Lost Souls: A novella for CAINSVILLE completists

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Lost Souls by Kelley Armstrong fantasy book reviewsLost Souls by Kelley ArmstrongLost Souls by Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong’s Lost Souls is that quintessential three-star book. There’s nothing wrong with it, but at the same time, it didn’t blow me away.

It’s a CAINSVILLE novella that falls between book three, Deceptions, and book four, Betrayals. If you haven’t gotten that far, you’re in for a slew of spoilers, so I would recommend waiting and reading it in sequence. At the end of Deceptions, Gabriel said something cruel to Liv, and now their friendship is on shaky ground.

That’s when Gabriel encounters a new, weird case. In an echo of an old urban legend, a spectral woman in white hitches a ride with a businessman. He imagines seducing her, she leads him astray in the woods, and when he is thoroughly lost (both literally and morally), she imparts a cryptic warning and disappears.

Gabriel knows Liv likes weird cases, so he hopes working on this one with her will help mend their friendship and working relationship. That’s the real story here: Gabriel and his desire to reconcile with Liv — and the stubbornness and pride that keep him putting his foot back in his mouth. We learn more about his past, too, and how it influenced the way he is today. One might say he’s feeling a little lost, himself…

Lost Souls is worth reading for CAINSVILLE completists. I wouldn’t recommend reading it out of order, and it will likely be confusing if you haven’t read any of the series at all. Read it in sequence and it’s a nice interlude between books.

Published in December 2016. The disappearing hitchhiker is one of the hoariest urban legends, and no one knows that better than Gabriel Walsh, a lawyer who grew up on folklore and myth. When Patrick—author of books on the supernatural—brings him the case of a hitchhiking woman in white who vanished on a country road after accepting a ride from a businessman, Gabriel knows the Cainsville elder is just trying to wheedle into his good graces. But Gabriel is a man in need of a mystery, one that will get him back into someone else’s good graces. His investigator, Olivia Taylor-Jones, has blown town supposedly on a simple vacation. But when she left there was a rift between them and…he misses her. Gabriel is well aware the only thing Olivia loves more than a good mystery is a weird one, and this hitchhiker case more than fits the bill. As Gabriel digs into the case, though, he’s forced to face ghosts of his own and admit that the woman in white isn’t the only one who has lost her way. With Lost Souls, New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong weaves an unmissable novella-length tale connected to her fan-favorite Cainsville series.

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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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