May 23, 2013

Spotlight on: Soul Meaning by AD Starrling

Soul Meaning
Seventeen Series Book One
AD Starrling

Genre: Supernatural thriller

ISBN: 978-0957282605

Number of pages: 420
Word Count: 108,187

Cover Artist: Streetlight Graphics

Book Description:
A half breed immortal. An international manhunt. A race against time to stop a terrifying plot that threatens to kill millions. The gripping, action-packed debut novel by AD Starrling and the first in the supernatural thriller series Seventeen.

‘My name is Lucas Soul.
Today, I died again.
This is my fifteenth death in the last four hundred and fifty years.’

The Crovirs and the Bastians. Two races of immortals who have lived side by side with humans for millennia and been engaged in a bloody war since the very dawn of their existence. With the capacity to survive up to sixteen deaths, it was not until the late fourteenth century that they reached an uneasy truce, following a deadly plague that wiped out more than half of their numbers and made the majority of survivors infertile.

Soul is an outcast of both immortal societies. Born of a Bastian mother and a Crovir father, a half breed whose very existence is abhorred by the two races, he spends the first three hundred and fifty years of his life being chased and killed by the Hunters.

One fall night in Boston, the Hunt starts again, resulting in Soul’s fifteenth death and triggering a chain of events that sends him on the run with Reid Hasley, a former US Marine and his human business partner of ten years. When a lead takes them to Washington DC and a biotechnology company with affiliations to the Crovirs, they cross the Atlantic to Europe, on the trail of a French scientist whose research seems intrinsically linked to the reason why the Hunters are after Soul again.

From Paris to Prague, their search for answers will lead them deep into the immortal societies and bring them face to face with someone from Soul’s past. Shocking secrets are uncovered and fresh allies come to the fore as they attempt to put a stop to a new and terrifying threat to both immortals and humans.

Time is running out for Soul. Can he get to the truth before his seventeenth death, protect the ones he loves and prevent another immortal war? 

I loved this book!  I was immediately drawn into the world of the Immortals that AD Starrling has created.  Bastians and Crovirs are two races of Immortals that have been around for centuries.  They were once bitter enemies that tried to annihilate each other during a sort of race war, but have been upholding an uneasy truce for some time.  Until now, it seems. 

Fast paced and well written, this book had everything that I love best about a new series: interesting and well developed characters, a solid plot line, enough action and romance to keep me turning pages, and a ending that gives me just enough resolution for this story, but leaves the door wide open for the next book.  And at 886 pages on my e-reader, there was a lot of story to enjoy and sink in to.  Plus, AD Starrling did a superb job at introducing a new series with an entire new race of people without just giving the reader a huge information dump.  We learn about the world of the Immortals a little at a time throughout this book, and according to Starrling more will continue to be revealed throughout the other books in the series.  I don't want to go in to too much detail in my review, because this book had a lot of twists and turns, but I can tell you that I will definitely be continuing on with this series, and have already started book two!

The only critique I had about this book was not a huge issue, but just something that bothered me.  It had nothing to do with the plot, characters - nothing with the actual STORY itself.  It centers around the writing style of AD Starrling.  Now, I'm not a grammar aficionado by any means, so just bear with me.  I believe that what bothered me was the overuse of adverbs, or descriptors.  I prefer when an author leaves descriptors after dialogue simple.  He said, she said, etc.  Every once in a while, if the situation warrants, I don't mind more active descriptions.  However, in this book, there was so many unnecessary adverbs and descriptors that they stood out to me like a red flag and distracted me from the story.  Here are several examples of what I'm talking about:

He said drily
He said quietly
He said firmly
He said gruffly
He stated warily
She said finally
I nodded carefully
He murmured
I murmured gratefully
He muttered
He grunted
I said carefully
He said dully
I asked mildly
I said briskly
I said levelly

I don't want to beat a dead horse, or make too huge a deal out of this, but I just want to point out that while this was a fantastic story, this really bogged it down for me.  And I feel like if I can point out one helpful criticism to the author that will make them see their writing from a different point of view, then maybe I've done some good.

Anyway, I reiterate - I loved this book!  You should definitely go pick it up and give it a read.  If you like this genre at all, or even if you don't, this is a new author that you will want to give a try!  I give this book 5 stars!

About the Author:
AD Starrling was born on the small island nation of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean and came to the UK at the age of twenty to study medicine. After five years of hard graft earning her MD and another five years working all of God’s hours as a Paediatrician, she decided it was time for a change and returned to her first love, writing.
Soul Meaning is her debut novel and the first in a supernatural thriller series entitled Seventeen. She currently lives in Warwickshire in the West Midlands, where she is busy writing the second novel in the series while drinking gallons of tea.
She still practises medicine. AD Starrling is her pen name.


  1. Hi Jessica! Thank you for having me twice on your blog today and for reviewing Soul Meaning (wasn't expecting it so it's great surprise!)
    I solemnly swear to cull my love affair with the adverbs and adjectives :)
    My main editor has promised me a world of pain if I don't use the search/find function extensively with Book 3 ;)

    I'm glad you enjoyed it and King's Crusade too

    Anjanee xx

  2. Lol, when I finished reading King's Crusade and saw your comment in the acknowledgments about the "dastardly adverbs," I laughed! I have to say, I still loved both books with or without them. You definitely have a great series started here, and I can't wait to keep reading whatever you come up with next! :)


Thank you so much for your comment! I read each and every one of them, I swear. :)

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