Title: Soul on Fire
Author: Tal Bauer
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 280 Pages
Category: Romantic Suspense
At a Glance: I was totally engrossed in this book from start to finish. I adored both MCs and was rooting for their love story as well as wanting them to save the world! This was an incredible ride, you guys.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: A deadly virus burns through the jungle, leaving nothing but corpses in its wake. Everyone flees from the outbreak—except for the terrorists intent on weaponizing the catastrophe.
Lieutenant Elliot Davis, US Navy SEAL, is sent to rescue CIA officers from their clandestine base in Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and evacuate them out of the country. What they’ve uncovered sends Elliot back to the Congo, trying to prevent an attack that could spark a global pandemic.
Dr. Ikolo Ngondu runs a refugee hospital caught between the advancing rebels intent on slaughtering everyone in their path and Elliot’s mission to find and capture their leader. In the chaos of a surprise attack, Elliot’s target slips away, and the only way to find him is to plunge into the Congo’s dark, dangerous, and fevered forest with Ikolo as his guide.
Together they track a burning shadow through Africa’s broken heart, and Elliot struggles to reconcile the world he finds with the life he’s lived as a black man in the West. He looks to Ikolo for answers and finds a man with a core so bright and fierce he scorches Elliot’s soul.
Even as they race against time, Elliot and Ikolo have no idea what’s been set in motion with their mission: a dark secret lies at the center, one that leaves billions of lives hovering between life and death.
And through it all, a question burns inside Elliot, one that only Ikolo may hold the answer to.
Review: For those of you who don’t know, Tal Bauer challenged himself to write a book, in a month’s time, in a genre entirely voted on by his Facebook reader group. The majority overwhelmingly chose ‘military’ as the category, and on July 1st, Tal got to work! He had no outline, no notes, no characters, no other real prompts of any kind. What could possibly go wrong, right?? Ha! Now, though, after reading the book, I’m embarrassed to admit that I was even a little skeptical about how detailed and polished it would be. But…I mean…it was only a month! Four weeks! Well, I should have known better. He nailed it. Soul on Fire is completely enthralling and heart-stopping. I was riveted from beginning to end, and I think you guys will be, too.
Set mainly in the Congo, in central Africa, the opening of the story takes us from a small village in the forest, to a UN refugee camp hospital, to a Navy submarine off the east coast of Africa. Bauer paints a vivid picture of the ravages of the Ebola virus, the soul-crushing scene at the hospital, the military ops of the SEAL team, and the war-torn DRC. We are introduced to Dr. Ikolo Ngondu, who built and runs the refugee hospital, and to Lieutenant Elliot Davis, leader of the SEAL team that is tasked with evacuating a team of CIA agents who have found themselves stuck in the middle of a rebel push into the area. We also meet the story’s villains, who are setting a plan in motion to destroy their common enemy, the evil West, America in particular. Bauer does a great job of weaving together the different storylines and POVs. There are a lot of different players—especially toward the end, when the plot starts to take on different complexities—and a lot going on, but, again, Bauer masterfully keeps everything synchronized, and perfectly paced.
Admittedly, my knowledge of the people and history of the Congo, the Ebola virus, military operations, etc., is limited. Bauer’s, on the other hand, is obviously not. The research is seemingly impeccable, and the writing is so vivid and richly detailed. I was immersed in the jungle, the camp, and into Elliot and Ikolo’s terrifying race through the forest to catch Majambu. Bauer did an incredible job with both Ikolo’s and Elliot’s backstories. The narrative was so powerful when describing both of their struggles with racism and being seen as less than. As young men, they both struggled with their value and place in the world, albeit from completely different parts of the globe. Now, however, Ikolo is very sure of himself and his path, and that is intoxicating to Elliot. Not to mention the attraction that is waking up needs that Elliot has pushed down and ignored for years. Granted, the romance development was lightning quick, but it worked. 😉 I enjoyed watching the connection grow, and their chemistry was excellent.
As I said, I was totally engrossed in this book from start to finish. I adored both MCs and was rooting for their love story as well as wanting them to save the world! This was an incredible ride, you guys. Tal Bauer continues to slay in the romantic suspense genre. Hats off to to him for delivering such a fabulous and thrilling novel. And, in less than thirty days! Soul on Fire is an excellent addition to his already impressive catalog.
You can buy Soul on Fire here:
[zilla_button url=”http://authl.it/B07VLWSNNM?d” style=”black” size=”large” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Amazon/Kindle Unlimited [/zilla_button]
1 thought on “Review: Soul on Fire by Tal Bauer”
And that’s the thing about Tal’s writing. He doesn’t just put words down on epaper, he throws the reader into the middle of the melee, bringing you face to face with the action. I really love his stories. I wish I could afford buying all his books Le Sigh