Title: Assaulted Souls Book 1
Author: William Blackwell
Review: So I have read The Strap by William Blackwell which was a good stand-alone novel and I could wait to see how he writes within a series structure. The opening of this novel was very exciting and prompted the reader with a lot of questions. Our protagonist, Nathan wakes with no memories he can even remember his friends name or how he came to be at the place they are staying. Edward’s dialogue provides a little insight about a bomb and Neanderthals but not much else as his is irritated with having to answer Nathan’s same questions everyday but we have no idea on a time frame so we don’t know how long since the bomb dropped on Earth or how long Nathan has been without his memories. We know Nathan’s memories are buried somewhere in his subconscious as when he tries to remember things there is no physical memory but he feels extremely saddened.
The bomb that has decimated the city Nathan and Edward are in is a nuclear bomb I assume as Edward refers to the climate as nuclear winter. Nathan also remembers a blonde woman, but not who she is and what she means to him. The blonde woman Nathan thinks about turns out to be his girlfriend; Cadence who has been kidnapped and is being forced to help the Neanderthal Thorvald find the bomb shelter where Ed and Nathan are living or he will rape, kill and eat her. We also learn Nathan’s amnesia started before the bomb was dropped but her hope is solidified with Thorvald tells her Nathan is alive. This book is set in July 2016 so just a few month prior to our current date. It also isn’t like other dystopian or apocalyptic novels I have read as they usually involve some disaster and creatures that have been mutated like zombie in Sadie Walker is Stranded or Abbies in the Wayward Pines Trilogy. This series feels like it is going to be more real therefore we might be able to connect better with the characters and sympathize with their situation. Even the Neanderthals aren’t overly exaggerated there are just a tribe of people who are surviving through cannibalism but also rape and steal because they can, this book is literally survival of the fittest.
I liked the multiple points of view because they provided a more well-rounded view of the characters; their well-beings and their state of mind as well as the overall situation in which they all find themselves as well as how each individual person or group survives within this drastically altered world. I also like seeing how far the characters have fallen and the measures they are willing to resort for their most basic of needs like food and clothing. This book is quite dark as we see the lengths the Neanderthals are willing go shooting a man several times to torture him into giving up everything he has and then killing him just because they can. It really highlights the darker shade of our human nature and how easily we can snap and become monsters killing for the fun of it rather than for survival.
I loved the references Blackwell made to other literature; William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and movies like Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds as a sort of joke to the radiation affecting seagulls that just attacked them. From their new cave they hear footsteps and voices about them which they assume to be the Neanderthals. Cadence and Velvet are also making their way to the shelter with Cadence hoping desperately that Nathan and Ed are still alive and will have a plan.
Overall I loved the setting and writing style of this novel although I felt Nathan’s amnesia was a bit overplayed, as for most of the novel it wasn’t really relevant. The only chapters I felt his amnesia was needed was the opening chapter to set the scene for the reader and the chapter of Cadence’s death so I felt it could have been downplayed in-between. Other than that it was a great dystopian almost zombie novel – with the references to mutants and cannibals. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for something different in this dystopian genre although this book was far more adult that I was expecting with vivid descriptions of murder, cannibalism and violent rapes. I felt this book highly deserved its rating and I can’t wait to get into the second book.
This Book was sent to me for review by the author.
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Also see: The Strap by William Blackwell