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Soul of the Unborn

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First Place in Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror in Paul Gillette Writing Contest

Best Speculative Fiction in American Icon 4 Contest

Can you call yourself human if supernatural forces control your every breath, every emotion, every desire?

Posing as a folklore tour guide, Valya Svetlova takes a group of American college students and their professor, Chris Waller, to her summer home in the Russian village of Vishenky for a few nights of supernatural phenomena. She plays the perfect hostess. For Valya doesn’t want anyone to discover she harbors selfish motives when it comes to one participant, the only person who can refute a tale declaring her a stillborn resurrected by a paranormal entity.

Within hours of their arrival, Valya learns that the students foster some dangerous agendas of their own. Her nascent feelings toward the handsome professor inhibit her ability to control the supernatural manifestations and her inquisitive guests. When her unforeseen affection turns Chris into a target, Valya faces an excruciating reality. It’s no longer in her human power to ensure her guests’ safety. Yet to keep them alive, Valya must brush off her humanity and become the thing she fights so desperately to prove she is not—a soulless monster.

From Publishers Weekly

Dec 12, 2016 – This tensionless, awkward, and too-long supernatural debut, nominally inspired by Russian folklore, starts with the format of a teenage scare flick whiplash social conflicts, gaslighting, and rapid flip-flops among bravery, curiosity, and fear and grates it against the first-person narration of a broody, anxious central character who is too hard to classify as villain or victim, in a paranormal rules-bound setting that requires more clarity. Virginian Debra Alley, her three college friends, and her older cousin go to the small Russian village of Visenky for Valya Svertlova's creepy overnight storytelling tour, hoping to find out what made her friend Kenny come back shaken the previous year. She has no idea that Valya has lured the group there because Debra is of her bloodline; Valya hopes to prove that her supernatural sensitivities are hereditary and not due to the fact that she is a soulless monster reanimated as a baby by the local witch after being stillborn. Monsters, including a deadly underwater possum and ghosts of Valya's dead friends, show up haphazardly; the plot is jumpy; and Brother's language elicits no frisson of the scary or strange.
Soul of the Unborn
View in iTunes
  • $3.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Paranormal
  • Published: Mar 14, 2017
  • Publisher: City Owl Press
  • Seller: Macmillan / Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
  • Print Length: 401 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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