The year is 1703. The place: The Carolina settlement of Charles Town. Matthew Corbett, professional 'problem solver,' has accepted a lucrative, if unusual, commission: Escorting a beautiful woman to a fancy dress ball.
What should be a pleasant assignment takes a darker turn when Matthew becomes involved in a murder investigation. A sixteen-year-old girl has been stabbed to death on the grounds of a local plantation. The suspected killer is a slave who has escaped, with two family members, into the dubious protection of a nearby swamp. Troubled by certain discrepancies and determined to see some sort of justice done, Matthew joins the hunt for the runaway slaves. He embarks on a treacherous journey up the Solstice River, also known as the River of Souls. He discovers that something born of the swamp has joined the hunt...and is stalking the hunters with more than murder in mind.
What follows is a shattering ordeal encompassing snakes, alligators, exiled savages, mythical beasts, and ordinary human treachery. The journey up the River of Souls will test Matthew's courage, commitment, and powers of endurance. It will also lead him to a confrontation with a figure from his recent past, which will alter Matthew's life, setting the stage for the next installment in this compulsively readable series.
Gripping, unsettling, and richly atmospheric, The River of Souls is a masterful historical adventure and a major addition to Robert McCammon's extraordinary body of work. Featuring the continuing exploits of a young hero USA Today has called 'the Early American James Bond.'
©2014 The McCammon Corporation (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
So, this story is around 9 hours long… I checked to see if I'd accidentally bought the abridged version… now, I mention this because I've listened to the whole series (and loved all the stories), and I was kind of surprised at the brevity of this story. Here's the spoiler: I wonder if the author gave us this short book, with the profound cliffhanger, to hook the audience until he finished the whole tale. The first four books in the series were all stand alone stories (15 - 33 hours each!), and in my opinion, this was definitely a prequel to the next story.
Now, all that aside, the story was still suspenseful and it made me wish the commute to and from school every day was a little longer so I could enjoy more of the story.
Eduardo Ballerini was, and is, the best performer in my opinion… male, female, old, young, dialects… he does them all, and does them spectacularly.
Now, had I known this had a cliffhanger, I would have waited for the next in the series to come out, because I hate waiting.
I'm a court reporter/transcriber living and working in Melbourne. It's why I enjoy McCammon's work so much, with mention of magistrates etc.
Been waiting as long as every other Matthew Corbett fan out there for McCammon's latest effort - even preordered it. Wasn't sure I had, by mistake, paid for and downloaded the abridged version of the book. Starts off well and it's great to reacquaint oneself with all the usual characters, but it's just too bloody short. Listening to it, I felt as though whole chapters were being deliberately left out. Ballerini's narration is up to its usual brilliance, but for me it doesn't rescue the book. I hope McCammon's next installment is of better quality and quantity. I'll probably relisten later this year, but for now I feel more than disappointed with The River of Souls. No doubt, you'll probably still purchase the book, but you've been advised.
Several reviews have noted a disappointment with this Corbett novel, # 5 in the series. I, too, felt there was something just "not right" with this one, but didn't know what. There are a couple of big differences between the first four and this one:
1. Very short- just about 8 hours. McCammon has filled his previous novels with rich atmospheric detail, and a lengthy build-up to get to the main event. The River of Souls felt very abrupt- he jumps right into the story with both feet--the entire novel seemed rushed and unsatisfying at times.
2. The narration seemed much more direct and "in your face" - that is the only way I can think of it, as Ballerini is usually more soft spoken in these novels--while still getting his point across.
Other than that, I did enjoy the story, but not as much as the previous four. I didn't really care that much about the murder victim, as that character lasted about 10 minutes. Also, Matthew didn't meet with much resistance in his investigation, where normally he would have.
This one leaves a giant cliff hanger at the end, which maybe was the hook to keep us interested in # 6. I am in too deep to quit now, and will definitely get the next one, however, I really hope the author returns to the flavor of the first two in the series, which I felt were the best.
A condensed version of this book should have been the beginning chapters of the next book. What we got isn't good enough on it's own to be on it's own, and not short enough to be the beginning of the next. It's filler...filled with an astounding number of maudlin soliloquies and almost no plot. It was during this book that I finally became really tired of the very affected and artificial mystery accent our boy from a New York orphanage managed to end up with; perhaps that was the narrator's choice. While Ballerini has a lovely voice and good delivery his accents are pretty atrocious; I'm not sure how he thinks Corbett should sound. Ballerini's own voice and natural accent would be much more appropriate and less irritating. That's how empty the plot was; I focused too much on details like Matthew's accent, which has been only subliminally bothering me til now. I'm already into this series for 5 books now, and until this book I've enjoyed it well enough to continue. I'll wait until I see the reviews before I go further.
I would highly recommend the entire series. But - I would not recommend buying this one, until the next one comes out. The first 4 had very satisfying endings, which is one of the things that I love about this series. This one ends abruptly, with no conclusion.
The unresolved ending makes me wonder - was someone running behind on his deadline?
I really love the narration on the Matthew Corbett series. Eduardo Ballerini is perfect.
