Trigger Warning: The subject of today’s review, Implicit: Soul Invictus by Mark Tiro, contains detailed scenes of violence and sex. If you are triggered by such depictions or wish to otherwise avoid such subjects, proceed with caution.
As I promised a couple days ago, today I am reviewing Implicit: Soul Invictus by Mark Tiro. I found that I enjoyed this book very much, but I must warn readers that this book is not the ordinary fantasy/science fiction novel. It is very cerebral and requires a fair level of concentration to follow, so it’s not exactly a light read. Of course, I wouldn’t expect a fantasy book about reincarnation to be easy—if it were, I would probably be a bit disappointed.
Some souls travel together out love, others out of animosity, but always by the choice of the universe to convey crucial spiritual lessons. At least, that’s what Implicit: Soul Invictus would have you think.
Maya is a well-accomplished and respected law school teacher; before becoming a teacher, she was just as successful as in criminal law. That all comes crushing down when, one day, a student of high influence blackmails her: raise his grade or he’ll ruin her career. Being the honorable and stubborn woman that she is, Maya refuses, and her student proves good to his word. Her desperate attempt at revenge against him puts her in the wrong place at the wrong time, and that’s when her spirit’s journey truly begins.
In Implicit: Soul Invictus, the first book in The Spirit Invictus series, Mark Tiro takes readers on an adventure through Maya’s lives—past, present, and future—as her soul is taught the importance of love and forgiveness. Tiro guides readers through Ancient Rome, World War II Japan, into a future of political turmoil and a level of connection to the “network” that we can only dream of right now, and that’s just the beginning. But will Maya’s soul adapt the lessons the universe is teaching her? Or will she fail once more as she given a second chance?
I found genuine contentment and entertainment, as well as intellectual stimulation, while reading Tiro’s work. Tiro writes with such a passion that I repeatedly formed a connection with Maya’s soul, no matter what physical form it took, be it a Roman orator, an emotionally-struggling cyber-nerd thrown into a rebellion, or a stubborn ex-law professor hell-bent on justice. I could tell from the patterns in Maya’s lives what sort of things would happen in each life; this coupled with my emotional attachment to her soul and its well-being, no matter how egotistical or naïve she got, made for a very tense read for me. I dreaded any ill-fortune to befall her but I couldn’t put the book down, either. I had to know how each life turns out and, in the end, how her soul utilizes the lessons it has learned.
I was most intrigued by how, despite the very different circumstances each life presents, Tiro maintains Maya’s personality throughout each form she takes. The stubbornness, the arrogance, the slight naivety, and, of course, her kindness and capacity for love always show, and yet each incarnation has its own unique voice. I’m not sure how Tiro pulls it off, but he does.
Unfortunately, with all this passion comes proofreading errors. They aren’t anything extraordinary, only misplaced or missing commas, misspelled names, etc. Such mistakes are common in small-press and indie books but I was still a bit disappointed that I came across them as the writing is, overall, excellent. A little further proofreading/editing should fix these mistakes with no problem.
The book is divided into sections based on the life which Maya is living—or re-living—as well as a few chapters on what can be called the “in-between” stages, when Maya has died but has not yet been reborn or fully moved on to the afterlife. The transitions only jarred me once or twice, usually moving relatively smoothly from one life/death to the next with only a couple exceptions. Still, I can see how other readers might have a harder time with it. Thankfully, the division of the sections is done in a way in which Tiro makes it clear that the story has turned to another life, mainly by providing the name which Maya’s soul has during that time.
Tiro is also kind enough to provide a forward to the novel and a letter from the author at the end to aid the readers’ understanding of his work. For some, these notes won’t be necessary, especially if you read the summary on Amazon (or even the summary I provided above). Nevertheless, I found Tiro’s notes to be helpful in keeping me grounded in the story and also answered some historical questions I had by the time I finished reading the novel.
Overall, I recommend this book to fantasy lovers with a spiritual side and a basic understanding of reincarnation. Tiro packs each section/life, mini-stories into themselves, with emotion, action, and intrigue. The general themes of forgiveness, love, and learning from our mistakes are ones we can all adapt into our own lives, and I’m sure that the idea of the soul transcending lifetimes and a non-linear nature to existence will appeal to many of my readers. Don’t take this book on lightly. It’s long and requires your full attention to understand, but I doubt that will hinder any of you.
The Kindle copy of Implicit: Soul Invictus is currently for sale on Amazon for $2.99. You can also get an exclusive glimpse at All These Things: Maya Invictus, the second book in The Spirit Invictus series, at the end of the Kindle e-book. To learn more about the author, you can visit his website or check him out on Facebook.