Sunday, December 18, 2011

Review: My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers, #1)
by Rachel Vincent 

Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal
Reading Grade: Young Adult
Publication Date: August 1, 2009
Source: Kindle store purchase
Age Rating: 14+

She doesn't see dead people. 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. 

My Review

This is a series that I had given up on after reading the prequel short story, “My Soul to Lose,” but I decided I should give the regular novels a try, after all. I didn't think it was completely fair of me to judge an entire novel series based on one little prequel short story, since authors rarely put very much effort into writing them. I'm glad I decided to try the novels out because the first one really is far more interesting than the prequel.

Kaylee Cavanaugh starts out having already been to a mental hospital because she couldn't stop screaming when she sensed the imminent demise approaching a boy in a wheelchair at the shopping mall. She has no idea why she did that, and in this volume, she starts doing it again when some teenage girls start dropping dead all around her, and her urge to scream continues.

This novel is well-written and carries you along with its quick pace—which I like because it makes me read faster. I'm a pretty slow reader, so any book that can make me get through it faster automatically becomes more likeable. Never a dull moment, even when nothing terribly special is happening, because once a little lull in the plot starts becoming evident, some wild and crazy thing happens. It keeps you moving right along with an actual plot, which earns more points from me.

The characters are interesting, too—especially Kaylee. She's a good person who is brave and won't just let other characters do everything for her. And, she won't let them keep things from her, either. She wants to know what's going on and what she can do to help. Nash, her love interest, is not as interesting as she is, to my dismay, but he's a good guy. I sort of wish I felt like the two had more in common with each other, or had a realistic reason to be so into each other. To a degree, their relationship feels too shallow, and I'm not a fan of characters hooking-up so early on in a story with each other. Although, it may be justified in this story.

Tod was my favorite character. Because he's a guy who deals with the dead, he can't be completely trusted, and he's as wily as a fox. I like him for being the trickster that he is, and he's the type who will help people usually if they make it worth his while. He was just cute and intriguing, so I'm interested in seeing what role he'll play in the rest of the novels. Hopefully, there is a lot more of him, as there wasn't much of him in this installment.

Overall, I think this series has strength in its great story-telling, which never lets you get bored, and its dramatic characters. Because death is the subject of the story, there is plenty of that, too. It kind of forces you to wonder all the time you're reading, who will die next? You never know, and that keeps the suspense alive and well.

My score: 4 stars out of 5. (I really liked it.)


  1. I actually have the prequel to this one lying around somewhere as well but haven't had the desire to pick it up. Hearing that you liked the books makes me think I should give it a go. It's a bit sad when even traditionally published authors don't put much thought into their prequels!

  2. I read this one over the summer. I thought it was 4* also. There were just a few bits where the story was slow, IMO. But, I've heard they get better & better, so I have the entire series. I'm starting book two next.
    Great review!

  3. I love the cover on this book! Though the woman looks so sexy that I'm surprised this is a YA story.

  4. @Lan: The prequel was okay, but I think this novel was much better. So much more was explained.

    @Andrea: I look forward to reading the next book, too. It's an interesting series that I hope gets better, as well.

    @Camille: Yeah, images like that tend to be commonplace on YA covers these days, right? She's not too immodestly dressed, so I think she's passable. Though, she doesn't look like a teenager to me.

  5. Glad you liked it! I think you'll enjoy the twists and turns ahead - book 2 is a bit slow/disconnected from the others, but after that the series morphs into an emotional sucker punch that will keep you reading/growling/swooning right to the end. :)

  6. @BJ: Okay, good to know! I look forward to reading the rest of the books.


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