Fredrik Brounéus' The Prince of Soul and the Lighthouse was published by Steam Press in New Zealand in 2012.

Fredrik Brounéus is a Swedish writer who has lived in Dunedin (New Zealand) since 2009. His books include a children's thriller and a young adult pop novel, both of which were published in Swedish.

Here's a description of The Prince of Soul and the Lighthouse:

What happens when we die?

This has been the third question on mankind's FAQ list since the dawn of time (numbers one and two being: Is this edible? and Excuse me, would you care to breed?).

I know what happens. Believe me, I'd rather not. But I do.

There is a lighthouse, and it guides our souls along the narrow path to being reborn as humans. It's the light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, as my undead granddad and the Tibetan special mission monk in my kitchen have kindly told me, there’s a problem with the lighthouse. And if the world is to be saved, someone needs to fix it.

Which is where I come in: George Larson, eighteen years old. Who could possibly be better suited to save the world?

Well, almost anyone. Especially as being a teenage guy is nothing at all about question three but all about questions one and two.

And really, that's complicated enough as it is.

A REVIEW OF FREDRIK BROUNÉUS' THE PRINCE OF SOUL AND THE LIGHTHOUSE

I'm glad that I had a chance to read The Prince of Soul and the Lighthouse, because I liked it very much. It's one of the funniest books I've read.

The Prince of Soul and the Lighthouse is a book for young adults, but I'm sure that adults will also find it entertaining and amusing. It's a unique and a bit different kind of a combination of young adult themes, philosophy, mysticism, mystery elements, action, humour and colourful characterization. This kind of humorous and weird young adult speculative fiction books are unfortunately rare (I wish there were more books like this one).

Here's a bit of information about the characters:

  • George Larson is an eighteen year old teenager with raging hormones. He's interested in soul music. He's also interested in girls and tries to act normally in front of his friend, Kaisa. His life changes, when he finds out that he has to do something to save the world.
  • Kaisa is a Finnish exchange student and the object of George's feelings.
  • Tenzin is a monk from Tibet. He's a fascinatingly "weird" character.
  • George's dead grandfather is an interesting character, because has come back to life as a coffee addicted zombie.
  • These characters make a weird road trip around the lower part of New Zealand's beautiful South Island.

As a Finn I was delighted to read about Kaisa, because she's a Finnish character. It's a bit difficult to find Finnish characters in speculative fiction books, so it was nice to read about Kaisa.

It's a bit difficult to describe what kind of a YA book The Prince of Soul and the Lighthouse is, but I think it's possible to say that it's like a weird and original combination of Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole novels, Terry Pratchett, fantasy and science fiction. Fredrik Brounéus has a good and slightly twisted sense of humour and his prose is pleasantly sharp and witty. He writes enthusiastically and humorously about the characters and the happenings. The dialogues between the characters are entertaining and humorous (for example, the dialogues between George and Tenzin are very funny).

I like the author's quirky and sarcastic sense of humour (he shows talent for writing comic science fiction). The footnotes are interesting (to be honest, they're amazingly amusing) and they offer lots of fun to the reader. I enjoyed reading how George talked to himself, because his comments and thoughts were funny. The letters from "Brain" to "Me" and from "Me" to "Brain" were also enjoyable and added nice weirdness to the story.

Although The Prince of Soul and the Lighthouse is comic science fiction, it also contains a bit of philosophy. The philosophical conversations and observations add depth to the book.

One of the best things about this book is that the events take place in New Zealand. I've always been fascinated by New Zealand, because it's a beautiful country, so it was refreshing to read about the different places. I think it's possible that this book may inspire readers to visit New Zealand.

There are beautiful black-and-white illustrations in this book. The illustrator is Tony Tarasiewicz.

This book may be a bit difficult to find in the northern hemisphere, because it was published in New Zealand, but if you manage to find a copy, you should read it (the e-book version can be found here: steam-press.myshopify.com). It's a delightfully funny reading experience, so I'm sure that it will appeal to several readers who like humorous books. By the way, if you like funny YA adventure stories, this is a perfect book for you.

The Prince of Soul and the Lighthouse is good and harmless fun for speculative fiction readers. It's perfect escapism for a couple of days (or for a couple of hours, if you can't stop reading it ;)), because it's a funny, exciting and fast-paced book. I hope that Fredrik Brounéus will write more young adult books, because he writes charmingly quirky prose (because I enjoyed reading this book, I'm currently thinking of reading his children's thriller in Swedish).

This book is good entertainment!

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