Book Review 23 – My Soul to Take

12752937My Soul to Take
(Soul Screamers #1)

by Rachel Vincent

Rating: 3 stars
Reading challenge: Freebie February – 3rd book

Goodreads link 

Goodreads summary:

She doesn’t see dead people, but…

She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who’ll be next…

This book really did its level best to both intrigue and to annoy me. What annoyed me is that romance took the centre stage from the very start. We meet the romantic interest in the first pages of the novel. What annoyed me is that he knew her from school and only got interested in her. The first cliché is thus checked, and then immediately the next one with his hypnotic eyes. I get it – the eyes are the windows of the soul – but I was rolling my eyes every time she got lost in them until they were explained as part of being ‘bean sidhe’ (banshee).

Events progress extremely quickly – the novel takes place in just a few days, a week tops. I was kind of surprised at that, being more used to epic plots with years of events between the start and the end. The same breakneck speed kept the plot very tight and tension high. This is a plus point for the novel, but the romance between Kylee and Nash progressed too fast for me this way. And the ‘only Nash can stop me from breaking down and screaming my head off’ really made it clear we are dealing with a wannabe new Twilight series (as stated on the cover).

The most trouble I have is with the protagonist Kaylee. When she verbally attacks her uncle for keeping her true nature a secret from her (a perfectly reasonable thing when knowledge would only bring her in danger) she truly shows her mental age. I’ve never seen a more self-satisfied, smug, know-it-all teenage rant about how smart she is to have figured it all out. Side-note: she did not. And why do all heroes and heroines have to be orphans or semi-orphans (with biological parents still living but absent completely) who don’t appreciate the family they’ve got? Ugh…

The story is pretty dark despite the usual teenage drama. I was horrified so many teenage girls died one after another. The underlying mystery of the reapers and banshees only made it more urgent that the matter get resolved quickly since it was clear their deaths were connected to it. Tod the reaper is a character we’re sure to see more off, and correct me if I’m wrong, but I smell a love triangle in the making here. So, clichés ahoy!

The book certainly gives us a fascinating new mythology to play with, so I’ll probably read the sequels as well. I do hope the characters get less annoying and that the author starts to play around with the YA tropes more. I’ll guess less of the twists and turns this way. 😉


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