August 1st 2013
Someone is stalking Alice Forster. She's sure it's her sister's murderer, but her parents think she's cracking under the stress of Meggie's death. Only in the virtual world of Soul Beach - an online paradise for the young, the beautiful and the dead - can Alice feel truly free. But there's trouble in paradise . . .
Clouds are gathering.
A storm is brewing.
The killer is about to strike.
The final gripping thriller in this paranormal romance trilogy.
That synopsis there is pretty darn accurate Soul Storm is a fast paced, gripping end to this excellent series, but, especially after having read this book, I wouldn't call them paranormal romance. Definitely more of a mystery-thriller with some romantic and some paranormal elements. Though I guess disputing genre isn't really the snappiest way for me to open a book review.
Now, I always find final books difficult to write about because I'm afraid I'm going to spoil it all, particularly with a mystery like this where all of the crucial mysteries are being figured out, most importantly, who the killer is. I'm definitely not going to say it, but I will say that I'm a little disappointed as it wasn't who I wanted it to be, but it was who (upon starting this book) I thought it would end up being. Despite that, I still thought it was a good twist and it was great to just finally know so that Alice could finally move on.
Over the series, Alice has grown so much as a character. In the first book, she started out vulnerable from Meggie's murder and obsessed with Soul Beach - the virtual reality full of beautiful, dead teenagers, Meggie included. She also started to get involved with super-hot dead guy Danny. In this book, I think she starts to become a lot more grounded, even though it gets to the point where her parents think that she's starting to crack and needs professional help, as it's been a year after Meggie's death and despite their continued contact on the Beach, Alice is starting to accept her sister's death. She refuses to move on, though, until she's found out who the real killer is, which she does on a crazy trip to Thailand in an attempt to find out more about the Beach.
One of my favourite things about this trilogy is the exotic locations in contrast to Alice's life in London. First off, there's Soul Beach itself with its turquoise sky and white sand and perpetual beauty. I'm not a beach person, but the descriptions of Soul Beach make it sound so perfect even I want to go there (I really hate the beach). Also, Kate Harrison makes Thailand sound so amazing in this book, too. The luxury of the place where Alice and her companion are staying and the little details like the bullfrogs mooing like cows really just give it all depth, like, you can really immerse yourself in it.
Ultimately, my favourite thing about Soul Storm in particular was the end. I like the series a lot, but I've started so many series lately without finishing them that I've forgotten what it feels like to have full closure at the end of them, which Soul Storm definitely has. I really liked feeling like I could close that book and be fully content with the way in which it ended, and, in my opinion, it was the perfect ending for the series.
If you have never heard of the Soul Beach books or you just haven't picked them up yet, I strongly recommend that you do as they're a great UKYA trilogy with a really interesting concept and a strong story that will keep you gripped.