Westlake Soul

A soul-shattering novel by Rio Youers

5/5 Star Review

“Then I soared toward the sun, breaking through the exosphere into outer space, until – ninety-three million miles from home- I arrived at my destination. I threw my arms open and let it burn me. Ten thousand Fahrenheit. The world’s light. The world’s love. But still it couldn’t make up for what I had lost.”

This book… This wonderful, heart-wrenching, thought-provoking book. It has been years since a novel has had this kind of impact on my life. It will make you rethink what you thought you knew about life and death and the things, the feelings, that truly matter.

I’m not going to use this space to recap the premise, I couldn’t do it justice. Even if you’ve read the synopsis on the back of the book, it would not prepare you for the story of Westlake Soul – and it is a beautiful story. Written with words, but told in colors, emotions, touch, and landscapes.

Rio Youers is well-known in the horror community, but this little book defies genre. Relatively short, at 243 pages, it hits hard and leaves you broken. That being said, it also leaves you with the hope you need to “rebuild” yourself into someone stronger, someone who appreciates more, someone who lives life, someone who changes lives.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime book that you need to read. I can’t recommend it enough, and I will never stop recommending it.

Westlake Soul was published in 2012 by ChiZine Publications and is, unfortunately, out of print. Due to the recent resurgence of this book, second-hand copies have become extremely expensive. I was lucky enough to find a copy in my local library system and you can bet I will be hunting for a copy out in the wild!

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