Soul on Fire (Kirstin’s Review)

Title: Soul on Fire
Author: Tal Bauer
Publisher: Tal Bauer
Release Date: July 27th, 2019
Genre(s): Mystery, Action
Page Count: 280
Reviewed by: Kirstin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5


A deadly virus burns through the jungle, leaving nothing but corpses in its wake. Everyone flees from the outbreak—except for the terrorists intent on weaponizing the catastrophe.

Lieutenant Elliot Davis, US Navy SEAL, is sent to rescue CIA officers from their clandestine base in Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and evacuate them out of the country. What they’ve uncovered sends Elliot back to the Congo, trying to prevent an attack that could spark a global pandemic.

Dr. Ikolo Ngondu runs a refugee hospital caught between the advancing rebels intent on slaughtering everyone in their path and Elliot’s mission to find and capture their leader. In the chaos of a surprise attack, Elliot’s target slips away, and the only way to find him is to plunge into the Congo’s dark, dangerous, and fevered forest with Ikolo as his guide.

Together they track a burning shadow through Africa’s broken heart, and Elliot struggles to reconcile the world he finds with the life he’s lived as a black man in the West. He looks to Ikolo for answers and finds a man with a core so bright and fierce he scorches Elliot’s soul.

Even as they race against time, Elliot and Ikolo have no idea what’s been set in motion with their mission: a dark secret lies at the center, one that leaves billions of lives hovering between life and death.

And through it all, a question burns inside Elliot, one that only Ikolo may hold the answer to.

This story was incredibly well done. It’s obvious that Tal Bauer did his homework because so much went into this to make it such a perfect book.

Full of the horrors of biological warfare, the Congo and its dense forests are the backdrop to this edge of your seat story. While chasing a terrorist, Lieutenant Elliot Davis, US Navy SEAL teams up with Dr. Ikolo Ngondu, the man who’s trying to save as many innocents as he can. Together, they follow the track deep into the forests, meeting people who’ve been infected with Ebola along the way.

To me, the excitement never ended. There were so many scenes that were so clearly described I could see them perfectly in my mind. Many were heartbreaking. But when it comes to the development of the relationship between Elliot and Ikolo, I was amazed. While their romance was not the prime focus of the story, each segment written about them was so poetic and fiery, it was incredibly poignant.

This was actually my first Tal Bauer read and now that I know what I’ve been missing, it definitely will not be my last. This was wonderfully written and a beautiful read.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Soul on Fire provided by author in exchange of an honest review.


Reading has become such a huge part of my life as an adult. I love the escape, but I also try to take something from each story for myself. I am a lover of words. I love dialogue. I love a slow burn and a happy ever after. Favorite Authors: Garrett Leigh, Amy Lane, Mary Calmes, Lane Hayes, T.J. Klune, Roan Parrish, N.R. Walker, Cara Dee, Anyta Sunday