Title: My Soul to Take
Author: Rachel Vincent
Published: January 2011 (UK)
Format: Finished paperback
…….oh no… Yet Another Teen Paranormal Romance? (YATPAR?)
There are now so many of this type, in this genre, around, that sometimes it gets a bit hard to approach a new one with any enthusiasm, to be honest. You more or less know what you’re going to get – teenage girl (New to Town/Doesn’t Quite Fit In/Has Issues) meets teenage boy (who would usually be out of her league) causing both hormones and the paranormal to act like mad. Having said that, “My Soul to Take”, despite ticking all the YATPAR boxes, is a decent enough read. Kaylee, Our Heroine, isn’t perhaps as much of a misfit as in other series, as she has a good friend Emma who she sneaks into nightclubs with etc., and an annoying cousin called Sophie (she lives with her aunt and uncle since the death of her mother). She also behaves just like a teenager, in most situations.
So it turns out that Kaylee isn’t actually human but a banshee (or bean sidhe) which means that she can sense when someone is about to die, and is forced to let out an ear-splitting scream when this happens. But there are suddenly far too many deaths of young teenage girls, so Kaylee and Nash try to find out what’s happening, wiht the help of other non-humans.
The whole book seems to be in quite a rush, but as the action all takes place over a few days this is OK. There isn’t a lot of description of setting and surroundings in this book but I suppose we all know what an American High School looks like by now. I think the book is set in Dallas. However the people aren’t very well described, we know her friend Emma is blonde and beautiful, and Tod is blond and curly-headed, but have no idea what Our Heroine looks like, or her boyfriend Nash, which is a pity as little details can all add to the atmosphere. But instead of sparkling skin we get whirling eyes. To clarify, just the coloured bit of the eyes, not the whole eyeball, which would be alarming. And just how many descriptions of snogging does one book need, actually?
However, despite the fact that these comments might all seem a bit negative, there is actually a fairly decent, well thought-out story in here, with a few surprises along the way to keep you guessing. I like the concept overall, and there are more to come in this series which I think might actually benefit from not requiring all the explanation that inevitably comes when there’s a new fantasy world being set up.
Overall, I was impressed with how the book swerved past the usual barriers of teen paranormal romances. For example, as I mentioned before, both the heroine and her boyfriend weren’t described all that much, and I think this helps to back up my point, as in most YA paranormal romances ‘the boy’ is described in so much detail, you would believe you know this boy, when you don’t, and maybe it shows that this book aims to be different. By being different, it has made a bigger impact on me, and I think that helped me to enjoy this book more. I thought the writing quality was fine, and the action was fast paced and kept you wanting to read it.
Rating: arriving soon
My Soul to Take the first book in the Soul Screamers series about a teenage banshee growing up in high school. The series focuses on themes of self-discovery; as Kaylee discovers her own species and the tragedy in her past, and forgiveness; as Kaylee is betrayed by someone she loves and has to decide whether she can forgive him and take him back. The books also explore issues including self-image, selling out for profit and drug abuse. The second book in the Soul Screamers series, My Soul to Save, is published in March.
I did enjoy reading this book, so I am thinking of getting the second book in the series!
Thank you ever so much to the publisher, MIRA, for sending me a copy of the book for review!