by J. Lincoln Fenn
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Length: 9 hours and 30 minutes
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 4.5 cups
When Fiona Dunn is approached in a bar by a man who claims he's the devil, she figures it's just some kind of postmodern-slash-ironic pickup line. But a few drinks in, he offers her a wish in exchange for her immortal soul, and in addition Fiona must perform a special favor for him whenever the time comes. Fiona finds the entire matter so absurd that she agrees. Bad idea. Not only does Fiona soon discover that she really was talking to the devil incarnate, but she's now been initiated into a bizarre support group of similar "dead souls" - those who have done the same thing as Fiona on a whim and who must spend their waking hours in absolute terror of that favor eventually being called in...and what exactly is required from each of them in order to give the devil his due.
Dead Souls was twisted, an addictive tale that will have you avoiding strangers. The author has a flair for unfolding a story that pulls the reader in from the very first page. Add the smooth narrations of Julia Whelan, and you are in for one heck of a ride.
So the devil walks into a bar sits down next to you and……
Fiona Dunn for all her career success hasn’t had the greatest go with relationships. She falls apart when she seeing her boyfriend get into a taxi with a blonde. He is supposed to be out of town on a business trip. Feeling dejected Fiona stumbles into a bar and orders a drink before realizing that she forgot her purse and keys to her apartment. She can just add those to the list of things that go wrong because Fiona is about to sell her soul to a faceless man named Scratch.
While the premise is nothing new, Lincoln twisted it and weaved in vibrant, complex characters to engage the reader. When Fiona awakens the next morning, she is completely flabbergasted that she sold her soul even when she discovers her wish was granted. Scratch controls a corps of dead souls in Oakland. All have given their soul and can recognize each other by ah darkness or shadow surrounding them. Each carries a card from Scratch that contains the date they sold their soul and the words Favor followed by a blank space. The favors have devastating consequences, and we learn of some very infamous historical figures who owed the devil a favor making us cringe in anticipation. When your “favor,” is called, it will appear in the blank space.
Fiona befriends other damned souls. They meet in an old converted church. Ironically, the church is now a bar. They meet each week to share their woes an AA meeting for the damned. Eventually, their conversation gets around to escaping their fates. Alejandro is their leader. A photographer who is the oldest damned of the bunch, through him Fiona learns and plots. When Fiona learns of the “double-deal” she sets her mind to work.
Fiona is the perfect protagonist for this tale. She is flawed, successful, strong and bright. Her flaw is her insecurity, and at times she is desperate. She was easy to root for and identify with even when she is shocking. Fiona is looking for a way to outwit the devil and get the happily ever after she wants.
We get to witness twists turns and high body counts as Fiona moves towards the day when her favor is called in. Lincoln makes this horror story seem plausible in today’s work by weaving in actual events and people when explaining the devil’s existence and man’s wiliness to sell his soul. As we get further into the story, favors are called in, and horrific tragedies make the news.
The narrator Julia Whelan was new to me, but I enjoyed her voice. Fiona reminded me a little of Georgina from the Georgina Kincaid series and the narrated picked up on Fiona’s unraveling. I won’t hesitate to listen to another book if she narrators.
OMG, Lincoln had me completely caught up in this game of cat and mouse. I held my breath as Fiona tried to out maneuver Scratch and the others. The ending for Dead Souls delivered everything a reader could hope for in a horror story. I found myself squirming as Lincoln delivered an ending that satisfied me and left me craving more.
[bctt tweet=”Dead Souls by J. Lincoln Fenn delivered thrills and chills when the devil walked into a bar” username=”kimbacaffeinate”]
Sounds creepy! Perfect time of year to read something like this too 🙂 I can’t wait to start it!
Enjoy Tanya, and yes this is the perfect time of year.
Ohhh, I am so glad this is as good as it sounds! I just recced it and have been on pins and needles waiting for it!
Enjoy, I look forward to hearing what you think 🙂
OMG sounds absolutely chilling. Great choice for Halloween!!!
It really was Debbie :0
Brandi Breathes Books
An addictive and twisted tale sure sounds good about now
It was fun Brandi, I hope you try it 🙂
Going on my audio list! 🙂
Sweet, enjoy Stormi!
