Reviewed by Ulysses Dietz
Member of The Paranormal Guild Review Team
I hesitated before taking on Back Door into Purgatory, when I first realized it was the NINTH and culminating volume of a hugely complex paranormal fantasy series called SoulShares. Then I decided to really see if, as someone who knew nothing about the other eight successful books in the series, I could make any sense of the final chapter in the saga.
Amazingly, not only did I come away feeling that I understood the essentials of the lore and magic at the core of this epic story of intertwined worlds; but I also felt I’d gotten a good handle on the seventeen (count ‘em, seventeen!) guys, Fae and human, whose soul-sharing stories were threaded through the first eight books.
Rory Ni Coileain manages to create an explosive finale for her series, while at the same time providing enough background on all the soul-sharers to offer a complete picture of the world she has created. Each of these beloved pairs has a role to play in the ultimate life-or-death scenario that threatens both the human and Fae worlds. She builds the tension as the world-ending calamity looms ever closer, exploring the dynamics within the couples (and one throuple), and among the various characters in the drama. With her heavy use of a Gaelic-derived Fae language, the author reminds us of the distinct cultural divisions between Fae and humans, thus reinforcing the power of the soul-sharers’ bond.
I admit, it took careful reading, but I found myself drawn into the long arc of the story, trying to imagine what I’d missed from bits and pieces salted throughout book nine. I learned to care about all the diverse crew of characters and understand what made each relationship unique. I was surprised at how emotional I got, how invested in the outcome I became.
I would not recommend reading only this book. All I can tell you is that, if Back Door Into Purgatory is any indication, you should start from the beginning of the series and read all nine. It promises to be a uniquely rewarding experience.