Cover Image: The Soul Stealer

The Soul Stealer

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Member Reviews

Another fascinating read by this author, once more returning to Native American mythology and the corrosive effects on the modern world that its misuse brings through greed . A sharp read that moves along with a swift descriptive narrative that shocks and dismays through the events depicted and give you a closeness both to the protagonists and antagonists that at times belies credulity. In places disturbing and thought provoking. Graham truly has an understanding and gift for writing about the seemier side of ancient cultures and belief systems. Recommended if you want a good read that will scare the pants off you.
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Nemo, a former detective who is going to investigate a young woman's death, ruled a suicide by the police, realise that is not an easy case. Together, with Trinity, are going to face an American Indian demon to save many young girls. The violence against women is taken in.
It is a well-written story.
Thanks to Netgalley for this book.
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Nemo Frisby used to be a detective. Now he drives an Uber between billionaire mansions in California. But he never lost the nose for the case – and when his housecleaner Trinity Fox discovers a young woman lying dead in her neighborhood, she persuades him to help her prove it wasn't suicide.

Their investigation leads them to the Bel Air home of a wealthy movie producer, who built his mansion over an American Indian burial site. Ancient mythology tells of a demon who, if unearthed, can imbue evil men with terrible power. But only if the demon is fed by the sacrifice of innocent lives...

Strange and stupid are the two words that come to mind when I think about this book. I have now officially decided that I am NOT, nor ever will be a Masterton fan.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of the ‘out there’ horror genre and yes this novel, at times was scary and full of suspense… I get that! But men with massive scorpion peni sucking souls out of desperate starlets women and creepy voodoo ghost women lounging in bel air mansions just doesn’t do it for me. Sorry. 

Men are fickle will do whatever it takes to gain fame, money and women isn’t a new concept but I just don’t know if I’m quite ready to believe that they’d sacrifice gorgeous blondes to an ancient Indian God to do so.
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Unfortunately I had to DNF this read, I simply could not get into it and the way it was written. Women were especially hard to read about,.
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Thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this book for an honest review.

Ick...not often I can't find a positive in a book but I guess there is always a first time!!
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This book wasn't for me. I dislike the way the women were written in this novel and I think that was a big no no for me. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the arc in return for an honest review.
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This book was a challenge to get through. The overall plot line intrigued me but I hated the way women were written and talked about by this author. It completely took me out of the book.
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3 Stars!

Getting a new Graham Masterton novel is a good thing but getting two new Masterton novels is a wonderful thing and that is what Head of Zeus brings this March.  The Shadow People was released on March 1 and The Soul Searcher followed a couple days later.  I was not able to quite finish this one prior to release but I got to it as quickly as I could for another scary journey through Masterton’s imagination. 

 

Trinity Fox was excited to see her friend again.  After she began to rise to fame in Hollywood, the chances to see her were scarce even though Trinity lived in LA.  She never thought, though, that she would be witness to her friend’s death.  When the police rule that it is a suicide, Trinity knows they are wrong and turn to Nemo Frisby for help.  Nemo is an ex-detective who never shied away from trouble in pursuit of the truth.  He vows to help Trinity uncover the cause of her friend’s death for better or for worse.  Neither of them expected just how bad it could get. 

 

Their investigation leads them to the mansion of a movie producer who built discovered the power lying in the sacred earth beneath his estate.  The ancient burial grounds hold the gateway to a demon that can give him everything he wants as long as he provides the demon with what it wants:  human blood.  Nemo and Trinity find what really powers Hollywood in that mansion if Bel Air.  Armed with some magic of their own and an unlikely ally, the duo will do whatever it takes to stop the demon and return it to the earthy grave it rose from.  They will have to, after all, or they will never leave the house alive. 

 

The Soul Stealer is not for the weak of heart or stomach and will not appeal to all readers.  There is a lot of violence here and some passages of the book are a bit difficult to read.  As per usual, Masterton walks the line of extreme horror and gratuitous violence and manages to keep just within the bounds.  There were times in which I wanted to close the book to escape the horrors within but I felt compelled to keep reading.  Trinity and Nemo, especially Trinity, just keep getting pulled deeper and deeper into the demon’s machinations that it seems as if they will not be able to find a way through.  There is an almost oppressive tone to the novel that makes it a heavy read.  Heavy on the soul, at least, as this is a very dark story.  In the end, however, there is some good in the story just as there is in the world even in the darkest of times and things finally come together.  Not in time to avoid tragedy, to be sure, but to at least salvage a chance at life.  This is just like real life.  Things may not always work out for the best but they usually sort themselves out to some extent.  This gives the novel a realistic feel to it as the events unfold and ultimately wrap up.   

