Soulminder - Timothy Zahn

GoodReads summary: For Dr. Adrian Sommers, a split second of driving while distracted leads to tragedy-and obsession. His family destroyed, he devotes his entire being to developing Soulminder, a technology that might have saved his son as he wavered on the edge of death. Sommers's vision is to capture a dying person's life essence and hold it safely in stasis while physicians heal the body from injury or disease. Years of experimentation finally end in success—but those who recognize Soulminder's possibilities almost immediately corrupt its original concept to pursue dangerous new frontiers: body-swapping, obstruction of justice, extortion, and perhaps even immortality.


What if souls really exist and we could capture them, store them, and then return them to the body? That's what this book is about (in a way, it's pretty close to "The Discovery" by Netflix).

In one hand, the book is not about the fact that we have souls (or where they go after we die, and things like that), but how one tool, dreamed by someone, could be explored and turned into something completely different, and how that dreamer would feel about the misuse of his tool. This is a really interesting way to build characters in a story.

On the other hand, I have this feeling that the author used the word "soul" just to create a fake controversy over the stories. If it was called "Brain tracer" or "Memory storage" -- which is what the device does, in the end --, half of the book would fall apart, because there would be no direct association with something it is mostly used by religions -- which, again, is used as a plot device to create controversies inside the book.

As a side note, I got the feeling that either the author had ulcers while writing the story or was hungry while writing, 'cause most of the characters suffer, in a way or another, with stomach problems: "felt a knot in his stomach", "made her stomach churn" and things like that.

Also, chapters are too episodic, and it gave me the feeling that the story wasn't wrote for a book, but for some TV series.