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My Soul to Keep (African Immortals, #1)
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My Soul to Keep (African Immortals #1)

4.21  ·  Rating Details ·  3,030 Ratings  ·  271 Reviews
When Jessica marries David, he is everything she wants in a family man: brilliant, attentive, ever youthful. Yet she still feels something about him is just out of reach. Soon, as people close to Jessica begin to meet violent, mysterious deaths, David makes an unimaginable confession: More than 400 years ago, he and other members of an Ethiopian sect traded their humanity ...more
Paperback, 346 pages
Published April 8th 1998 by Harper Voyager (first published June 29th 1997)
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(showing 1-30)
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Pamela Greer
Dec 18, 2008 Pamela Greer rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: YES YES YES
This is my FAVORITE book in the whole world. T. Due is an awesome writer and though I have not read all her books or the latest installment of this triology..I will forever love this book. This is a love story, this is a horror, fiction all rolled up into one. The character of David/Dawit is so fascinating. The love of Jessica and David is captivating. this book keeps you on the edge. I have had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Due and having a personal discussion with her and my book club last year ...more
Mar 03, 2009 Nick rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This book is excellent, but at the same time, if I hadn't read another of her books first I don't think I would have continued reading this series. My objection is to one of the characters, Dawit. The portrayal of him in this book is SO monstrous that it was jarring. His best friend, Mahmoud, is even worse.
I think that the author has done a brilliant job of portraying the thought processes of beings who are no longer entirely human, but the down side of this is that they are not someone with who
Jul 12, 2009 Gayla rated it really liked it
This is my first Tananarive Due novel. I enjoyed the book. It was very engaging. The story line developed well and Due's "twist" on "vampires" is very thought-provoking. Her characters are not really vampires - they are immortals with special blood. They are human and alive in every way, except they will never die. This allows due to create multi-dimensional characters. They have complex personalities. They can be hurt. They can experience joy. They can feel love. All-in-all I was very impressed ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 15, 2011 Lou rated it it was amazing
My name is Dah-west. I was born in what is now called Ethiopia nearly five hundred years ago. I am an immortal. There are fifty-eight others like me. Our blood lives forever, and our bodies heal. We do not age. We were not born this way, and our condition is not genetic. We underwent a Ritual. We do not have extraordinary strength, and it is not our purpose to harm others. We are merely a race of scholars. Most of us choose not to mingle among mortals, but sone of us do. We love, and we have fam
Jun 23, 2011 Kristin rated it it was amazing
Wow. This one grabbed me and kicked me in the mind, heart and body. I am SO HAPPY with the way this book ended, but I won't spoil it here.

The writing is glorious, the subject is intriguing and watching the way intelligent characters deal with unbearable challenges is just so damn fine I want to sing about it.

It is so rare to find a book with characters you admire and respect who are deeply opposed in beliefs and have valid reasons for being there. I can't wait to read the next volume in the seri
Aug 27, 2011 Susan rated it it was amazing
Wow! This was the first book I stopped in the middle because I couldn’t bear to go on. I peeked. I had to see for myself where the author was going to take it in the end. Yes, I cheated! The characters were amazing, the villain, David, surprisingly lovable with all his faults, a truly amazing story that will reach out and touch you no matter who you are, and where you are in life. I’m so glad I read this book!
Brooklyn Darkchild
Aug 02, 2011 Brooklyn Darkchild rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fantasy/sci-fi/paranormal fans
Recommended to Brooklyn by: my daughter
The things we do for love, right?
Dawit is a five-hundred-year-old immortal who has loved and lost three wives: one in Ethiopia hundreds of years ago, one who was killed in slavery times, and one he was forced to abandon by his brethren in the 1920s. But never had he loved a wife the way Dawit loved Jessica. One could say he was obsessed with her.
Young, brash, and professional, Jessica considered Dawit almost a gift from God, and could never fathom just what this wise older professor saw in her.
Oct 14, 2016 Chris rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David Wolde is an immortal man who has married a mortal woman. She’s a journalist who’s starting to taste success, and he’s an accomplished professor turned freelance writer who dotes on his wife and their young daughter. However, his wife doesn’t know he is immortal. David took a blood pact many years ago in Ethiopia that granted him and fifty-nine other men immortality. They promised to never tell any others of this pact, and they promised never to get too attached to the mortal world. David’s ...more
Sep 15, 2011 Damali rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This series took me by surprise. I discovered it in an airport bookstore and the rest is history. At first, I was afraid it was a romance, but it quickly developed into an unforgettable story that I haven't read anywhere before or since. Best of all, the setting is in my hometown, so I felt an even bigger connection to the characters. My Mom is now reading the third book and I'm reading the fourth.
Jun 18, 2012 Sheera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this story. For a multitude of reasons ... the story itself was intriguing but for me it was because as I was reading it I wanted to scream/yell at the characters to make better/different decisions (but then it wouldn't be a story if they made the decisions I want them to make --- it'd be smart people doing smart things instead of smart people doing not-smart things).