 

That being said, though, The Soul Stealer is not one of Masterton’s best novels.  The novel deals with the darker side of Hollywood and feels like a bit of a moral play that never really comes to fruition.  As a tale of demonic forces at loose on the world, the story works to a large extent and the characters and situations seem to come to life.  The larger story that Masterton seems to be telling, of the darkness of fame and fortune and the extent to which men and women will go to achieve these fleeting things, falls a little flat.  The So ul Stealer is full of scenes of horror that come together to form a story that is loosely held together in the end.  It is a tale of death and destruction in the pursuit of fame but feels like it could be much more.  The Soul Stealer is an interesting tale that hints at the greatness Masterton has in the realm of horror but fails to rise to the level of most of his work.  Fans of Masterton will enjoy the novel for what it is but new fans would be better off reading one of his other works in order to see a master at his best. 

 

I would like to thank Head of Zeus and NetGalley for this review copy.  The Soul Stealer is available now.
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The Soul Stealer by Graham Masterton was an ok read. i was gripped from the very beginning however, sadly I lost interest which never happens when I read his books. Maybe it was too long? but it I finished it, between books. 
It will not be the last book I read, I reckon this book is a one off.......... Graham is an author that always surprises me every time..

Thank you to NetGalley and Head of Zeus for the ARC.
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A complex take on horror and mystery that was intriguing yet solemn. I loved the title and the look of this book and felt it gave off the vibes I was expecting. Looking forward to seeing more of this authors work in the future and would recommend it to those who enjoy Stephen King and the like.
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Thank you Netgally and the publisher for the advanced copy.
I really enjoyed this book, the plot, the setting and the characters was great, intense and kept me reading constantly until the end.
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Yeesh, this review is not pleasant so I’ve paired the book with a cute basket of spring eggs to brighten things up! 

I really did not like this. I thought the characters were boring and predictable and I particularly didn’t like the way women were written. The basic concept was interesting, and I really like folk horror, but it kind of just devolved from there. This is my first Graham Masterson, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be compelled to read any more of his books. Thank you to @netgalley and the publisher for the ARC. The e-version of this novel is out  now.
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*3.5 rounded to 4*

So after reading some other books by Graham Masterton I will say this is probably the one I like best, however it's still not a favorite. There is some commentary made about the MeToo Movement, which is actually directly referenced in here but I'm almost uncertain how the author feels about it. The statement I gathered is that yes women are being used and exploited in Hollywood and they have a right to speak up but there's always men who will continue exerting their power and there's nothing you can do to stop it. That's a pretty bold statement after the momentum the movement gained and I'm not sure if fully sits well with me. And speaking of women being used, this book def does not shy away from it. In fact it goes to the extreme, I mean it is horror after all. Some of it was pretty hard to read. The other message that came out loud and clear was that women have a raw power, a power over men. A power that they just need to tap into and never ever forget. While I appreciate the message, it kind of gets lost behind the other statement. I did like the mythology aspect to this book and the wide range of characters and how they all impacted each others outcome was pretty interesting. The two main characters are two that I would never imagine pairing together which made for a fun read.

Thank you to NetGalley and Head of Zeus for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Stardom Should Never Cost So Much

This is a story about the glitterati of Hollywood and the eternal hope of being "discovered" by the Godlike elite. It isn't the first novel I've read which exposes the shadier, sleazier, and dangerous side that lurks behind the star-making machinery, but this book is a shocker. And that's just the ordinary parts.

The likable characters are far outnumbered by scumbags. There are so many creeps: poor nobodies and wealthy big shots alike. The good guys and innocents stand out all the more because of this, as does the image of all that is stacked against them. Nemo stands out as one of the only decent men in the entire book. It's impossible to not root for the young women, given their sad, victimized circumstances. Trinity is no passive Pollyanna, though, and she certainly is the hero of her family. 

Nemo and Trinity make a surprisingly good team, but as I stated; they are outnumbered.

Graham Masterson has used a fair amount of standard literary devices in constructing The Soul Stealer, but he's deftly tweaked and rearranged them to come up with a thrilling, original, and horrific read. It's anything but boring.

Despite the rough edges in the bulk of this novel, Masterson has embellished it with a pro's command of words. The imagery he uses in one of the later passages to describe a pivotal character is profoundly beautiful: she's like looking at the stars. 

There are some violent and abusive triggers, however, be warned. This book is dark.

I thank the author, Head of Zeus, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a free advanced reader's copy. My review was not contingent on this gift. My endorsement is my own honest opinion. The Soul Stealer is vividly natural despite the electrifying horror. I hope it will be quickly snapped up for the movies.
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3 for nuetral!  Unfortunately, this book was not for me or at least was not for my mood!  Will update if able to finish at a later date!
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Unfortunately, this is a book that made me grumpy more than anything else. I went in excited, because I’ve been enjoying thrillers a lot recently and especially those with a grounding in the supernatural and mythology. But there’s two main elements that frustrated me in The Soul Stealer: the depiction of women, and the use of Native Americans. Combine that with a plot that is infuriating more than creepy and you end up with a grumpy Fab.

