Saturday, 25 February 2012

Review: My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent

Trying to work things out with Nash—her maybe boyfriend—is hard enough for Kaylee Cavanaugh. She can't just pretend nothing happened. But "complicated" doesn't even begin to describe their relationship when his ex-girlfriend transfers to their school, determined to take Nash back. 
See, Sabine isn't just an ordinary girl. She's a 
mara, the living personification of a nightmare. She can read people's fears—and craft them into nightmares while her victims sleep. Feeding from human fear is how she survives. 
And Sabine isn't above scaring Kaylee and the entire school to death to get whatever—and 
whoever—she wants.

I’m going to straight out say that this wasn’t my favourite book in the Soul Screamers series – it was still fantastic, a brilliant example of good writing, engaging characters and a plot that boggles the mind with its creative twists, but it just wasn’t as good for me as some of the others.
In fact I’m noticing that the odd numbered books in this series are my favourites, whilst the even numbers don’t quite hit it for me.

I think the biggest problem for me personally is that normally I sympathise/empathise/relate to/all of the above to at least one of the characters in a book – and I suppose I did with Tod, but he played such a minor role in comparison that I don’t think that quite counts.

I became so frustrated with Kaylee for her unbending attitude and ability to make a decision. I became frustrated with Nash on every level for everything. After the events of the last book it’s going to take a huge amount of something to make me see him even close to the way I used to prior to his addiction.

And then there’s Sabine, who for the most part I loved, but some of the things she did just crossed the line beyond even remotely ok that I then became frustrated with her.

Don’t get me wrong, I still loved them, and did feel for them, laugh with them, etc. It was just that a lot of their interactions really frustrated me and I actually didn’t have any side that I was on, I didn’t want any of them to win! I think that in part that was because I could see all the sides to the story – and that is an incredible skill on Ms Vincent’s part. I could see why everyone was frustrated and angry, but at the same time the way they each tried to deal with it rubbed me up completely the wrong way.

A lot of that is explained when all the pieces of the puzzle click into place at the end, but I still struggled with some moments and decisions of the characters.

Of all of them I think I liked Sabine the most, which is weird… But she really does take crossing the line to a whole new level. At the same time I was kind of on Kaylee’s side, except that the prize they were fighting over was a boy that after the events of the last book I kind of felt that both of them deserved better.

Which I suppose brings us round to my real dislike in the book, which was Nash. I adored him in books one and two, but book three completely turned me off him and he didn’t manage to redeem himself at all in this book. I could understand where he was coming from with being alone and Kaylee not being there for him, but at the same time I was on her side as to why she hadn’t been there for him. It felt to me that he had done nothing but look despondent and apologise to her. He hadn’t tried to talk it out or start to build their relationship back up, he just backed off and had late night bedroom sessions with Sabine. It just didn’t sit right with me.

It didn’t feel like he was fighting for his relationship actively, he was passive, and self-involved, and playing the victim. And that Kaylee could even want to take him back made my mind boggle.

But as I said at the start, none of this affected my enjoyment of the book, I still really love this series and thought it was a great instalment, and I continue to love Ms Vincent’s writing. I love that the characters to develop, that they grow and change and make bad decisions as well as good decisions. 

I loved the introduction of Sabine, who strangely, as I’ve said, I really kind of liked for all her terrible ways. And I’m glad that all the bad stuff that happened in the previous book wasn’t just swept under the rug – it was messy and involving and completely teenage high school, and I loved seeing how they tried to deal with it all, to patch up and keep going. I love the mythology and that this series deals with supernatural creatures that are rarely given their own books – to have such a diverse and intriguing set of characters is one of my favourite aspects of this series.

So in all, not my favourite in the series but still a fantastic book, and I’m so looking forward to seeing where this goes – and to seeing more of everyone’s favourite Reaper, who remains to this day my favourite character in this series.

1 comment:

  1. I still haven't read the third one, but I've heard a lot of people say they have a big reaction to Nash's behaviour in that book. It kind of puts me off reading it, but it also makes me really curious...