Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Review: My Soul to Keep (Soul Screamers Book 3) by Rachel Vincent

Spoilers for 'My Soul To Keep' and the previous books in the series contained below.

When teenager Kaylee screams, someone dies. And Kaylee s about to scream her head off... A banshee like Kaylee, Nash understands her like no one else. Nothing can come between them. Until something does. Demon breath. No, not the toothpaste-challenged kind. The netherworld kind. The kind that really can kill you. Somehow the super-addictive substance has made its way to the human world. But how? Kaylee and Nash have to cut off the source and protect their friends one of whom is already hooked. But so is someone else. Nash.

I’m getting really irritated with blubs on books giving away a twist before you’ve even opened the book. I know the author’s most likely don’t have much control over that, so it’s not a complaint on the book at all, but it does frustrate me. Because the ‘big twist’ happens around half way through, and the build-up (which would otherwise be really well done) is a bit wasted because you’re waiting for it.

Ok, gripe over, I loved this book. I felt the second book in the series “My Soul to Save” fell a bit flat after the awesomeness of the first book “My Soul To Take.” However, Rachel Vincent is back on track with this third instalment. It was gripping from the outset and sustained the high throughout.

It was great to be put straight back in with characters we’ve already had chance to get to know, because there’s no time spent on exposition – we’re straight into the action. Instead we had a couple of background characters fleshed out, which was good because the action focused back in on high school and the people we knew.

It was interesting to see how Vincent tackles the idea of addiction, and a very bold choice to give Nash an addiction to ‘frost’. Taking the ‘golden boy’ who can do no wrong and would do anything to keep Kaylee safe, and then suddenly he’s basically abusing her and disrespecting her. It’s terrifying to realise just how much he’s done to her when he finally admits at the end of the book.
It’s a risk that pays off though, because Vincent handles the subject brilliantly. We see a darker side of Nash, the highs and the lows, and the all-consuming aspect to the drug. One thing that I found particularly hard to read was the final confrontation with Kaylee when we discover all the things that have been happening without her knowledge.
I’m looking forward to seeing how his story develops, whether he’ll remain clean, and whether he’ll be able to redeem himself. (Or from the look of the blurb for the fourth book, whether he’ll even want to do it for Kaylee…)

My one frustration with Kaylee is her ‘saving people thing.’ That’s just something that frustrates me personally, because she determinedly throws herself into dangerous situations, regardless of how it could damage her. That’s just personal to me, and overall I love her as a character. She’s likeable, believable, and you can completely empathise with her in her feelings of confusion and teenage angst, in relation to death or love, or even being grounded.
The relationship with her father continued to develop throughout this book, and I’m so glad we got to see more of him, because he came off badly in the first two books, and he was more human and believable throughout this book, and it was great to see their shaky relationship continue to develop.

I love Tod. It’s been great to see more of him over the course of the books, and he’s a constant source of fascination for me, because there is no ‘ah he’s going to do that’ or ‘he’s going to end up with her.’ He’s in constant flux. One minute he’s doing anything for Addy – the next he’s looking out for Emma, and the next he’s being protective of Kaylee. He’s an all-round Dark Knight, and I can’t wait to see more of him.

One minor gripe on the side, which has nothing to do with the quality of the novel, is that the editing on the kindle edition isn’t that great, particularly the formatting, and it can be quite frustrating to read.

So characters were developed, risks were taking and paid off, and the baddies were still terrifying. I love this series, it scares me, it makes me melt, it has made me fall in love with another branch of creatures and fantasy, and it has had me hooked from the start. A very strong third book in the series, I love Vincent’s writing, and I love this world that she’s developed. I highly recommend her writing to anyone who’s looking for a fresh take on fantasy.
Have you read the books? Share your thoughts and comments on the Soul Screamers Series below.


  1. Yes, there's that one-word spoiler on the UK edition. I have no idea how that happened. We had it removed from the US version, and I had no idea that it was on the UK one until I got my copy. Sorry!

    But thanks for the review!

  2. Ah, fair enough. It didn't ruin my enjoyment of the novel, just had a few books recently with spoilers in the blurb!
    Love the series, and thank you for reading :)

  3. That particular spoiler frustrates me to no end, but there's nothing I can do, and it was truly an accident, so I won't point fingers. ;)