There is one (1!) woman in this book who is not a victim. And she doesn’t really have much of a developed personality. Not that the men tend to fare much better in terms of being multi-layered, but there’s at least boatloads of shitty male characters, one worse than the next. It really feels that women in this story only function to propel the plot forward, to function as sacrificial victims for this cult that somehow has all the high and mighty of Hollywood “rebalance” the power that is unjustly given to women. And I’m just not here for that. I know sacrificing pretty young women is a horror trope, but for the love of intersectional feminism, balance it out by having some female characters who are neither victims not cardboard cutouts. And maybe, going out on a limb here, even some who may not be pretty.

Now, I am neither Native American or know a lot about the tribes mentioned in the book. But using a rich culture and cherry picking elements that essentially let you take a sort of demon that rapes women to death in exchange for providing men with more power? That to me does not seem like appropriate representation in the 21st century. This is the main element of this that rubbed me the wrong way, but there are a number of others that I don’t want to mention to avoid further spoilers. It just seems that if you want to use something that presents its culture in such a negative light, it may be a far better idea to invent it from scratch, rather than draw from an existing culture, and one that has been struggling with its portrayals in media for a very long time.

So, The Soul Stealer really isn’t one that I would recommend you pick up as I think it’s not just me as a reader being overly sensitive, but issues that many of you will encounter as well while reading the book.
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Graham Masterton has written over a hundred books in many genres, and he’s been on my radar for a while, even though I’ve never read one of his books. The Soul Stealer is his latest, a horror story set in the glittering but also dangerous world of Hollywood. Masterton’s take on rich and powerful celebrities is on the darker side and is an idea I’ve seen explored before, but never in quite this way. In effect, the biggest movie moguls in the industry get their power through supernatural means, and let me tell you, it isn’t pretty. Our main character Trinity, a young house cleaner struggling to support her two younger siblings and her drunk father, finds herself involved in a horrifying mystery: an old school friend’s body is found burned, but her death is ruled a suicide. Trinity doesn’t believe for a second that Margo would ever commit suicide, and so she joins forces with a retired cop named Nemo to prove that her friend was murdered.

But Trinity and Nemo stumble into a dark world they aren’t prepared for. With the help of a Chumash shaman and several other characters, they are determined to follow the clues to the bitter end.

In alternating chapters we follow a young actress named Zuzana, who has been lured to the house of bigwig producer John Dangerfield with the promise of a part in an upcoming movie. But Zuzana was lied to, and now she’s trapped in the house with no way out. Eventually these two story lines converge.

Masterton’s story delves into Native American mythology and culture, and I enjoyed the Native characters in particular. One is known as Ghost Woman, and she’s inside Dangerfield’s house, set to play a part in his evil schemes. She’s also there under duress, and I immediately felt a connection with her.

Trinity and Nemo meet a boy named Rafael and his grandfather, a Chumash shaman named Teodoro. Teodoro is able to cause objects to appear differently by using a trick he calls “sudden dreaming.” He teaches this to Trinity and Nemo and it helps them in their quest for the truth. These mythological elements were so interesting and gave the story some nice depth.

I enjoyed many of the relationships as well. Trinity and Nemo aren’t anything alike, yet they form a friendship and are able to work together really well. And even though Trinity’s family isn’t in a good place—her father is constantly drunk, her eleven year old brother is hanging with the wrong crowd, and her fourteen year old sister is pushing her boundaries—I was glad to see Trinity stand up for herself during the investigation with Nemo and push her father to taking on a bigger role in the family.

The Soul Stealer is an interesting mix of the seedy side of Los Angeles, the glamor of Hollywood, and the seething danger that lies just beneath the surface.
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Masterton is the master - yet again!  Intense horror - you won't stop reading - but be sure it's during the daylight!  He knows how to hook you in and keep you there - never disappoints!
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I really enjoy folk horror and this author always does a great job of storytelling. As if the indigenous people have not lost enough, there are those who will exploit other’s traditions to gain power. Plus, they used the oldest trick in the book to lure young women, a modeling/acting career. Once they had the girl, she was subjected to horrible things, all to please some crazy men. And like any narcissistic person, greed takes over and things accelerate out of control. In the end, the evil always loses.
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I didn’t finish this one as honestly it wasn’t my thing and I couldn’t connect, but the author will be on my radar for the future and I am excited to see what else he produces.
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