expr:class='"loading" + data:blog.mobileClass'>
Knowledge of our past is our inheritance. What we do with that knowledge will shape our destinies...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Book Review: My Soul to Keep, Reaper

I'm still making my way through the Soul Screamers series and really enjoying them. My reading time has gone seriously down lately due to other commitments, but this past week I got through book 3 and installment 3.5, which is a short story. Here's what I thought of them:

(Warning: while as a general rule I try to avoid spoilers, there may be mild spoilers for what's come in previous books. You've been warned!)

My Soul to Keep by Rachel Vincent

Plot: So this installment picks up not long after the last one left off. After a not-so-jolly jaunt to the Netherworld, Kaylee is grounded for a month, and by the time she gets un-grounded, her boyfriend, Nash, is acting really weird.

Meanwhile, a strange (perhaps paranormal) drug is making its way through her party-inclined classmates, and more and more Kaylee wonders if it might have some tie to what happened during their previous adventure. When classmates start dropping dead after using the drug, and Nash acts weirder and weirder, Kaylee knows she has to get to the bottom of things before they become infinitely worse.

Characters: I'm still enjoying the character development here. This was kind of the obligatory they've-got-to-have-relationship-problems-eventually installment. Not that it's a bad thing, but you had to figure it wouldn't continue to be all hot make-out scenes and valentines. Still, the way things progressed felt very real. Vincent does a good job of finding a medium between the teenage girl trying to cut her boyfriend some slack, and the no-nonsense heroine that won't put up with his crap. 

The only thing I'm starting to not like is the best friend, Emma. She's a character who knows all about Kaylee and Nash's banshee origins, and for the most part stays out of it. She wants a normal life enough that she really doesn't want to know everything. I get that, and it's kind of refreshing, to be honest. But after so much has happened that directly involves her, Emma still not being even the least bit curious is starting to come off as dumb blond rather than educated, informed decision. I'm hoping this will be remedied in the next volume.

Ending: Don't worry, I won't say what happens except that I thought the ending was pretty good. In terms of the overall problem (the drug and everything it entailed) we got a fitting resolution with some intense action at the end. In terms of the troubles in the Kaylee/Nash relationship, we were left on a bit of a cliff hanger. Just enough to make us want to dive into the next novel. Well played, Rachel Vincent. Well played.

Overall: I'm probably starting to sound like a broken record, but I'm simply still enjoying the series overall. I want to continue reading. The fact that I'm not sick of the story or the characters yet (which is saying something in my case, given my proclivities against YA) says a lot. I'm hoping to finish the series by the end of the month.  So, if you're into YA, paranormal, or just a great, fun story, check out Soul Screamers. I'd recommend it!

Reaper by Rachel Vincent

Plot: This is basically a prequel that goes over exactly what happened with Tod. From what I can tell, Tod is a lot of people's favorite character, and I completely understand. He's got an anti-hero flair to him. He's always quick with a joke, and is often the comic relief. Yet, he's brooding with a bad boy vibe. You can't help but be curious and want more information about him.

I also like that, in the main series, he's become quite protective of Kaylee. I've wondered more than once if this will become a Salvatore-Brothers kind of situation, with both brothers having feelings for our heroine. So far, Vincent hasn't gone in that direction, but I like that he's protective, even if it's just in a brotherly manner.  So, Reaper tells his story. It expounds on what we already know of how he died, was recruited as a Reaper, and came to be in the situation we find him in, in book 1 of the series.

Characters: This short story definitely gives Tod a lot of depth. We see him first as a living teenager who is supposed to watch out for his younger brother. He's human (read: teenage boy) enough that he'd rather make out with his girlfriend that keep his kid brother in check. Then when disaster strikes, we see him be very selfless. I'd even say transcendent. This was a very sad story, but it makes you love and respect the characters even more for that. Tod's situation is bleak, but I was glad to read more about him and get something from his POV. 

Ending: No big mystery here. Being a prequel, it ends in he situation we find him in for book 1 of the Soul Screamers series, only with much more understanding of his character and how he came to be there. Like I said, there's definitely a melancholy vibe to this story, but that's not uncommon for prequels. 

Overall: I really enjoyed being in Tod's head and love him more for knowing more about him. I hope we get lots more great Tod moments in coming installments. 

Anyone else read Soul Screamers?

No comments:

Post a Comment