A thriller novel with science fiction elements for young adult readers. Ideal age would be fourteen and up, thanks to some mild adult themes and violence. But it's good enough to be enjoyed by older readers as well.
It runs for two hundred and ninety two pages and is divided into fifty two chapters.
It's the story of Alice, a present day London teenager. Whose reality tv star sister was murdered. But who somehow lives on. In Soul Beach. A virtual reality paradise for the dead. Alice, who narrates the whole story in first person present tense, is trying both to solve some mysteries about Soul Beach. And find who killed her sister.
This does continue right on from the end of the first book Soul Beach (Soul Beach Trilogy), and whilst there is some exposition new readers would be much better off starting with that one.
Those who have read it, read on.
As with the first book, there are occasional pages between chapters which are narrated by the killer. Who remains unrevealed. When something they hint at in the first page of this volume comes to pass, more mysteries await Alice. And the mystery of her sister's death gets deeper.
Trying to juggle life between everyday living, her parents, visiting soul beach and looking into the murder leaves her with a lot going on. A mysterious website and some new acquaintances only add to things. As does a trip to Barcelona.
But all this time, a killer is watching...
The chapters are all very short. This coupled with some good and clear prose means the pages do turn rapidly. This volume doesn't have too many scenes that take place at Soul Beach, but it does manage some decent character development for those who are there.
There are times when it may not seem as if much as is happening, but that feels fairly realistic as answers are never coming easily. The way the characters deal with their feelings over the death of Alice's sister is very believable and very well written.
A lot of the story does take place in Barcelona, when the characters go there. The writer clearly knows the place well and it i vividly and convincingly described.
You won't be too much further along with finding answers by the end, but you will be left on tenterhooks. Because the book manages to reveal just enough to keep you tantalise, and leave you with as many suspicions as Alice has.
A very strong second volume in a very good series. If you liked the first book this will not disappoint. The final volume Soul Storm (Soul Beach) is available now. A preview of the first few chapters from that can be found at the end of this.