As Soul Catcher, the first book in the Outsider trilogy, begins Livia Van Belane realizes something bad will soon occur when she notices the tracks made by a creature with eight toes in her backyard. Told by her grandmother as a child that the nightmarish creatures she drew pictures of were actually demons, for much of her life, Livia chooses to accept the official designation of delusional, though in fact she has a special role to play in the universe. A soul catcher, Livia uses drawings to recreate the images of the demons she dreams of, and when she burns the pictures, she destroys the demons. Adding to the oddness and creepiness Livia already deals with in her life, she finds a message she herself scrawled during her most recent trance, signed by someone named Ian – but she does not know anyone by that name.
While contemplating the puzzling events of the past days, Livia goes to her job at Dante’s Room, a local club in Asheville. While there, she meets Greg Lindholm, a tall, handsome visitor from Minnesota, and since he strikes her fancy a bit, Livia leaves the club with him. When he attacks her outside, drags her off into the woods, and says it is time for her to die again, not only is Livia repeatedly raped and almost killed, but is also confused by the man’s words. After Livia regains consciousness in her own bed, she learns that some of the people she knows are actually her guardian spirits, seeking to protect her, and they have done so through her many lives. Seeking to learn why the demon continually destroys her, Livia also discovers the importance of the mysterious Ian.
Not for the faint of heart, Bridger’s grim and often brutal tale nonetheless brings to life a fascinating world chock full of spirits unseen by most of us. Deftly melding folklore, myth, and urban fantasy, the author brings Asheville to life in a way that guarantees the reader will never view that city quite the same ever again: “Huge mountains rose above our heads. The spring air was ripe with angels and demons. A whole layer of beings who operated invisibly alongside everything we saw, heard, touched and smelled” (95). Characters that one can root for in their seemingly impossible tasks add to the reading experience. This reviewer very much looks forward to finding out how Livia and Ian resolve their next challenge.
- Paperback: 284 pages
- Publisher: BelleBooks, Inc. (October 20, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 098217568X
- ISBN-13: 978-0982175682
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