2-Star · Book Reviews

The Lost Soul by K. S. Marsden – Spoiler Free ARC Review

The Lost SoulTitle: The Lost Soul
Author: K. S. Marsden
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date: August 30, 2015
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: Sent by Author
Pages: 312
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Enchena’s history is written by the victorious. Through war and betrayal, King Hrafn’s reign has spread across the land. The rebellion is stirring again…

In a world where the evil nature of humans has infected the very forests and animals surrounding them, they are crying out for a new hope; a new hero.
Natural enemies must come together, to overcome the curse.

Two innocent people must be brought from another world. One will bring the rebellion the way to succeed; the other will be their destruction


I will be 100% honest with you guys; I DNFed this book at page 173. I tried so hard to like it, but I just didn’t. Every time I went to read this book, it felt like an obligation and I trudged through it so slowly. This is not a long book. In my copy, there were only around 300 readable pages, but I was just taking way too long to get through it. I was actually starting to get bored reading this one. A book about magical lands and unicorns should not make me bored. Rambling aside, let’s break down what about this book just wasn’t for me.

First, the pacing. We are swept into the magical world 20 pages into this book. Normally, that would be great, we’d have some extra time to learn about the world and the characters as they figure it out, but nope. Instead, we’re swept into the world quite abruptly, it really comes out of nowhere, and then the characters are confused, trying to figure the world out, then nothing. They try to go home, that fails, so the MC decided to stay and help and that was where I stopped reading. Almost 200 pages in and the most I know about the world was from a couple pages of exposition and the synopsis (most coming from the synopsis). I honestly don’t remember them discussing why the world is falling apart or why they need a “Lost Soul” or why the Lost Soul can travel between the worlds. If they did, I missed it, but if they reveal it later then I guess I am just missing out.

Second, the characters were so unlikeable. Samatha and Dave are the two MCs for this one and they are basically just cookie cutter tropes. Sam is the shy nerdy girl (she doesn’t do anything nerdy, we’re just told that she is) and Dave is the popular jock. The two are not friends and only “meet” in the beginning of the book when Dave bumps into Sam and knocks her books out of her hands. The two meet ones again before Dave is taken into the magical world and Sam follows for no other reason except that she feels like she needs to save Dave. Now, I’m not condemning her feeling like she needs to help someone who was kidnapped. That’s fine. The problem is that she doesn’t know him and blindly follows him through a magic portal she knows nothing about with no help.

As the story goes on, the two get less likable. Dave turns into a huge jerk out of nowhere and Sam turns into a helpless heroine. In the first quarter of the book, Sam suggests using the passage ways under the city to sneak out. She’s told they can’t because no one has studied the passage ways and they can get lost. Like 40 pages later (I don’t know the actual count) another character suggests using the passage ways under the tunnel, another character produces a map of the tunnels, and they all decide to use them. Sam doesn’t say anything about this being something she suggested before, she just passively goes with it, even though the character that had the map was there when the suggested using the passages before.

We’re also over saturated with side characters. We have some Unicorns and a Mallus (a misshapen, humanoid predator) that are fine and some human side characters, both on the side of the villain and on the side of the rebellion. The mystical animals are fine, except I never knew if the unicorns were talking or thinking. The text went back and forth with no change in the font so it was super confusing. The idea of telepathic unicorns is cool, the idea of talking unicorns is also cool, what’s not cool is not letting me know what kind your unicorns are. Also, the Mallus spoke in a weird third person broken English, which is fine, it reminded me of Igor, except that it’s not consistent. The Mallus went between first and third person in the same sentence which was just distracting and annoying.

By far my least favorite thing about the characters is, like the world, I know NOTHING about them. Almost 200 pages in and I know nothing about these characters. I know that Sam has a stepdad, mom, and new baby brother and that her friends think a popular boy like Dave “can’t possibly like/want to date someone like her” and I know that Dave is a popular boy on a sports team and that’s it. One of them is the Lost Soul which is why they’re both in the magical world. As for the side characters, we don’t know much about them either. Maybe there’s some more development in the last third of the book I didn’t read, but in 170 pages (over half the book), I just wanted to know more.

Final Thoughts

To be fair, this book wasn’t bad. I just wanted a lot more from it and I have so much to pick on because I had such high hopes for this one. The plot sounded so interesting and for a duology, this book was short. I think there are only 600some pages between the two. I wanted an epic story to unfold; a quick read that would suck me in from page one and leave me begging for more. With fantasies, I’m a lot less forgiving when I don’t enjoy them because there were so many ways to engage the reader. I also know, I’m being really hard on this one.

Do I recommend this one? Honestly, no. Hell, I didn’t even finish it. But looking at other reviews, it looks like I’m in the minority. Maybe this one just wasn’t for me, but it will be something that you enjoy. The Lost Soul is just one I wish I never found.


⭐️⭐️ – 2/5 Stars* (DNFed @ Page 173)

*Normally DNFed books are an automatic 1 Star Read, but this one is getting two stars because the potential for a good story is there.

A huge thank you to the author for sending this book to me in exchange for an honest review!

4 thoughts on “The Lost Soul by K. S. Marsden – Spoiler Free ARC Review

  1. Thank you so much for your review and comments, I really appreciate where you find this book frustrating. I’ll take them onboard next time I write an epic fantasy.
    Best Wishes

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Becky,

        I always find honest critiques invaluable!
        The Shadow Rises is free to download pretty much everywhere. If you like it, give me a shout and I’m sure I can sort out free review copies of the rest of the Witch-Hunter trilogy.


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