Book Two – the Stones of Power Series by Rachel Hobbs
There’s a whole lot of stories out there about vampires and demons and a broad range of supernatural creatures, but so many of them end up following the same pattern and the result is a flat, “seen-it-all-before” final product that leaves the reader disappointed, if not deluded, by the waste of time and money.
Soul Strung does not belong to that category. It is instead a fresh, brilliant and, as much as it could, realistic portrait of demon-human relationships. The story begins with Ruby, the protagonist, wondering about this piece of jewellery her grandmother left her: there is something uncommon about it, but Ruby doesn’t know that the pendant is called lapis vitae, the stone of life, which makes the owner untouchable and immortal.
What also Ruby doesn’t know is that creatures from other dimensions are after this particular stone. The charming and dark figure that made her head turn in the bar where she works, Drayvex, in one of them. He is the Demon Lord and darkness incarnate, who’s on Earth to obtain the lapis vitae and use it, back in his dark world, against Saydor, a traitor demon who’s actually trying to depose Drayvex from his throne and become the new king and destroy humanity.
Unfortunately for them – but luckily for us – Saydor gets his hands on the lapis vitae, in a very difficult battle where Dayvex is forced to choose between the stone and Ruby’s life, leaving Saydor free to go.
We then need a Plan B to save the situation, or die trying, and while we rush against time – to get Saydor, to save Ruby, to save the Earth too – we have these two brilliant, witty and stubborn characters who never fail to voice their displease or underline their specific view on any matter.
Between twists and turns and difficult decisions, the plot moves forward almost effortlessly, rich of events and memorable moments. The characters are very well painted and far from being cliché: she doesn’t cling on him, he doesn’t fall for her beauty the first second he sees her and it actually takes them time to grow close. They are both stubborn and volitive and, despite the changes in their relationship, they maintain their main traits.
The narration may result confused at times, the narrating voice is omniscient but too close to each character and there are some passages where it’s not exactly clear who is talking, but that is an easily forgotten mishap, thanks to the amiability of the story, the curiosity that it naturally instils in the readers and the amazing ending that of course, I won’t be spoilering.
This far, Ruby and Dayvex have the best romantic, non-toxic, not cliché relationship I’ve ever come across in a book. An extremely pleasant surprise that leaves you hungry for more.
Soul Strung is available for purchase at: https://amzn.to/3bWreqj
About Rachel Hobbs
Rachel lives in South West Wales, where she hibernates with her bearded dragon and her husband. By day she is a dental nurse at a small local practice. By night, she writes.
Her debut novel Shadow-Stained is the first in a dark fantasy series for adults, inspired by her dark and peculiar experiences with narcolepsy and parasomnia. She’s since subjugated her demons, and writes under the tenuous guise that they work for her.
Fuelled by an unhealthy amount of coffee, she writes about hard-boiled monsters with soft centres and things that go bump in the night.