SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2013 SUNBURST AWARD!
by Rio Youers
“All superheroes get their powers from somewhere. A radioactive spider bite. A science experiment gone awry. I got mine from a surfing accident in Tofino. The ultimate wipeout. I woke up with the most powerful mind on the planet, but a body like a wet paper bag. . . .”
Meet Westlake Soul, a twenty-three-year-old former surfing champion. A loving son and brother. But if you think he’s just a regular dude, think again; Westlake is in a permanent vegetative state. He can’t move, has no response to stimuli, and can only communicate with Hub, the faithful family dog. And like all superheroes, Westlake has an archenemy: Dr. Quietus—a nightmarish embodiment of Death itself. Westlake dreams of a normal life—of surfing and loving again. But time is running out; Dr. Quietus is getting closer, and stronger. Can Westlake use his superbrain to recover . . . to slip his enemy’s cold embrace before it’s too late?
Other CZP books by Rio Youers:
Praise for Rio Youers
“If you haven’t heard of Rio Youers before, you need to go out right now and look up Westlake Soul, purchase it in whatever form you prefer, arm yourself with handkerchief or tissues, and settle down for a story that will shatter you with its beauty, elegance and raw honesty.”
“Rio Youers is one of the most vital, most exciting young talents to come along in this decade. . . . [He] writes beautiful phrases and sentences, and he has an instinctive feel for horror’s flash points, those moments in a novel when its author must demonstrate that he can keep his head while his readers are cheerfully losing theirs.”
“With Westlake Soul, Youers has established himself not only as one of the very best voices in speculative fiction, but as one of the best and most important voices in all fiction. . . . [It] is a masterpiece. It’s the type of novel that will be read and re-read for years, a novel that writers will point to as the book that made them want to write or taught them how. It’s that good. I could continue to pile on the praise, but I don’t think that’ll do this review or the book any justice. Just read it, and you’ll understand.”
“Rio Youers is one of the reasons why I’m incredibly excited about, and optimistic for, the future of horror fiction. If you haven’t read his work before then start right here! Westlake Soul is a novel about the very essence of what it is to be human. Numinous, poignant and achingly emotional, it is both deeply tragic and soaringly life-affirming.”
“Rio Youers’s storytelling is so charming, so affable, so apparently effortless, that you’re still grinning like an idiot when the sheer horror of his imagination leaps up and suckerpunches you in the gut.”
“Rio Youers is as close to a unique voice as you’re likely to find in today’s world of emerging new talent. The term poetic prose springs to mind. In the hands of another author, Westlake Soul might have floundered. It is ambitious, thought-provoking, and by the protagonist’s very nature a difficult story to write. Youers possesses a skill that, despite the adult themes presented, never makes it a chore. There’s a light-hearted approach in the writing style, a kind of cool touch that makes Westlake Soul a powerful and engrossing read. As brilliant as it is sad.”