Hey all! Here is the review that I wrote for Soul Crystals ARC of the Amuli. I included a summery for this post, however this will not be in my Reedsy Discovery review since they provide a summery above it. Go check it out through the link provided below. Now let’s get on with the review!
Paul Engel is a bright yet socially awkward young man. He isn’t physically strong, nor can he talk his way out of a bad situation. He hides behind comic books and video games. No one would look at him and think he’d be a superhuman, or Amulus. That all changed when he received an odd package containing a crystal-embedded Katana, which awakened his dormant powers. After that, a strange girl breaks into his home and takes him from his normal life and pushes him into the fast paced, danger ridden life of an Amulus. He joins A.R.C., an organization whose goal is to ensure the safety of both humans and Amuli alike while also keeping their activities a secret from the public. Their main objective: take down A.I.M., an organization known for experimenting on Amuli. Although A.R.C. seems to value its Amuli operatives’ safety and wellbeing, are they really as good as they make themselves out to be?
If you are like me and love anything X-Men, then this is the book for you. Matter of fact, there are many references to other superhero comics throughout the story. This book can also be compared to Divergent and Darkest Minds. If you like these books, then you’ll like this one. Latrobe Bernitz takes well known tropes such as how society would treat superhumans if they existed and creates something new. The characters are relatable and fleshed out very well. The story has a good flow and I enjoyed every moment of reading it.
I liked the fact that there is no clear good side or bad side. A.R.C. and A.I.M. both seem to have hidden agendas behind housing and employing Amuli. People seem to choose which one is the lesser of two evils. You feel for the people – many of them are young adults and even children- who must choose which organization they can morally align themselves with. You can feel the anxiety and unease as Paul goes through his trainings and missions with A.R.C. and realizes why many Amuli chose to go rogue.
My favorite character in this book was Alice. She is a powerful psychic Amulus with a robotic personality. She only knows to do as she’s told and most references to well-known books, music, and shows go right over her head. As the story progresses, we find out more about why she is the way she is, and we also see her break out of her shell. Although she is very robotic in her nature, her relationship with Paul is very unique. It seems like the more they spend time together, the more they break each other out of their shells. Her character progression is well done, and one of my favorites in this book. I was rooting for her and Paul throughout my time reading this book. Latrobe Barnitz clearly has a knack for character development.
Latrobe Barnitz is an excellent storyteller, and he has done an amazing job writing this book. I highly recommend this book to young adults and adults alike.
Here’s the link to the Reedsy Discovery review : https://reedsy.com/discovery/book/soul-crystals-arc-of-the-amuli-latrobe-barnitz#review
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