18 February 2012

Review: My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

Title: My Soul to Take
Author: Rachel Vincent

Genre: Young Adult (Urban Fantasy)

Publisher: Mira Ink
Published: 2011 (first published 2009)

Paperback: 345 pages

Stand alone or Series: #1 in the Soul Screamers series

Source of Book: Bought

Something is wrong with Kaylee Cavanaugh...

She can sense 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 boy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about the dark forces behind Kaylee's power than she does.

And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason and only Kaylee knows who'll be next, she realises that finding a boyfriend is the least of her worries.

My Soul to Take is a gem of a book. I loved the whole experience of reading it and every time I catch a glimpse of it on my bookshelf I'm struck again by what Rachel Vincent has accomplished with this series.

I adore this cover. It's that simple. The first thing your eye picks out are the vibrant red lips of a girl with her mouth open in a heart-stopping scream. You can feel the pain and fear behind that scream. Then there is the mist that surrounds her, hinting at worlds unseen. The essence of the book has been captured so well by this one image and I must compliment the design team at Mira Ink.

Rachel Vincent has created an amazing world in My Soul to Take that manages to be original in a market overflowing with the paranormal. I love a good vampire or angel story as much as the next paranormal fan, but it is refreshing and exciting when an author manages to push the boundaries and give you something new to explore. Rachel Vincent's world of reapers, bean sidhes and hellions had me captivated and I'm very eager to see how she develops it as the series progresses.

My Soul to Take gripped me from the first page with its pacing, description and vivid characters. The pacing was well handled throughout the book, allowing me to catch my breath between moments of heightened excitement and drama. Rachel Vincent allows you to step into the story with her writing, so that it felt at times as though I was standing right next to Kaylee.

Kaylee is a fabulous character. I immediately liked her and her quiet strength. The glimpses into her past and her family life – living with her aunt, uncle and cousin – let me understand her even more, so that by the end of the book she felt like an old friend. Nash is all kinds of delicious rolled up in a layer of mystery. He's a strong guy, but doesn't have the overbearing alpha male attitude that a lot of paranormal leading men have and that was refreshing. I enjoyed watching Kaylee and Nash's relationship develop as Kaylee found out more about herself and the world she's been born into. I also have to mention Emma, Kaylee's best friend. She's great and I'd like to see her developed more as a character in the series. And then there's Kaylee's obnoxious and spoilt cousin, Sophie, who seems to go out of her way to belittle her. I wanted to throttle her a few times – a good sign that she may be mean, but she's been well written.

With a strong heroine, original world and great storytelling My Soul to Take is a fabulous addition to my bookshelf and I can't wait to read more.

Rating: 9½

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