Tuesday, 11 January 2011
Review: My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
Publisher: Mira Ink
Released: January 1st, 2011
Grade rating: A-
Being a teenager just got much more complicated. There is something very wrong with Kaylee Cavanaugh: 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 the need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next.
I've had a much-needed break from paranormal YA recently, and instead have been reading faerie fantasy and contemporary. I felt I just needed a break, and I think it's done me good. My Soul to Take is my first PNR read of the year, and what a good pick it was! Apart from breaking for sleep and breakfast, I read it straight through in an excitement-inducing frenzy. I had to know what happened, and this time it wasn't because of a hot fictional boy, though of course Nash was pretty darn attractive.
What I loved about My Soul to Take was the whole world Rachel Vincent created. The bean sidhes, the reapers, the Netherworld: it was all fascinating, and completely new to me. I'd never read anything concerning soul screamers before this, and it was brilliant to come at it from a fresh viewpoint. I had nothing to compare it to like I find myself doing with vampire/werewolf stories. This was innovative and different, and I now see why everyone has been raving about the series since its US publication.
Aside from a brief bout of irritating neurotic self-diagnosing, Kaylee was a great character. She was fierce and intelligent, and took the truth about her life rather well. Maybe a bit too well, some might say. Who cares though? She accepted it and moved on, rather than whining about it for 50 pages. So there's yet another mold broken, thanks to some clever writing and characterisation. Like Kelley Armstrong declares on the cover, Rachel Vincent really is a welcome addition to the genre. A very welcome addition.
Nash, Kaylee's love interest, also has a few secrets of his own. He helps Kaylee deal with what she is, and their relationship is quite realistic on the whole. It's fast, yes, but it's seems more believable somehow. There are no googly eyes for chapters at a time, rather they acknowledge their attraction and get on with it. There's more important things occuring than their budding relationship like, y'know, teenage girls dropping dead every day. For once the main characters have their priorities in order. Rejoice!
My favourite part of My Soul to Take was Tod and the reapers. I cannot wait to find out more about them in future instalments; they were exactly what I like in a book: captivating mysteries waiting to be solved. I have a feeling there's a lot left to learn about reapers, especially where trades and exchanges are concerned. In fact, can we not just have a whole book dedicated to them? Is there one? Sneaky spoilers can be emailed directly to me... ;)
If you haven't read this book yet, go and get yourself a copy. Now. It's so worth reading, just for the genius focus on bean sidhes and grim reapers. I can't wait to read My Soul to Save, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Rachel Vincent, you now have a new fan, and an impatient one at that!