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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Deception by Yolanda Sfetsos

Deception by Yolanda Sfetsos
The Soul Dealer Series
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (85 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3 books
Reviewed by Poinsettia

When someone is killed too suddenly or tragically, there’s a creature ready to bargain for their soul…

Fate’s cruel hand took Alana from Matt before he had a chance to tell her how he felt.

A year later, he’s still mourning her loss but Matt doesn’t realize that he hasn’t completely lost her. Yet, he’ll never know how close she really is if he continues to ignore his ability.

Alana has struck a deal that’ll save Matt before the end of All Hallows Eve, but time is running out. And if it does, both of their souls will be lost.

Even death cannot sever the bond between Matt and Alana.

I thought that Matt and Alana’s dilemma was a perfect illustration of the idea that no one really knows how much time they have left. It was heartbreaking to read that Matt and Alana were at that wonderful stage in a relationship when they are just beginning to make plans for the future only to have it snatched away from them. Even though they hadn’t known each other for very long when Alana was murdered, I felt that their connection was genuine. I was also intrigued at what Alana’s bargain with the Soul Dealer would entail.

Matt is a classic example of a tortured soul. He is haunted not only by Alana’s untimely death, but also the way he ended his relationship with his mother. He also has special abilities as a medium, which he inherited from his mother. While his mother used her abilities, Matt has done everything he can to bury them. Matt’s denial of his unique talents was the cause of the rift in his relationship with his mother, and could possibly cost him his second chance with Alana. I found it interesting that while Matt denies his talents has a medium, he still spends his life working with the paranormal by saving people from demons. As the story progressed, I enjoyed watching Matt finally open up and accept who he is.

Alana was a very sweet heroine. Her love and loyalty to Matt was very touching, but I felt at times that she was just too good to be true. She didn’t seem to have any flaws, and therefore I didn’t feel that she was as relatable or well-rounded as Matt.

Cain was also a character that I felt could have been developed more. Cain and Matt have lived and worked together for years and he is Matt’s best friend, however, I never believed that relationship was genuine. The unease I felt about Cain was eventually explained.

Even though I had issues with some of the characters, I thought that Ms. Sfetsos posed some interesting ideas in her story. I’ve never run across anything quite like the Soul Dealer in my reading. As I read, I wondered who and what the Soul Dealer was. Was he the devil? Something else entirely? Where did he come from? Where did the souls he made deals with go? I eagerly turned pages seeking the answers. Unfortunately, these questions weren’t really answered at the end of the story. There are certainly hints at what and who the Soul Dealer might be, but nothing very definitive. While the ending provided a satisfying conclusion to Matt and Alana’s situation, I felt that the rest of the loose ends were wrapped up and explained away too quickly. I think the story needed to be longer to truly do justice to all the creative ideas contained in The Soul Dealer: Deception. Perhaps there will be more books released to help explain these things?

Despite these issues, I thought The Soul Dealer: Deception, was a good read. Matt and Alana’s romance was touching and the ideas Ms. Sfetsos posed about death and the afterlife were thought provoking. I recommend it to anyone looking for an entertaining short story.