In this week’s Urban Fantasy review, we are looking at Soul Fraud, by Andrew Givler. Released in 2022 this promises to be the first in a captivating new Urban Fantasy series. I’m such a big fan of this novel, it’s on a list of my must-read urban fantasy books.
Matthew Carver’s life is going nowhere. He’s spending his birthday hiding from his flatmates (one of whom he secretly loves) in an empty cinema, dwelling on the wreckage of his life. A college dropout with no job, no girlfriend and no degree. His life broken on the rocks of tragedy.
So it’s easy to understand why he looks like an easy mark for Dan, a demon who deals in souls. But Matthew still has enough sense not to sell his soul. Unluckily for Matthew, Dan has sales targets to hit. So he forges Matthew’s signature on his demonic contract and now Matthew has officially sold his soul to the devil.
This action kicks off a thrilling plot as Matthew tries to get his soul back and find his way in the demonic world he’s fallen into.
Six Reasons To Read Soul Fraud
Great opening line
“They say ‘The Devil is in the details,’ but I met my first demon at the movies.”
While it’s not really a great reason to buy a book, it’s such a cool opening line that I thought it was worth a mention. If you’re sold on the opening line, then the book will certainly back it up. It immediately gives an idea of the dry wit and unusual take on the supernatural that the book provides.
Fantastic Gods & Monsters
Soul Fraud introduces us to a world where demi-gods walk among us in the form of Nephilim, super-powered immortal individuals who wander the earth. Some are benign, some nefarious, but all are dangerous.
Alongside the Nephilim are the demons, who gave me strong vibes of the demons in Supernatural. Human enough to be understandable, but definitely super-powered, dangerous, and bloodthirsty with no love for humanity. They make great antagonists and give this Urban Fantasy world a cutting edge.
We are also introduced to Minotaurs, ghouls, and the Fae. All of which are unique and fascinating.
An everyday hero with everyday problems
One of the key features of Urban Fantasy is, for me, juxtaposing elements of the fantastical with the gritty everyday world we know and endure. In that regard, Matthew is a great urban fantasy hero.
Even when Matthew is thrown into this world of weirdness, he can’t forget his old regular life. This grounds the character and the novel as a whole, making the story’s fantastical elements more believable and thrilling.
A sharp dry wit
While not a comedy, Soul Fraud is a very funny book. All of the characters are, in their own way, humorous, and Matthew, in particular, has a very sarcastic wit. While many urban fantasy books have a dry wit, I can’t remember any that had as many laugh-out-loud moments as this.
Thrilling action scenes
Givler clearly understands how to write fight and action scenes. Each one is unique and each has its own mini-arc and story. They never get repetitive and, even though you know the protagonist will survive, the action remains engaging at all times.
It fills a Supernatural-shaped hole
Many urban fantasy fans will still be scrambling around looking for something to replace Supernatural in their lives. Soul Fraud comes closer than any ill-conceived spin-off. In fact, I’m confident in saying that this is the book that anyone who still misses Supernatural should read.
As you can probably guess, I’m a big fan of Soul Fraud and can’t wait until the next instalment in the series is here.