her sister again - and discover a new world of friendships, secrets and maybe even love . . .
But why is Soul Beach only inhabited by the young, the beautiful and the dead? Who really murdered Megan Forster? And could Alice be next? The first book in an intriguing and compelling trilogy centred around the mystery of Megan Forster's death.
My review: Soul Beach is the first book in a really exciting new YA series from British author, Kate Harrison - yay for homegrown talent! I heard Harrison read from Soul Beach at the Indigo launch a couple of months ago and immediately knew I had to read this novel. I whizzed through it in a matter of hours and was completely gripped by this unique, original story.
Soul Beach has such an intriguing premise and the story does require you to suspend your disbelief somewhat, however, the great world building and Harrison's instantly likeable protagonist makes this one easy to get into and enjoy. As I said, Alice is a great character and you can feel her grief at her sister's death radiating off of the page. I felt for her from the outset and am really looking forward to learning more about her as the series unfolds.
I do like a good murder mystery every now and then, although I'm always terrible at pin pointing the murderer. As I do with every mystery I found myself suspecting every single character as I was reading Soul Beach. It was only when I was a few pages from the end of the book and realised I had no idea who the murderer was that I remembered this one isn't a standalone, cue extreme frustration at having to wait for book two!
Soul Beach reminds me a little of the Beautiful Dead series by US author Eden Maguire. Have any of you read them? I do quite like the series but I enjoyed Soul Beach a little more, the characters are a little more real and the storyline much more engaging. I'm really excited about this series and I urge all of you to snap up a copy of Soul Beach when it's released on September 1st. Plus, the cover is pretty!
First line: 'The girl is dead, no doubt about it.'
Read if you liked…: The Beautiful Dead series - Eden Maguire
Total: 15/20 (B)