Saturday, 9 January 2016

Soul Dancer by Lilliana Rose

Title: Soul Dancer
Author: Lilliana Rose
From: Netgalley
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia
Release Date: 17th September 2015
Challenges: Winter COYER 2015-2016, 2015 Netgalley Challenge, 2015 New Release Challenge
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Zarifah is a Soul Dancer, a disciple of Her who is enslaved by the Emotionless to harvest emotions to feed them. But Zarifah doesn't want to be a slave forever, and is determined to release Her back into the world and free the Earth from destruction. But there are things standing in her way, the Enforcers who police the land and even the Collector for her House, Nigel.

I had a hard time writing the brief synopsis for this book, but I think I summed up the main "issue" that I had with the book in it...it was so confusing. I spent most of the book trying to work out what was actually happening, even though there was only a small cast of characters to contend with, and I thought it kind of detracted from the book.

There was certainly an interesting concept behind the book, and the world building was actually quite strong, from the rubble on the surface of the Earth, to the way the world ended because of genetic modifications. It made for an interesting read. It wasn't until it got to the way that slavery worked and how the Houses were set up that I started getting confused.

The other thing that bothered me was the love story. Zarifah had a clear interest in a fellow dancer, Torin, and he in turn was interested in her. They weren't supposed to be intimate but they did (though not explicit there is a lot of implied sexual activity in Soul Dancer, particularly Zarifah using her sexuality to get what she wanted). But it just seemed a little cheapened by Zarifah's use of her body.

However I did definitely like Zarifah's transformation as a character. She started as quite a devote follower of her deity, Her, but then she experienced power and became more power hungry. I do think that the author pulled the transformation off well and it redeemed the book in my eyes.

I didn't hate reading Soul Dancer, it was interesting in places, I just found it a little confusing at times.