SoulPrint – Megan Miranda

“Most souls are free of their pasts. Of their crimes and transgressions, their love and hate. Because a soul has no memory, and that’s a scientific fact. Still, most people agree it’s better not to find out who you once were. And if you do find out, it’s best to keep that knowledge to yourself. Because while the soul has no memory, the world does, and that is usually enough (pg. 7).”

If knowledge of your past life had the power to change or destroy you, would you want to know it? What if that decision was stripped from you at birth? What if you had no choice but to be forever reminded of who you once were? For Alina Chase this is a grim reality. From birth her life is not her own and her soul is denied a fresh start. When her parents try to fight for her privacy they are removed from her life entirely and she is placed into government care. From then on she is kept in a house on an island and raised by staff who are rotated on a regular basis to avoid attachment.

While she is never mistreated or denied an education she is also never allowed to leave the island or develop any real friendships or emotional connections. And every year on her birthday, as the media resurrects her past life, she is haunted by the story of June Calahan, a nineteen year old girl with a gift for manipulation and an eye for finding patterns who “…was once considered a hero before she was the villain (pg. 12).” It has been like this for seventeen years and, for at least seven of those years, Alina’s resentment towards June and her desire for escape has become nothing but toxic. “All the talk in the world , and nothing ever changes. The only thing that ever changes here is me. My anger. My hate (pg. 9).” The very concept of freedom has not only become Alina’s driving force but also her weakness. A weakness she knows can be manipulated by those who seek to extract June’s secrets and use them for their own gain. She has had people try to get to her in the past but this time it will be on her terms. This birthday will be different. This birthday she will be seventeen and free. But can Alina trust those who come to free her? Is she about to swap one prison for another? Will she ever shake June Calahan from her life or will June be an unlikely resource for Alina’s survival?

Soulprint is an engaging read that will have you turning the pages right to the end as you question the power of hope and weigh up the true cost that comes from digging up the past.

First published by The Australia Times

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