Dead souls and the devil. This sounds very horrific and I can’t imagine that it had a good ending unless they outwitted the devil. Very interesting plot for sure. I am glad you enjoyed it!
It was intense, but I had fun with it.
Oh man I thought the audio was creepy, but from that little tidbit, it sounds like the book was really well written. I almost picked it up, now I kind of wish I had.
Mark it, and watch for sale 🙂 Then when you are in the mood it is all yours 🙂
Oh yeah this sounds right up my alley! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Wonderful review! 😀 😀
Glad I shared and I hope you decide to try it Erin.
I could totally see this being made into a movie, don’t you think? I like the fact that it had a definite ending but still left you wanting more. Do you think there will be more to the story?
Yes, I could see that happening. It works on its own, but yes I could see additional stories.
The Bibliophile Babe
This sounds beyond creepy!
It was creepy and intense as she plotted to avoid her favor 🙂
Yep, old premise, but this one sounds like a chilling update as they wait for the other favor to drop.
Yes, but the author gave it quite the twist.
What a freaky premise…Thanks for the post.
Indeed, you’re welcome Angela
I’m going to head over to Goodreads to check out this author. Sounds like my kind of story!
Oh yes, this is right up your alley Laura
Melissa (Books and Things)
Hm… this sounds good but I’m not sure if it is for me. See… I’m a wimp even though I have been reading more “horror”. Maybe I should read and not listen to this one. Yea, that might do it. 🙂 Brilly review and Happy Halloween!
This isn’t horrific horror, and much more suspenseful
Another one to add to my to-read list. I’m going to have to stop reading this blog; it’s no good for me TBR pile – your review of the Graveyard Queen books led to me reading the whole series from start to finish! 🙂
I am delighted to hear that. I love that series. Now be sure and stop by often *winks*
Oh, I will. It’s like an addiction…
I don’t read horror books at all so it surprised me that I enjoyed reading your review of this book so much. You’ve got the touch, Kim!
You really are good for the soul, While this does have some dark elements, to me it was more suspenseful and race against the clock kind of thing
His name is Scratch….hello red flag right there girl :). This sounds awesome! Fabulous review
This sounds like a great creepy audio. I’ll have to see if I can find it at my library.
I hope they have it Laurie!
Love your review and the cover. This sounds right up my alley and if she can twist and turn you, I’m in. 🙂
Oh yes you and Laura would enjoy this one Sherry!
This sounds so creepy. While reading your review, I had a strong Flashback to Needful Things.
Oh yes, but this wasn;t quite that kind of scary, mostly because of the snark.
I wish I would have read a few more Halloween-ish type reads this month, this looks great!
Always not enough time 🙂 Happy Halloween!
This sounds like the worst joke ever! LOL I like that the author made the premise feel plausible by weaving in some real details! Great review.
She really did and of course the devil is very sneaky..you know like a greasy car salesman.
This sounds completely and totally unique though I know the basic plot is not. Great review and a book I’m adding to my TBR that probably wouldn’t have grabbed me on it’s own.
Which is what drew me to it, Katherine. It was refreshing.
Tyler H. Jolley
Great review, and thank you for the sample. Happy Halloween, Kimba!
You’re welcome, this was different.
I hope her wish was worth it? if someone introduces him/herself as a devil I’d probably believe it now..
Oh lord, wait until you see. Oh and he didn’t say Hi I am the devil..he was tricky!
What a unique and interesting blurb! I have read a lot of horror, but I do not recall encountering any stories similar to this! Love the review! If it had you holding your breath, I should add this one
This was fun Danielle, and offered something different than your typical horror read
“So the devil walks into a bar sits down next to you and……” Sold! Lol, I see you gave me the proper suggestion on this spooky day, thank you! 🙂
Bwahaha…thanks Silvia 🙂
This sounds so different than anything I have read and I love twists and turns. The support group angle is interesting.
Yes it was and I had fun listening 🙂
Oh nice souls? Great interesting characters? It’s always so interesting even if the promise is not that new!
I thought the author delivered a fresh take on this Melliane