Saturday, March 27, 2010

Review: My Soul to Save

My Soul to Save
Rachel Vincent
Fantasy/Young Adult
Soul Screamers/Book 2
Harlequin Teen/January 2010
Library book

Spoilers for Book 1

From the back cover ~

“If she were going to die, I’d already be screaming. I’m a banshee. That’s what we do.”

When Kaylee Cavanaugh screams, someone dies.

So when teen pop star Eden croaks onstage and Kaylee doesn't wail, she knows something is dead wrong. She can't cry for someone who has no soul.

The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad's ironclad curfew and putting her too-hot-to-be-real boyfriend's loyalty to the test. But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls: a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld - a consequence they cant' possibly understand.

Kaylee can't let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk...

Book 2 of Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers series picks up where book 1 left off. Kaylee and Nash are dating. Kaylee is now living with her father who has moved back to the United States from Ireland. Before Kaylee's father moved back to Texas, Kaylee was living with her aunt, uncle and cousin. Since her aunt's death and the events leading up to it, Kaylee's father is now back in her life in a big way. She's happy about it but they are both new at this father/daughter thing. He's overprotective of Kaylee but he's also a bean sidhe, so he knows the darker side of what's out there. I liked how he was portrayed. He loves Kaylee but he's also stumbling around when it comes to how to treat his nearly grown up daughter, she's 16. It's a learning process for him that he doesn't always score high on but the love is definitely there.

Vincent does a good job of moving the story arc forward, introducing new creatures and giving the reader a greater understanding of the Netherworld. We do get to see Kaylee and Nash's relationship progress at a believable rate. Nash made it clear he wanted to sleep with Kaylee, Kaylee isn't completely sure. She wants to but...

I never felt Nash would push her into it. And they do have a bunch of other things and people, to interfere with any alone time they might get. Both Kaylee and Nash have parents that are present and involved in their lives. These are parents that are trying their best to raise their kids in the most normal of ways, knowing the bizarre other world that is part of their lives.

Kaylee and Nash are a typical high school couple in many ways but they are also a very unique couple because of what they each are - bean sidhe. They compliment each other with Kaylee letting loose her ear piercing wail and Nash using his soothing voice to help her not go crazy when the urge to wail comes over her. I liked the way Vincent shows them as being typical. They both have school and homework. Kaylee has a job, Nash has football practice. And through all of this they still have their duties as bean sidhes.

The main focus of the story is the soul stealing of teens that's going on. Specifically Addison Page. She is a singer and TV star. She's also Tod's ex-girlfriend. Tod being Nash's older, very dead brother. But Tod's still around because he's a reaper. He works at a local hospital, taking the souls of the recently departed. Tod may be dead but he's still very much a part of Nash's, and Kaylee's, lives. He's the one that gets them into the concert where Addison is the opening act for the singing star Eden. Kaylee, Nash and Tod find out what has been going on with the selling of souls after Eden drops dead on stage. Here's where we see some conflict between Kaylee and Nash. Kaylee feels she must help Addison but Nash doesn't think it's worth risking their lives for what he considers a spoiled pop princess. Kaylee stays firm in her belief and Nash goes along to protect Kaylee.

There is a vulnerable side of Kaylee that I enjoyed seeing. She's a very strong-willed, young woman. She's brave and maybe even a bit reckless when it comes to her bean sidhe life except she also has insecurities concerning Nash. She very attracted to him and knows he's attracted to her, yet she wonders about that attraction. If he's attracted to her because she's a bean sidhe or because she's another "conquest" for Nash, the popular football star. Those insecurities, for me, made her more authentic as a female and a teenager.

This time around we get more of the Netherworld. The way Vincent describes it I found fascinating and eerie. It makes sense that the higher concentration of hellions and such would be found corresponding with places of high human traffic. I found myself worried for Kaylee, Nash and oddly, even Tod when they were in the Netherworld. I have no idea why I was worried about Tod since he is dead. Just got caught up in the story. :)

Tod is an interesting character in that we get to see him interact with Nash and Kaylee as if he's just another young adult. Sometimes I would forget that he was a reaper and as dangerous as a reaper should be. There were times when Vincent would remind us of that very fact. After reading book 1, I was curious about Tod. Now, after getting to know more about him, I'm still curious. A good thing, right?

The ending - Wow. I wasn't sure what to expect. How everything could possibly work out, with a good outcome. Vincent played it well, giving the reader a resolution to the soul stealing while still reminding us that this isn't fun and games but life and death. I can't wait to read the next installment in the series, My Soul to Keep, release date June 1.

Rating: A-

Review: My Soul to Take/Book 1


  1. Oh, thanks for the review Leslie!

    I won this over at Doug's (SciFiGuy) and your review is making it call to me from the tbr pile. I'm so glad to hear that bk 2 is keeping up the level of story that was started in bk 1.

    Kaylee is a great YA female protagonist and I can't wait to read more about her in MStS!

  2. Renee ~ Isn't Kaylee wonderful? She makes mistakes but she's not tstl. If you liked bk 1, I think you'll like this one too. :)

  3. Ohhh, great review Leslie!! But don't tempt me, I don't want to buy this book yet LOL since Ms Vincent is going to be at the RT... although I haven't read the first book yet ^_^;

    This series got two As so far :D Must be promising!

  4. Great review. I'm not reading this books, but I'm following along by reading the reviews, lol! They DO sound interesting... okay, I'll wait for the 3rd book's review. ;P

  5. nath ~ RT's in a month right? Lucky you! Did you read the free prequel Ms. Vincent has on her site?

    Hils ~ Vincent also has an adult UF series - Shifters. I haven't read it yet, have the first two books on the tbr pile but have read really good reviews for the series.