Book Review

The Lost Soul Atlas by Zana Fraillon

I remember seeing another blogger (I’m so sorry, I can’t remember who!) tweet about this book a while ago, and there was something about it that I was drawn to and knew I had to pick it up for myself. 

The Lost Soul Atlas follows Twig in his journey in the afterlife. Guided by a raven Krruk, all Twig has to do is follow the path and he will be happy forever without any worries. However, he doesn’t want to forget his life on Earth, they want to remember. Twig wants to remember his Da, and best friend Flea, and the times they had on the streets trying to survive but also having fun. However, the Gods have other plans and what if Twig is better off forgetting his final moments…? 

I really loved all of the characters in this novel, especially Twig and Flea. Their friendship was so lovely to see, even if it did cause some heartbreak at times for me! I liked how driven Twig was, both on Earth and in the afterlife, you couldn’t help but root for him and want the best for him. The same can be said for Flea too. Despite the circumstances that Flea has found themselves in, they just try so hard to be cheerful and see the brighter side of things. Which is a quality that is very difficult to come by. Whilst they don’t have a physical presence in the novel, I really liked the way the Gods were portrayed too. The facades they try to maintain of being both happy and in control, when really they’re just desperate. 

The way the novel would jump between the present in the afterlife and then back to Twig’s memories of the events leading up to the present was really well done. I felt that you spent enough time in both locations for the pacing to feel right and not drawn out. The way the narrative would shift back from memory to the present just as something was about to be revealed or something big was revealed kept me hooked and eager to keep reading as the novel progressed.

I was caught totally off guard by the final chapters too and gasped several times as I kept getting hit with each twist and revelation. Fraillon does an excellent job of keeping you on your toes right until the final page. Whilst it did seem a lot was thrown at you in a short space of time, the ending makes it all worth it and ties it together nicely. 

This novel tells a great story with some wonderful characters that you can’t help but fall in love with within moments of meeting them. I highly recommend this novel to everyone, whilst it is marketed as ‘middle grade’ – adults can also easily enjoy this novel just as much!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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