The Sopaths by Piers Anthony, narrated by A.T. Chandler

The Sopaths - Audible Studios, A. Bertram Chandler, Piers Anthony

The Sopaths got my attention when I noted it on a list of books featuring evil children. What horror lover can pass up a story with evil children? Not this one! At some points, though? I wish I had.

 

The premise here is that the population has grown so much, there are no longer any souls left to go into newborns. Therefore, said newborns enter the world without any souls at all. The name Sopath is invented to describe these soul-less sociopaths. And let there be no doubt about it, these are truly evil children. It's a great premise, even though there are some tank-sized holes in it. Unfortunately, this book didn't live up to its potential. Instead, it got...weird.

 

Almost every other review of this book goes into how uncomfortable this read made the reviewers feel-mostly because of the heightened sexuality of the children. Sopaths often used sex to achieve their goals, even if some of them were only 5 or 6 years old. (Please be aware that no outright pedophilia takes place-however everything else but DOES, including graphic sexual discussions with children.) This was most certainly disgusting and gave me the heebie-jeebies, but it wasn't the main reason I didn't care for this book.

 

THAT was because the story just wasn't engaging. I might as well have been a sociopath for the lack of feeling that I had for any character in this book. I continued listening because it was kind of like a train wreck-I was disgusted but couldn't look away. The whole time I just kept thinking about how great a story this could have been.

 

The Sopaths would have been, could have been...great. Instead it exploded into a burst of exciting flames and then...slowly fizzled out. Even a seasoned lover of horror and evil children will most likely be skeeved out by this tale, due to its lean towards pedophilia, but on top of that-the story just wasn't good.

 

Unfortunately, I can't recommend it to anyone.