When you publish a book that is over 600 pages long (0.6 kilograms!) you can’t expect your audience to read it overnight, let alone write a review. So it did not surprise me that it took awhile for feedback from readers to come in. What has surprised me — thrilled, buoyed and even relieved me too — is how positive the early reviews have been. I know that somewhere out there must be readers who were not as enthralled and perhaps are just too polite to tell me, but so far Burning Souls is averaging 5 stars out of 5 at Amazon and Goodreads.
Here is a compilation of reviews to date. If you have read Burning Souls, I welcome your feedback. This can be by private email or a posted review. As a new fiction writer, I really do welcome your critiques. I’ll be recording the audio book this fall, and then diving into writing the sequel (Spoiler alert: Not Everybody Dies!) So do let me know what worked well for you, and what worked less well. I want to keep growing as a writer.
Reviews posted on Amazon and Goodreads
From Nancy in Ottawa, Canada
So close to the truth it can can be sad in some ways. However, I couldn’t put it down! …Really enjoyed the book launch and his motivation in writing this book. Loved hearing how he stays positive through everything. “Enjoy what you savour that exists now” Looking forward to the sequel!
From Sue Lawton in Sydney, Australia
It is a very good read although a sobering subject. I congratulate you on an amazing effort. I think you have been very clever to interweave so many of our big issues into your story. Australia as you know is behind in accepting the reality of so much scientific evidence.
From Frank Johnson in Ottawa, Canada
In this page-turner novel Chernushenko has joined the dots between the many calamities of modern life: pollution; famine; drought; extreme weather; melting permafrost; the hubris of capitalism; the lack of political vision and foresight, to extrapolate to a devastating conclusion within a few short years. This book issues a challenge to every reader: will you have the courage of Simone to take the fight against insidious evil to its logical conclusion? Burning Souls is a great book.
From Marisa Slaven in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Eco-fiction that reflects our reality and a very possible future for our planet. Thoroughly enjoyed this book – character driven action keeps the plot fast paced and suspenseful. Highly recommend!
From Larry Dobson in Ottawa, Canada
This book’s gripping story follows four friends from where they first meet in Cambridge, England to their life experiences later in their respective homelands. Fast-paced, it offers keen insights into human behaviour in the face of rapidly advancing climate breakdown, increasing societal surveillance, and political indecision and discord. The story presents a view of what it means to be facing these changes as individuals in contrast to a narrative usually presented from a scientific and descriptive perspective. I highly recommend the book.
From Anne Mowat in Nelson BC, Canada
About a third of the way through this novel, I realized that I was always thinking about it… the characters are passionate, inventive seekers trying to navigate a world that’s falling apart around them. They are fundamentally good, at times heroic. This compelling narrative weaves together many strands of thought about our global climate crisis, and paints a believable (and grim) picture of the near future. Yet there is hope, as embodied in the main characters, who represent a kind of idealized global community of shared values. We hope because of their choices, as individuals, and collectively. It is rare to find a book that offers depth, insight, believable characters, and still gives you a good page-turner of a story. Highly recommend.
From Kelly Thompson in Nairobi, Kenya
Burning Souls by David Chernushenko is a well crafted and exhaustively researched novel that is an intimidating reality check for all of us. There is no room here for climate deniers or people who dismiss populism or zenophobia as passing trends. Our world is about to change forever and it is a question of how prepared we are and to what extent we are able to contain the damage to our planet and the increasing violence that accompanies scarcity. The novel echos the infrastructure decay described in Weisman’s The World Without Us and the need for survival skills in the brutal world of Atwood’s The Year of the Flood. But this novel is not about some dystopian future – the action is unrolling in real time in our current political context as four “burning souls” travel the globe from North America to Europe to Asia over the next 5 years. If it seems impossible for the world as we know it to collapse in so little time, think of what has happened to US politics in the past two. Regrettably, the demise of ethical journalism is happening now, epic floods and drought are announced weekly, and those decaying nuclear plants are just next door. This novel has forever changed how I view the future. It is essential reading for all who want to be prepared for the brave new world that awaits us in the all-to-imminent future. Will we burn with the same passion for justice, compassion and hope?
From David Rhynas in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel! Compelling characters and their stories against the backdrop of environmental and social justice themes that are so relevant and important. Couldn’t put the book down for the last half.