When Alice's adored older sister Megan dies, Alice is devastated – but then she receives an invitation to online community Soul Beach, and finds that Megan is not so far away after all.
Soul Beach is an amazingly realistic website, populated entirely by dead people who – no matter how imperfect they looked in life – now look like models from a Hollister catalogue. Alice is the only living person who can go to the Beach, though no one is sure why. After her initial surprise, Alice soon gets involved in solving the murders of the people on the Beach, and discovers that this is the only way they can leave.
Soul Fire is the sequel to Soul Beach, and suffers from some of the problems common to middle books in a trilogy. There's a certain aimlessness to the plot, with Alice wandering around and interacting with the other characters in a seemingly random way. The central mystery of Megan's murder should be a strong pull in the narrative, but too often the story is diverted away into subplots. That said, the subplots are exciting and make the novel a fast, fun read.
Although it doesn't work as a stand-alone novel, if you've already fallen in love with Soul Beach then Soul Fire will tick all the right boxes.