The Prince of Soul and the Lighthouse

The Prince of Soul and the Lighthouse

Fredrik Brounéus

If you are not alarmed by the orange colour of the book-face, perhaps it is the Crouching-Tiger-Hidden-Dragon font that ought to be questioned. Superficiality aside, this fantasy-epic essentially involves the following storyline: Boy pines over exotic girl. Boy sings to girl. Boy has trouble sleeping and must save the world with, of course, said girl. As you might gather, I personally found the initial setting rather vomit-worthy. What was once intended to be a short horror story according to the Swedish author, Fredrik Brounéus, (naturally, the comical Swedish Nazi-zombie horror Dead Snow comes to mind; however, I digress ...) soon developed into the comic sci-fi that it is today. Perhaps this explains the somewhat-cuddly beginnings that fall short of the tale’s more exciting body.

Aside from the nauseating soap opera that is 18 year old George Larson’s life, the story soon finds its feet when our protagonist friend encounters his undead grandfather and a Tibetan monk. While the young lad questions life, death and how to awkwardly formulate a sentence and pose it to the opposite sex, the wannabe musician, or “Prince of Soul”, is made aware that he was Issac Newton in a previous life. Naturally, he is plagued by his previous intelligence and therefore George and his motley crew head off on a Lord of the Rings-esque quest around the South Island in attempt to save the world from catastrophe.

Despite one’s initial cynical disposition, Brounéus does, however, portray a wonderfully accurate picture of New Zealand adolescence. The author beautifully crafts the trials and tribulations of modern-day teenage angst, religion, and a dash of philosophical thought with contemporary references to YouTube and so forth. Furthermore, the Dunedin resident clearly demonstrates a genuine understanding of the hormone-fuelled 18-year-old voice by way of running dialogue, while introducing a clever use of footnoting as a formatting medium. Indeed, our protagonist friend is both witty and embarrassingly naïve, in an endearing The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole sort of way.

The Prince of Soul and the Lighthouse is sure to get the kids going. Who needs to decide where one’s loyalties lie if you can encompass an entire spectrum of geek-worthy classics? Add a little Frodo Baggins, a big dose of Triwizard-Tournament gallivanting and of course the integral Edward/Bella pash-bonanza, and you are sure to have a fun read. This tale is quirky, lovable and the best sort of escapism for those who wish to hide away from the Dunedin weather.

– Sasha Borissenko
This article first appeared in Issue 3, 2012.
Posted 6:37pm Sunday 11th March 2012 by Sasha Borissenko.