The Soul Continuum
The Soul Archives, Book #2
By Simon West-Bulford
Author’s website: http://simonwb.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Scott
I’ll have to admit that reading a sequel to another book in a series, without losing a beat and being able to follow the plot, is a rare treat. Soul Continuum sparkles like a gem in this regard having a learning curve that eases the reader into the evolving story. Shall I say four separate stories leading to a final climatic ending with the very fabric of space and time hanging in the balance?
Salem is the last human alive. Immortal, because of advanced sciences, he spends his lonely existence plying the Soul Consortium, the Collective archives of all human memories. Over the course of the novel, Salem must deal with his own existence, and live three separate entities lives: the life of a freak experiment, that left him with infinite knowledge, yet constantly metamorphosing into a creature that could no longer reason; a the life of a twentieth century scientist whose colleagues are dying around him, as he unravels a secret that costs him his life; and a sentient android, the first of its kind that have been cut off from the Collective A.I. and must raise a child whilst overcoming her irrational hatred of humans.
After a freak interruption in one of his routine lives, Salem develops an encrypted algorithm block in his mind. Decoding it lies in the three other lives he must go through. Placed there by an enigmatic woman (who I assume was introduced, in The Soul Consortium, the first book in the series) it leaves a breadcrumb trail through which each of the three lives he must inhabit are played out. It is through these lives that Salem discovers the true nature of his part to play into an oncoming invasion of unexplainable forces from a tear in the very core of the galaxy. In addition to his mission to save the universe, I personally found more about a mysterious figure who handles a strange stone with physically impossible properties intriguing.
Skillfully written, with a nod to Robert Heinlein, and Phillip K. Dick thrown in for good measure, The Soul Continuum is a solid, thought-provoking, science fiction novel. The book does what science fiction does best: explore the human condition. The questions of immortality, science we don’t fully comprehend, the dangers and restructuring after war, the colonization of other worlds – all of these questions are invoked in the readers mind and thought provokingly placed. The pace is slow, granted, but there is a lot of bang for your buck if you savor every word.
For lovers of thought proving, intellectually stimulating novels – even if they are science fiction – The Soul Continuum won’t disappoint you. I can also see fans of the Matrix movie trilogy, or movies based off of Phillip K. Dick, such as Scanners, Total Recall, and Blade Runner enjoying it immensely. It’s a powerful and mindful read that everyone should give a try.