Friday, August 14, 2015

Scott A. Lerner - The Fraternity of the Soul Eater - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

It’s been a while since Samuel Roberts was called upon to save mankind, and he’s getting restless. His girlfriend Susan thinks he’s a danger junkie, and he’s worried he has a hero complex. He’s back to his usual small-town lawyerly duties in Champaign-Urbana, handling divorces and helping people beat DUI raps. But then a young fraternity pledge calls. During an initiation ceremony he witnessed the live sacrifice of a young woman, but he had so much alcohol in his system that no one believes him. Except Sam. Lately Egyptian lore has been creeping into his life, his dreams, and his movie preferences, and he’s pretty sure he knows why. Evil is knocking on his door again.

Is the call welcome? Why can’t Sam be satisfied with his comfortable legal practice and gorgeous redheaded girlfriend? Maybe it’s because he knows that, as inadequate as he may feel to the task, he and his friend Bob may be humanity’s only hope against ancient supernatural forces combined with modern genetic engineering. Come hell or high water. Or in this case, the underworld or subterranean pyramids.

The Fraternity of the Soul Eater is the third book in the Samuel Roberts Thriller series, which began with Cocaine Zombies and continued with Ruler of Demons.

My Review

Sam Roberts is suffering from a case of post traumatic stress disorder.

But he didn't fight in a war zone.

He didn't survive a natural disaster.

He battled the supernatural—and won.

But for him, the battle is far from over.

With multiple encounters under his belt, Sam truly feels that he's one of the only people on earth aware of the evil forces lurking at the periphery of everyday life. That knowledge has left him tired and severely depressed, and he doesn't know what to do about it. He doesn't want to see a doctor and just pop a pill in order to make himself feel better because he knows it won't do any good.

"I was depressed because I realized the world was filled with evil and indifference toward suffering. I was depressed because I knew that the forces of darkness would rise again. The problem is not that I fail to perceive the world as it is. The problem is that I see the world exactly as it is. So the question was not why I was depressed, but why wasn't everyone else?"

He feels alone in his struggle, and utterly conflicted. He's not sure if he has the strength to defeat these negative entities if they attack him again, and yet he finds returning to ordinary life impossible now that he knows what it's like living so close to the edge. Sitting behind a desk and working as a small time attorney just isn't going to cut it for him anymore.

Now in his late thirties, he's going through a type of midlife crisis. He feels old, even though he's still relatively young. He's falling out of love with his girlfriend, and nothing seems fresh and exciting to him anymore. Life has lost its flavor for him without the exhilaration of fighting the unknown. He's giving up on making the most of things, allowing himself to drown in a sea of self-pity and despair.

"It is a true eye-opener when you first realize you can't be whatever or whoever you want to be. The worst part of adulthood is the shocking discovery that love can be as tiring and stale as any other emotion, given enough time."

Sam no longer enjoys much of anything, and he turns inward, saying:

"I understood even then that I did not play well with others." 

He lets his relationship with his girlfriend fall to wayside, and starts obsessively chasing after anything that has to do with the paranormal. His personality changes as he goes from a self-confessed introvert to a danger junkie, recklessly seeking out danger.

His risk-taking even has a suicidal bent.

"I didn't have the guts to kill myself any other way, so why not let someone else do the job?"

He indulges in some pretty self destructive behavior, contemplating cheating on his girlfriend with a much younger girl, and taking on a client who claims he witnessed a ritual sacrifice during a fraternity hazing event. In fact, Sam inadvertently starts reverting back to his college days, spending a lot of time on campus, interacting more with the students than with the adults.

He throws himself headlong into the thick of the hazing investigation, actively seeking the adrenaline rush he only feels when he's involved with the occult. It quickly becomes an obsession that starts to ruin his life. He takes on the frat case without even the guarantee of receiving a two thousand dollar retainer. His girlfriend demands that he leave his fixation behind or else he's going to lose her. And it's sad because he's actually leaning toward choosing the supernatural over her.

His best friend, Bob, even tells him when they start working the case together:

"You like it. You are addicted to this. You are happier than you have been in months."

But it's a false high that's corrupting his soul. Sam doesn't care what he has to do to stay alive, even if it means killing other people in the process. He was never a cold-blooded killer before, and now he is.

Are these dark tendencies a part of Sam's essential nature? Lying dormant under the surface, waiting to be exposed?

Regardless, Sam doesn't feel worthy of life's blessings, not anymore.

"This destiny did not include being with the woman I loved, but something darker. Perhaps happiness was too great a gift to expect. I had killed people. Perhaps happiness was more than I deserved."

As Sam continues to sink even deeper into depravity, it'll be interesting to see just how far Scott A. Lerner takes him in the next installment of the series.


The Fraternity of the Soul Eater can be purchased at:
Barnes and Noble

Formats/Prices: $4.99 ebook, $13.95 paperback
Genre: Paranormal, Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 218
Release: June 1, 2015
Publisher: Camel Press
ISBN: 9781603812894
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

About the Author

Author and attorney Scott A. Lerner resides in Champaign, Illinois. He obtained his undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and went on to obtain his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign. He is currently a sole practitioner in Champaign, Illinois. The majority of his law practice focuses on the fields of criminal law and family law. Lerner’s first novel and the first Samuel Roberts Thriller, Cocaine Zombies, won a bronze medal in the mystery/cozy/noir category of the 2013 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Awards. The second book in the series is Ruler of Demons. The Fraternity of the Soul Eater is book 3. Book 4, The Wiccan Witch of the Midwest, will be released on Halloween, 2015.

Links to connect with Scott:
Web Site
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

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