Soulmate: A Romance of Dysfunctional Proportions
This review of Soulmate by Author Kerry Wood has been adapted from two previous posts. First is the spoiler free review followed by the spoiler full review and summary.
Thank you so much to author Kerry Wood for providing me with a copy of his book in exchange for this honest review.
Spoiler Free Review
Real question, do you believe in soulmates? That two people are destined for each other regardless of logic or circumstance? Please let me know in the comments below!
Personally, I do not. I know a lot of people like the idea of finding their perfect match. They like that hope. But I’m a pessimist so I see the odds of finding one person out of billions and just throw my hands up. I don’t play the lottery and I don’t search for soulmates.
But I think the idea of soulmates makes for interesting storytelling. The concept itself seems supernatural to me to begin with. That two souls are basically tethered together by some unseen force that we refer to as love. So it works perfectly for a novella with a supernatural twist.
Ken and Amy meet each other at a time and place where it feels like they are two of the only people left on earth. They hit it off and develop feelings for each other. They build a life and relationship together. They experience highs and lows and all of the regular aspects of a romantic relationship.
And then a revelation threatens to tear them apart. You have to read it to find out what it is, and you probably wont see it coming. I can’t even tell you what the supernatural element would be without it being a spoiler so just go with it. Trust me on this one.
Soulmate is short, only about 90 pages. But a lot gets packed into this short book. It also ends right where it should. My pessimist brain can take it to a dark farther conclusion but maybe your optimist believes in true love brain can bring it to a better place. I like the options. I like being able to create a story past the story.
There is no shortage of supernatural romance books on the market today. But this one is more grounded, more mature. Ken and Amy are not 18 anymore, this isn’t there first experience with love and emotions. They don’t get swept away in the same way that hormone driven teens do. And I appreciate that.
It’s always nice to see a new take on an old genre. I highly recommend Soulmate to anyone who’s looking for a supernatural romance they haven’t read a thousand times already.
Soulmate: A Romance of Dysfunctional Proportions Summary
Soulmate is a lovely story about love always finding a way. It brings in some classic romance elements but also has a supernatural bend to it that makes it far more dynamic.
Ken and Amy meet at a relatively abandoned housing complex. He designed it and gets to live there as payment and she just moved in. She’s getting divorced and is looking for her fresh start.
The couple is older than most books portray and I love that. We see so many romance stories about people’s first loves. The young loves. But second, third, etc loves are just as valid. And honestly, experience can make love much healthier.
Ken also lives alone except for his widower father who pops in sporadically. It appears that the father’s mental health has been declining since the death of his wife.
Ken and Amy hit it off and go for a walk through the meadow behind the complex. As they journey Amy’s personality changes a bit, she becomes “squirrelly.”
They meet an old man on his front porch. He asks them odd questions about love and evades answering anything personal about himself. Ken and Amy head home and her personality resumes normality when they re-enter the complex.
They grow close and begin the process of falling in love. Amy then takes ill. Ken takes care of her and never leaves her side. But she refuses to go to a doctor.
The old man back on the porch in the meadow happened to be a neurologist so Ken goes to him for help. The old man refuses to come with Ken and tells Ken that he should also consider never leaving his own home.
The whole book contains this off putting air of creepiness just below the surface. The reader doesn’t know why things are off, just knows that something isn’t right.
Amy does eventually return to good health but she becomes hot and cold about her and Ken’s relationship. She seems to have some issues with intimacy.
Ken is playing the long game so he decides to just be patient with her.
When she finally does admit to him and to herself that she does love him things go quickly south.
Ken starts to get a weird arm pain and also starts hearing voices. He’s obviously alarmed and thinks he’s going mad. But then Ken and Amy both see an apparition.
They run over to the old man’s house for safety and guidance. He offers neither, instead explaining that Ken will die soon.
They return to Ken’s house where more ghosts and Ken’s family are waiting for them. He… dies? Or at least becomes unconscious in Amy’s worried arms.
Ken wakes up in a hospital room. Two years later. He’s been in a coma the whole time. His family has no idea who Amy is. It would appear she was all a coma dream.
This does not stop Ken from experiencing very real grief over her loss. He’s unable to function without her. His sister takes action and drags him to therapy to help him get over his imaginary girlfriend.
There she has a revelation and drags Ken back to the hospital. They go to his old room to find the two adjacent rooms occupied by Amy and the old neurologist, both also in comas.
Turns out Amy caused both her and Ken’s coma in a drunk driving incident. Ken immediately forgives her and demands that he be put back in a coma in order to retrieve her.
He finds her in the dream land and they both wake back up on the normal plane of consciousness. Hopefully this is the beginning of their happy ending but I would imagine they have a lot of work ahead of them.
Not the least of which is that Amy is likely facing criminal charges from her whole nearly killed a man thing but I think Ken has proved that he would wait for her anyway.
I personally do not believe in soulmates. But I do like stories about them. The very idea of a soulmate seems supernatural to me to begin with so it makes perfect sense that a soulmate story would have multiple supernatural elements.
I also always appreciate when a book is the proper length for the story. Soulmate is only about 90 pages long but that’s exactly how long it should be. We get all of the characterization and development we need to have an emotional attachment to the characters without any excess.
I could have used a little more explanation as to what made Amy “squirrelly” or even what that really looked like but that complaint is minimal.
The story is simple but relatable and filled with optimism and hope. It’s nice to read a grounded supernatural story that has more to do with the characters than the magic.
I can definitely recommend Soulmate to anyone looking for a quick read with more world building than pages.
4/5 dreamers 😴😴😴😴
For another great self published novella try Calling Mr Nelson Pugh.
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