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Prelude for Lost Souls  By  cover art

Prelude for Lost Souls

By: Helene Dunbar
Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne,Nick Mills,Brittany Pressley
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Publisher's Summary

For fans of Nova Ren Suma, Maggie Steifvater, and Maureen Johnson comes a spellbinding tale about choosing your own path, the families we create for ourselves, and facing the ghosts of your past.  

In the town of St. Hilaire, most make their living by talking to the dead. In the summer, the town gates open to tourists seeking answers while all activity is controlled by The Guild, a sinister ruling body that sees everything.  

Dec Hampton has lived there his entire life, but ever since his parents died, he's been done with it. He knows he has to leave before anyone has a chance to stop him.  

His best friend, Russ, won't be surprised when Dec leaves - but he will be heartbroken. Russ is a good medium, maybe even a great one. He's made sacrifices for his gift and will do whatever he can to gain entry to The Guild, even embracing dark forces and contacting the most elusive ghost in town.  

But when the train of Annie Krylova, the piano prodigy whose music has been Dec's main source of solace, breaks down outside of town, it sets off an unexpected chain of events. And in St. Hilaire, there are no such things as coincidences.

©2020 Helene Dunbar (P)2020 Recorded Books

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An enjoyable book from outside my usual genre

Supernatural YA books are not my everyday thing, but I took a chance on this book after a friend recommended it. All in all I enjoyed it. I return a LOT of audiobooks, and I was never tempted to send this one back. I found the protagonist characters compelling and reasonably complex in that they could make ethically ambiguous decisions without undermining my interest in rooting for them to succeed.

Buying into the supernatural universe that is" just like our except for this one weird ability that some people have" was a bit of a leap for me, but it didn't have me rolling my eyes. I could accept it. Part of my brain was asking all sorts of reasonable and practical questions about how this all works, but I could tell it to shut up so I could just enjoy the story.

What could have been improved? I think there was a missed opportunity to flesh out a truly villainous force that the heroes could have been standing in opposition to. The dark side was hinted at, but it never felt truly menacing. In the end the heroes were fighting their own internal battles more than they were fighting against an external enemy. And I get it that that's a thing, and a valid thing, I just don't think it worked as well in this type of book as a truly frightening external villain would have.

Performances were solid with one exception. Accents (particularly a certain Russian accent) seemed to come and go and be emphasized more at some times than others. It seems that one character's internal dialogue was all in standard American English, but her external speaking voice had a slight accent. Which struck me as a weird choice and was hard to get used to. That particular reader/performer was quite good with the exception of the accent. The other two readers were also very good.

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worth 12hrs of listening

I absolutely love the concept of the book. It left me thinking that there would be a second book. I sure do hope so because some of the characters stories are not finished in my imagination. If you like books about the possibility of the great beyond this book is for you.