So….confession time. I was not so sure I wanted to read this series after Rhiannon Hart’s review last fall in which she called MY SOUL TO TAKE “an AUTOMATIC FAIL … badly in need of a gender overhaul”. But I picked it up anyway, prepared to be full of righteous indignation and maybe even to skim through it if the going got tough. But then something happened I was completely unprepared for: Rachel Vincent sucked me into Kaylee’s world so completely, I didn’t come up for air until I was finished with the second book.
These books are plot driven packages of literary crack, with well-thought out world building, mythology and afterlife concepts that are just plain fun. In that context, it’s hard for me to summon too much outrage that women are portrayed as hysterical harpies that can only be calmed by men (although I would certainly make this a talking point when discussing Kaylee’s romantic relationship with impressionable younger teens).
Book 1 is your typical girl finds out she’s not really human like she always thought she was and that she has a special talent which will help her save others. We find out the truth of her origins as Kaylee does and get to know other paranormal beings along the way, all while solving a mystery of otherworldly proportions.
By book 2, MY SOUL TO SAVE, most of the back story is established, so Kaylee gets involved in a mission to uncover a plot engineered by entertainment moguls to provide demons with fresh, young souls. There are thinly veiled references to Disney and its tween/teen stars like Britney Spears (Whitney Lance) and Lindsay Lohan (Lindy Cohen), and the whole set-up gives us a chance to explore a richly imagined netherworld filled with dangerous plants and strange creatures.
BUT…the ending of book 2 made me very angry. It’s what I like to call the ole switcharoo. You are invested in a certain outcome, the characters are invested in that same outcome and then somewhere in the third act, the rules are changed and everyone’s supposed to be satisfied with some hollow victory?! Ummm… nope…NOT SATISFIED!
That doesn’t mean however that I am any less excited about reading book 3 in the series, MY SOUL TO KEEP, (due out June 1st) or the prequel short story MY SOUL TO LOSE (available for free download at the official SOUL SCREAMERS website).
For all of you who want to give this series a try, I have a two pack including MY SOUL TO TAKE and MY SOUL TO SAVE for one lucky commenter on this post. Just tell me what book(s) you consider literary crack (yes, I am looking for more!) and you are entered to win. As always, 1 extra entry will be given to those who spread the word either via linking to the contest from your blog (sidebar is fine) or tweeting with @lenoreva (make sure you indicate this in an extra comment for it to count). This contest is US only and will close at 11:59 PM CST on February 10th.
I also have one copy of MY SOUL TO SAVE to give away to someone who already has MY SOUL TO TAKE and who lives in the US. If this describes you, be the first one to claim it in the comments, and it is yours. (ETA: Claimed by thruthehaze)