Friday, 5 November 2010

My Soul To Take by Rachel Vincent

Target Audience: Teens/Young Adults
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Contrary to my status updates as i was reading the beginning of the book, i have to admit that by the end this book completely turned on it's head and i found it to be a fantastic example of paranormal fantasy/romance.
I think my initial annoyance was due to lack of answers and after about 25% or more of the book being like that, i was thoroughly irritated, then all of a sudden it went boom and it really got going and i couldn't put it down.

Essentially, My Soul to Take is about a girl called Kaylee who has 'panic attacks' in which she feels overwhelming despair when she looks at certain people. These attacks of course, aren't panic attacks but actually premonitions of people who are going to die. At first she doesn't understand why this happens to her, that is until the guy everyone loves at school, Nash, starts paying more attention to her. Although what she learns from Nash will change how she sees everything and put her and several other people in her life in danger.

One of the things i really loved about this book was the fact that death was, for once, not a cliche. Too many times do you have the guy in the black robe with a scythe. Instead, the people who warn of death are Fae and the grim reapers are ordinary looking guys who have a schedule to keep. There is something morbidly funny about a reaper complaining that he's going to be late to collect someones soul. And in relation to that i found the idea that everyones death date is predestined to be absolutely terrifying, imagine if you accidentally stumbled across that list? It doesn't bear thinking about really.
The plot, once the first quarter or so of the book was done, moved quickly and the amount that was revealed in the second half of the book was amazing. I kept being stunned by the unexpected twists and by the time the final surprise came along at the end, i was left literally gobsmacked. I mean it's not like the clues weren't there, i just never saw them, and to me that means the author has done a brilliant job of concealing them.

With regards to characterisation, Kaylee and Nash make an interesting pairing. Not just in a romantic sense, but in a teaming up to solve a mystery way. Nash was also pretty protective, and tried to prevent Kaylee from becomming too overwhelmed with what was happening, with some interesting consequences. Sometimes, ignorance really is not good.

As for other characters, in the case of this book it was some of the minor characters who ended up having large parts to play and were involved in some of the greater twists towards the end of the novel, and some of the more annoying characters i grew to like by the end (well, sort of :-D)

I'll finish with my view on the twist of an left me stunned and seriously considering the selfish side of human nature. If i ever end up that vain, someone please tie me up and lock me in a cupboard. And that's all i'm saying!

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