Prison of Souls by Xander Gray
Prison of Souls is a story about Joshua Briar, a man convicted of killing an innocent girl instead of the man the bullet ricocheted off. Except Joshua doesn’t remember pulling the trigger, but ballistics and a picture of a man that looks just like him holding the gun is enough to put him in jail. Three years into a life sentence, Joshua receives cryptic letters from an anonymous benefactor trying to convince him that nanotechnology, secret experiments, and quantum physics are behind his case and conviction. When other prisoners start to vanish, Joshua is caught up in a huge conspiracy, one that’s been following him around for most of his life. Can he figure it out and prove his innocence?
This novel has a little bit of everything: great science fiction elements, a thrilling mystery, and compelling characters. The plot starts at a quick pace and will have you up late reading and wanting more. While there were some scientific elements of the plot that went over my head, the author helped us understand what was going on thanks to some flashbacks so by the end, while I didn’t understand all of the mechanics of what happened, I got the gist of it.
Sorry I’m being so vague. Spoilers!
Like I said, I really enjoyed the pacing of this book. We get sucked into Joshua’s life at prison and we don’t get much of a break until the book is closed. The writing is also really good and the scientific explanations were satisfactory. There was only one theory I didn’t understand, but I’ve encountered it in other media and didn’t understand it there either, so I won’t hold the author accountable. I just can’t wrap my brain around it. These elements would appeal to those hard sci-fi fans that enjoy high scientific concepts with a dash of thrills.
I also enjoyed Joshua. He has an interesting backstory that’s a bit tragic and I’m not just talking about his recent stint in prison. Joshua was experimented on as a child and as a result, suffers from seizures. He was also bullied in school and rescued by the woman who is now his wife. As a character, I really liked him. His principals are challenged and he has to make a lot of huge, life as we know it altering decisions and he doesn’t make them lightly. His wife, Crystal, is pretty awesome. Even when she’s confronted with some frankly crazy theories and the evidence does not look good against her husband, she stands by him and does everything she can to help him out. But then again, she’s been doing that since high school. I really enjoyed their relationship. They’re a good team and their interactions brought a little brightness to the novel. The bad guys for the most part, are completely evil and easy to hate, but there are a couple that operate in the gray areas, which I like. They started out with good intentions, but got lost along the way.
Overall, this is a great book and I’ll be putting this author’s future works on my wish list.
My Rating: 4.6/5
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