Zero, an ancient soul collector, is perceived to have gone insane. Instead of taking corrupt souls and making them do penance he is also taking good souls. Only female soul collectors are permitted to take good souls. Males are forbidden to do so. Laura finds herself prisoner in Zero’s world when he takes her soul from Soma.
Anu can’t shake this profound feeling of loss. When the female soul collector Soma comes to Heaven looking for help in stopping Zero, he is unable to refuse her. Knowing it is crazy for an angel to take on an ancient soul collector, Anu is compelled to help Laura, the woman he can feel, who is trapped in Zero’s hell. What is it about this human that draws him to her? All he knows is that he has to stop Zero whatever the cost.
Zero is a complex tale of good versus evil with grey areas thrown into the equation. Justus Roux takes the reader into an intricate level as the characters and scenery are described. I thought the way each character within the storyline was given an important role within the tale added to the book. This is a good novel that keeps the reader guessing as to what will happen next.
DanielleReviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More
“I feel beauty,” Zero softly said. He closed his eyes and focused on the soul that called for him. Soul after soul called out to be released. He wanted her soul.
“No Zero,” an ethereal female voice called out. “It is forbidden.”
Nothing would stop him as he focused on the one soul…her soul.
“Zero…” the female voice grew louder.
Zero stopped and turned toward the energy he felt coming up from behind him. It was that female again. Why wouldn’t she just leave him alone?
“Release the souls you have captive,” she said in a stern voice.
“You have no authority over me, female.”
“Her soul belongs to me. And my name is Soma, not female.”
Zero said nothing. He turned his back to Soma and focused on the soul he wanted. He picked up its scent again and he started to move.
Soma quickly placed herself in front of Zero blocking his way. “Her soul is a pure soul. I must go collect it. You know what I say is true.”
“I care not what you say. Now move, female.”
“I will tell the Creator what you are doing.”
“The Creator is in the time of Creclo and must not be disturbed.”
“Then I will inform Cinray. He will not let you continue to collect good souls.”
“Inform Cinray, I don’t care. Now move, female or I will hurt you.”
“Then hurt me. I will not let you have her soul.”
Zero slammed into Soma with such force it almost made her lose consciousness. He pinned her to the ground and began to drain her energy.
“Stop Zero…if you destroy me the Creator…”
“Will do nothing. I have no wish to destroy such a thing of beauty, so I will only take your strength.”
Soma was powerless to stop Zero. Male soul collectors were far more powerful than female soul collectors. They had to be to contain the corrupt souls they carry. She felt Zero’s lips touch hers and her energy drained faster. She couldn’t call out for help. She couldn’t move.
“Zero, her soul is good, she doesn’t deserve to be punished,” Soma said weakly.
“Her soul is mine…I can feel her love, her pureness…I want her love.”
“Zero, I beg of you not to take her soul. If you love her…don’t do this.”
“Is it wrong to want to be surrounded by love?”
“No…but it is wrong to defy the Creator.” She felt the last of her strength leave her body. She gazed up at Zero as he slowly stood. His very long golden hair danced in the breeze. Soma could see glimpses of the souls he carried dancing over his long mane. So many souls he had trapped. How many of those souls didn’t deserve the punishment that male soul collectors were able to inflict on them?
Soma reached out to grab Zero’s long hair when she saw the face of a child twisted in agony.
“Let them go, Zero.”
Her heart froze seeing the vacant look in his beautiful light blue eyes.
“I will never let them go. They love me and I love them.”
She rolled to the side watching him walk away. His long hair seeming to dance behind him and in the strands of his hairs the faces of the souls he torments.
She started to cry. She was powerless to save them. She spoke to other male soul collectors and though they felt pity for the poor souls who were trapped in Zero’s hell, they couldn’t interfere. Only the Creator or Cinray had the power to stop Zero.
Soma felt a warm hand on her hair. She rolled onto her back and saw Bakre kneeling beside her. His long dark hair flowed like Zero’s did. The faces of the souls he punished could be seen in the strands of his hair.
“I will help you.” His voice was ominous unlike Zero’s which was hauntingly beautiful.
She felt strength return to her body. She knew the toll it was taking on Bakre and made him stop before he drained too much of his own power.
“Thank you,” she said as he helped her up.
“Only the Creator or Cinray can stop Zero. Stop trying or next time he may destroy you.”
“We must do something.”
“When the Creator’s Creclo is over I will speak to her about Zero.”
“But that may take hundreds of years. Can you speak to Cinray? I have tried but he will not listen to a female soul collector.”
“I have spoken to Cinray. He refuses to believe a male soul collector is flawed.” Bakre sat down. He had to. Giving Soma some of his strength had taken a lot out of him. The souls he punished were trying to break free.
“You have given me too much of your strength.” She gently touched him and transferred some of his power back to him.
“You don’t need to do that.” He felt his control return. The souls he carried were subdued. “Soma, don’t challenge Zero again.”
“I have to do something. I can’t just…”
He grabbed her hand gently. “Please don’t. I will be saddened if you no longer existed.”
“I won’t challenge him again.”
Bakre stood and gently caressed her hair. “I must go. Souls are calling and I must heed their call.”
