Reviewed by Kristi King-Morgan
ABOUT THE BOOK: Killing children is an ugly business, but the alternative is so much uglier. Abner Slate just watched his five-year-old daughter, Olive, kill his wife and son. Olive is a sopath. Born without souls, sopaths are children who will lie, cheat, rape, and murder to get what they want. There's one in every family these days, destroying America's heartland from within. After murdering his daughter in self-defense, Abner is taken in by a secret network of sopath victims called Pariah. Through Pariah, he meets other sopath victims who band together to form a temporary nuclear family. But the sopath threat is getting worse, and soon their quaint little neighborhood is overrun by murderous, drug-running children. Now, on a mission for Pariah, Abner and his makeshift family must travel across the country to a mysterious town that contains a secret powerful enough to stop the sopath crisis. Instead, they find the most seductive and ruthless sopath of all. Her name is Autopsy, and she would like to add Abner to her slave collection. The old morality is dead. Now the sopaths will stalk the earth.
MY REVIEW: 5 stars. The cover claims that this book is “the most controversial work by NY Times Bestseller Piers Anthony”. It’s controversial, for sure! I’ve read the other reviews online, and this book is getting negative reviews because of the content/subject matter. Sure, there’s no way to “like” such a horrible subject matter, but anyone who can’t handle unpleasant things doesn’t need to be reading material that upsets them. The reviews I’ve seen that have been the harshest appear to reflect the reviewers’ disgust at the subject matter rather than the author’s writing of it. That’s a huge distinction that I wanted to point out.
Sopaths gives the shock and disgust value deserving of the topic, and exposes human nature at its worst. Piers Anthony did a marvelous job portraying the depravities that some people are capable of, and he does it in a fictional/horror/fantasy way that does credit to the topic, while at the same time showing his writing style and character that true fans have come to know and love. Piers Anthony is one of the rare authors who isn’t afraid to stray outside of the publishing “box” that critics have a tendency to put authors in. He isn’t afraid to write something that pushes boundaries. This book definitely does that. This is the kind of thing I love to read. The world doesn’t need another cut-and-paste fiction story that is just like all the others out there. We need more authors who aren’t afraid to thumb their noses and write something that defies the arbitrary rules. Rock on, P.A.!
ABOUT THE COVER: I can’t fail to mention the absolutely beautiful artwork on this cover. Tattoo artist Dan Henk truly has a gift. I hope to see more of his work in the future.