The second ebook up for review is something that should have been up last month had I not been silly enough to not check my spam folder. The book I’m talking about is Soulless by M. V. Kasi which I signed up for under TBC Tours.
Often when you are hell bent on revenge, you end up becoming cold hearted and soulless. This is the story of Sia, a proud and bold woman who still suffers from nightmares of an ordeal that she can’t seem to put behind. To her, the only way to move on, would be to avenge the wrongs and finally, let go.
The book kicked off strong with Sia taking a bold decision to become a mother and inform the father of the child, who is in turn soon to be married to another woman. We see her manipulate Ajay into breaking off his previous relationship to be with Sia and take care of the child that is his responsibility. However, this does leave the reader wondering about the motive behind the manipulation and this is what forms the suspense of the plot. I loved Sia’s sorry-but-not-sorry attitude and even through her aggressive behaviour and manipulation, there were times when all I wanted to do was give her a virtual hug.
The language is simple yet elegant with a couple of typos here and there. The characterisation of Sia is the best feature of the book. Far from being a perfectly docile good girl, she’s racous, loud and belligerent. She has quite a few layers to her persona that is slowly and gradually unveiled during the progression of the plot. Ajay is a sweetheart and at times you end up feeling bad for him. The cold and hot temperaments of the protagonists makes for a great read and makes you fall for the whole opposites-attract routine.
Kasi’s writing about child abuse is subtle yet loud. It makes you cringe but in a good way where it banks on realisation and awareness as compared to simply a click-bait topic to keep the story intriguing.
All in all, 4.5 stars to this stunner and I can’t wait to read the sequel.
I also had the chance to interview her and I can’t thank her enough for sparing her valuable time to answer every question with such detail! Read on to find out more:
- The inspiration behind the book.
I don’t really remember the inspiration behind Soulless. I just sat down to start a new book after I had completed That Same Old Love. Initially, it was to be a spin off for the A Match Made In Hell series. But once I had sketched Sia’s character for the same, I had to stop. I kept thinking about her for a very long time. I knew I couldn’t continue in the same vein as my first book. I couldn’t write Sia’s story as a Romantic-Comedy. It took me nearly 6 months to get inside her head and understand her. And once I did, I knew I had to give her a killer story along with an equally awesome complex hero who would complement her. It pushed me out of my comfort zone because I hadn’t actually met someone like Sia in my real life. Everything I learnt about her was through research. There was point when I became a little too obsessed with her character.
So ultimately, I can say that my inspiration to complete the book was my lead character, Sia.
- What comes first; characters, plot or the ending?
For me, it’s always the characters. Or rather a particular lead character. For example in my first story I knew I was going to choose a female lead who was a bully. And for my second book, I chose an addict as my female lead. And for my third book, my female lead was a workaholic. When I have a clear picture of them as a person, and what their characteristics are, I begin to spin their story. I add the details of their background, their trials, how they became what they are, and ultimately how did they redeem themselves (if at all) at the end of the story. And because I am a sucker for a happily-ever-after, the endings are always the same for all my stories.
- Advice to new authors or budding writers?
To all my fellow new authors—write what you want to write. And when you finish writing it, question everything you just wrote.
There are times when we tend to fall for what is currently trending or what we think people want to read. But when you write what you actually want to, and about the topics you are personally interested in, it shows in your writing. It might not appeal to the masses, but expect to get a few fan mails, that would let you know how the book was able to connect with those readers and how the story and characters felt real to them. They would thank you genuinely. And all those hours spent on writing, editing and sacrificing personal time would be well worth it.
- Is this the forte genre of the author or can we expect stories from different categories in the future?
For now, I’m sticking to contemporary romances set in India. I have a few more compelling characters that are waiting for me to write their story. But yes, definitely expect me to write stories of different categories in the future. My personal favorite is Paranormal Romance.
When I began playing with the idea of writing a book (almost seven years ago), I had a paranormal story with heavy doses of Indian mythology in mind. I wrote a part of it and made several notes, but was never able to complete them. After I finish writing my other stories, hopefully I will have enough creativity and imagination to bring that world and the characters to life as well.
- Your inspiration and favourite writers!
My inspiration for my books is varied. I get inspired by real people and situations around me, or sometimes, I also get inspired by fictional characters or an interesting topic that had caught my attention for a long time. I only hope that I never run out of inspiration.
Out of the thousands of books I have read and enjoyed over the years, it wouldn’t be fair on my part to pick a favorite author. But one thing I can say is that lately, I have veered more towards Indie authors. I love how they don’t shy away from writing anything that is a taboo and they don’t have to follow any set guidelines to write a story.
MV Kasi works for a software company. Though the grilling job takes her time all day, at night she plunges into her curiosity to explore human complexities through psychological exploration through writing. Her fascination lies in observing successful people who are considered “weird”. Her extensive reading has led to her writing books with depth in characterization. She doesn’t wince in writing about sexuality or violence – subtly overlaying it with humourous tones. Currently she resides in Hyderabad, India with her husband and son.