“I must go as well.” She lightly kissed his hand then watched him leave. She has known Bakre since she was created. She has loved him for nearly that long. She believed all male soul collectors were as gentle as he was. But she was wrong, it seems Bakre was the exception, not the norm, when it came to male soul collectors. Most of them were cold, distant…yet, she understood why they were. They were the ones who made the corrupt souls do penance for their sins. They had to carry these souls inside themselves until the souls paid for their sins. They had to destroy the ones who could never make atonement for the heinous crimes they had committed, after they made that soul suffer first. This is why a male soul collector was so powerful. A female soul collector took only the souls who were worthy enough to go on to the next step in their journey.
Soma heard a child’s soul calling out to her. She had no choice but to go to him. She went on her way to collect the boy’s soul. Yet, her mind was on stopping Zero. If Bakre couldn’t help her then no soul collector would. She had to find another way.
Laura felt so tired. She has felt this way for some time now. The doctors told her that her heart was weak and that she shouldn’t push herself too much. She was getting weaker with each passing year. Her doctor put her on the list to receive a heart transplant. He told her to pray that a donor would be found. Yet, how could someone wish for something like that. If she received a new heart that means someone else would have to die. No, she won’t pray for such a thing. If her time to die was rapidly approaching then it was.
Despite her doctor warning her to take it easy, Laura did all she could. She loved volunteering at the various children charities. Not having her own children was her biggest regret. Her frail body wasn’t able to produce children and besides, she never met the man she wanted to have a family with.
“You should go home, Laura. You don’t look so good,” Jamie, the program director, said.
“Perhaps I should.” Laura hugged each child before she left. All the children at the center loved her. She was very patient and always found time to listen to each and every one of them. All the children at the center were in trouble with the law at one time or another. Their crimes weren’t heinous enough to land them in juvenile detention, but they were heading that way if someone didn’t step in and help them.
“Laura, let me walk you home. I can leave the center with permission.”
“Tyler, that is so sweet of you, but I think it’s best if you stay. Your counselor will be here soon.”
“I know, it’s just that, well, you look like you don’t feel too good…”
“Don’t worry about me. I’m just really tired. What I want is for you to speak with your counselor. You are making some good progress. I will see you tomorrow.”
“Alright, see you tomorrow.”
Laura walked out to her car. She sat inside it trying to catch her breath. She felt so weak. After a couple of moments she felt her strength return. She better get home and just crash. A good night sleep will make her feel better.
She drove to her apartment and went inside. The short walk from the car to the apartment took a lot out of her. This wasn’t good. She sat on the chair in the living room and tried to muster up enough strength to get to her bedroom.
Her gaze darted around the room trying to see who just called her name. “Oh great, I’m hearing things now.”
“Laura let go, it’s time.” The male voice was hauntingly beautiful.
Her eyes opened wide when an image of a most beautiful man began to appear. His long golden hair sparkled in an eerie mist. Fear began to grip her.
“Are you an angel?”
His smile made him appear even more beautiful.
Her body felt light. The tiredness faded. A wave of peace engulfed her.
“Am I dying?”
“Yes, but only your body.”
She let go. A wonderful sense of relief filled her. She felt his soft hands caressing her face. He tilted his head down and captured her lips. His ambrosial taste and scent enraptured her.
“I can feel your love,” he whispered against her lips.
She was helpless to stop him, nor did she want to. His embrace was warm, welcoming, his kisses were sweet, and his soft words soothed her.
“You will be with me forever.”
She felt his long hair caress her body. She closed her eyes, she had to, she couldn’t keep them open any longer.
She felt a violent tug and the sensation of falling. The warmth of his embrace was leaving and soon it was replaced by a chilling coldness.
Her body hit the ground with a violent thump. She lay on the cold ground for a moment. She opened her eyes and then quickly sat up.
“Where am I?”
The room she was in was grayish white. She looked around the room. Everything was this grayish white.
“Where am I!” she screamed.
“You are with me. You will always be with me.”
“I don’t want to be here.” She quickly got up and ran to the other side of the room. There were no doors or windows. She began to pound on the walls.
“Let me out of here!” she cried over and over.
“You will never leave.”
She turned around quickly when she felt his warmth. He was standing in the middle of the room. Even he was awash in the grayish white color.
“I will show you such wonders. However, you must remain here until I have created your next paradise.”
“Paradise?” She looked around the room. “Am I dead?”
“Your body is dead. Your soul will live forever.” He waved his hand over one of the walls.
She gasped seeing her lifeless body lying on the floor of her apartment.
“See, your body is dead. But, you shouldn’t fear, your soul will live on.”
“I’m in Hell?” she said slowly.
“No, you are in my consciousness.”
“Who are you?” She turned around. She couldn’t bear to see her dead body anymore.
“I’m called Zero.”
“That is the name the Creator has given me.”
“Phfff.” He rolled his eyes. “Angels are nothing but the Creator’s messengers.”
“Then what are you?”
“I’m a soul collector, the most noble of all of the Creator’s creations.”
“What is going to happen to me?”
“I have told you. You will be with me forever. Now I must prepare your next paradise.” In an instant he was gone.
She sank down to her knees and started to cry. This cold, dank room is not what she pictured the afterlife to be. Loneliness and fear overtook her as she sobbed uncontrollably.