I dearly love this series. The narration is flawless. I looked forward to this installment with a bit of trepidation, since Matthew is getting older & more worldly wise. (possible SPOILER alert) Perhaps that problem has been dealt with?
I am a 67 year old psychologist. I have been married for 28 years, with two sons who are 27 and 24. I love listening to the books.
Thrilling, ingenious and moving.
The scene in the river where our hero, Matthew Corbett, and several others confront the most profound perils in nature: crocodiles. This scene alone will keep you on the edge of your chair, and is worth the price of the book alone.
I have listened to almost all of his audiobooks, with only a few missing. Mr. Ballerini has taken on the mantel of Frank Muller, which is the highest possible praise. I would say that the entire Robert McCammon series might be a favorite, but there are so many: Beautiful Ruins, We live in Water, Malevita: the mind boggles. Mr. Ballerini is a unique talent, and I really hope he never stops narrating audiobooks.
I can't do that. Seven or eight hours of sitting is much too much for me physically. Plus, when you stretch out your favorite books, you get the pleasures of anticipating what happens next, trying to hold in your mind the main characters and plot developments...I am very happy to stretch out this book for several weeks, if possible. And then I wait a year or two, and do it again!
Mr. McCammon has taken on a truly daunting project. Matthew Corbett can be called the first of the modern detectives...in the year 1700. Matthew works with his mind and with very few external tools. His plots are the fruit of an astounding fount of creativity. I do at times wish that Matthew would marry the lovely Berry. They could have around-the-world adventures together. But, whatever. I will snap up every single book that comes from the fertile mind of Mr. McCammon and the interpretive mastery of Mr. Ballerini. I loved this book.
I have recommended the earlier books to friends, but this story is watered down and complicated with review of the earlier stories and has a ' to-be-continued ' ending...I was very disappointed.
Edoardo Ballerini's wonderfully 'proper' and rich voice is the perfect vehicle for these stories.
Reviews that complain about the story line ending abruptly or at least without resolution ring true. It does seem painfully obvious that this was a book finished against a deadline, or suffering from some other deficit. But the story itself is vintage McCammon and Matthew Corbett.
The secret of the crying baby and the monster (not a spoiler) is a more satisfying one than the corresponding secret in Speaks the Nightbird - where "secret" = the explanation for the seemingly supernatural and evil lurking force. Magnus Muldoon's character development is as good as any in the series.
The return to Charles Town gave the story a chance to map back to the first book in the series in interesting and clever ways.
Most importantly for me, i finished this in a hurry because it held my attention as a page-turner and I missed it, kept wanting to go back to the storyline for days after hearing the intoning "Audible hopes you have enjoyed this program." I did.
The River of Souls is only half a book. It's a disappointment. Matthew experiences an inconvenience and a problem and at the verge of the second-level problem, the book ends. It's shallow and undeveloped; I've come to expect more from this author and the character Matthew Corbett. Perhaps it's worth half a credit. Perhaps. Was the author (or publisher?) in such a hurry that they had to release such a disappointment? The performance is as good as ever but there's only so much E. Ballerini can do with an undeveloped story. YES, it needs a follow-up book, but only if the story is fully developed.
I have to admit that I'm a total Audible junkie. MUST have book going at all times. I may be the subject of a family intervention someday.
Ballerini is one of the very best readers in the business. I've loved his work throughout the series.
Dunno what the kvetching is about in some of the other reviews, but I thoroughly enjoyed this latest entry in the Matthew Corbett series. Yes, some of the previous books were more thoughtful, or more surreal (especially the previous one) or more scholarly in evoking the time and place, but this one was simply what I'd call a ripping good yarn. Just wish it was longer. Write faster please, Mr McCammon! The cliffhanger left me hooked, of course, and I don't want to wait another year for more Matthew.
"JUST WHEN THE STORY WAS....."
Again another great Matthew Corbet novel but not as good as the others because just when the story was really taking off when it finished quite abruptly. Sorry Mr McCammon but it ended all too soon.
"Short but great!"
I love these books. Following the adventures of Matthew Corbett. Brilliantly written and superbly performed by Edoardo. Yes it's shorter than previous books but sets it all up nicely for the next one! Now to download it!!
I have purchased every single of the Matthew Corbett series, and they have become a firm favourite of mine. I often return to them, loving the pleasure of listening to the atmosphere and rich storyline that McCammon weaves for his hero to travel through.
Unfortunately this one ends all too soon: abruptly, and not particularly satisfyingly... Here's hoping he can bring it back with book 6.
On the plus side, Edoardo Ballerini's narration is as flawless as in the previous books.
I have enjoyed all of the books in this series, unfortunately this one felt anticlimactic after its predecessor the providence rider. For me it simply isn't of the same standard of the previous Matthew Corbett novels and the whole story seemed pointless, I even felt Ballerinia performance was lacking compared to the previous novels, perhaps he felt the same as me. The conclusion introduced an almost ridiculously tenuous link to Professor Fell, which only came after having to wade through several chapters of an even more absurd proposition of Matthew suffering from memory loss. My advice would be to save your money and skip this book, you won't miss anything believe me and with any luck the next book will be what we have all been waiting for, the end of Professor Fell.
just keeps getting better. just wished it was longer. can't wait for the next one
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