What I liked: The premise of the story was new or at least the way that the premise was attacked; I liked how th
Karen Davis
Dec 31, 2012 Karen Davis rated it really liked it
Sci-fi is a new genre for me. The few I've read had me asking "what is the point?" with the exception being Joplin's Ghost and this one, both by Due.

At first I thought Jessica And David where going to fight off whatever other-worldly stuff was coming. David was the right mix of intellect, passion, and domesticity that I couldn't. help but want him to be right at her side for the duration of the story. My hope was dashed when early on he kills Jessica's friend in a calm spell of jealousy. David i
Jan 21, 2013 Shazzt added it
It took me a long time to get into this book. Partly because not a lot happens in the first two thirds of the story and partly because i found the female protagonist intensely annoying and worse, boring. Perhaps it is partly my fault. Jessica subscribes to the type of Christianity that sees god as a big Santa that will give her everything she asks for (including miracles) if she is "good" enough or prays hard enough and I find that a huge turn off in anyone. Plus, for an investigative reporter, ...more
Cassandra Baker-Durham
May 15, 2013 Cassandra Baker-Durham rated it it was amazing
Unforgetable...I had never heard of Tananarive Due until a week ago when someone told me about her colorful and creative books. I guess that is one way to put it. As I sit here, I am still holding my breath from the rush of emotions and feelings and anxieties experiences while reading this book. First of all the book is long…. But that is not necessarily a bad thing. She needed every single one of those words in order to adequately describe the macabre, the strange, the nerve-wracking events of ...more
Nov 16, 2013 Victoria rated it it was ok
Shelves: urban-fantasy

More of a 2.5 really but you can't give half stars here so...

I want to begin by saying that this is a very well written piece of urban fantasy. Considering all the urban fantasy out there that sucks, and all the lame and awful vampire/werewolf/ghost/witch in modern times books out there this one is definitely a winner. It has a broad scope and the story effectively wanders through time from ancient history to modern times (well semi-modern like the 90's so there is a bit of a disconnect there).
Jan 08, 2014 Deloris rated it it was amazing
I did not know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised that basically this is a love story, a love story unlike anything I have ever read. A friend of mine wrote a blog about originality today, this story is the original no copies here. The love between Dawit and Jessica is the most beautiful thing I have read. Dawit has a desperate love for his wife and daughter Kira, I felt Jessica loved him the same but differently because of the close relationship with her family. The things Dawit did ...more
Lily Java
Jan 19, 2014 Lily Java rated it it was amazing
Let me start by saying that this was my favorite book I've read in the last 6 months. Not because it was the most well written book I’ve read in that time but because it was the first time in 6 months that I’ve fallen head over heels for the hero. The last time this happened to me the hero was a bad boy. Beyond that actually, because that character was such a bad boy he was, in fact, an antihero. This is also true of this novel’s lead character, Dawat. I prefer the term antihero to bad boy in my ...more
No matter what I think of a book, the basic question I pose to myself when I’m trying to figure out what rating to give it is: how much did I want to read it. This book started out slow, but by the end, I couldn’t put it down. I don’t have a particularly strong interest in paranormal or urban fantasy, but I think that this book was terrific for the genre. If Goodreads had 1/2 stars, I'd give this 3 1/2. I’m not sure if I’ll read the other two books in the series or not. I, definitely, would, if ...more
Aug 18, 2015 Evonne rated it it was ok
TOTALLY not my genre. I really disliked the main characters--Jessica and David. I almost gave up, but I'm giving it 2 stars because once I got half way through, the book interested me enough to keep my attention till the end.
DeAnna Knippling
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 12, 2015 Story rated it really liked it
This book surprised me. It is not my normal genre, and it is not my normal style. For one, I've never been a big fan of horror, or vampires and that brand of sexy immortality. Due manages to make her immortals tenderly human. What she does is related to, but is not in and of itself, a vampire. And it's intriguing.

Second, Due writes in a shifting but tight 3rd person. Each section moves to a different character's perspective, and is so very much in their head. Questions are asked directly, in a t
Robin Ogletree
Feb 26, 2015 Robin Ogletree rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-soul-to-keep
This my second time reading this book, my first time was in the early 1990's. It left a lasting impression on me all these years. I choose to share it with my book club, I'm so excited to hear their impressions. This book was my first introduction to the author Tananarive Due...I was captivated by her writing style and abillity to make you gasp with anticipation for the next work, sentence, thought, event. You are throughly engrossed in the story to the last page and even after it's over you can ...more
Mar 04, 2015 Sunny rated it really liked it
Book #13 in this year's reading challenge of all POC authors. I plan on making the next two books in the series #14 and 15. Pretty sure Gabe Teodros told me to read this years ago and I'm FINALLY getting to it. I had a hard time doing anything else -- even napping.

I'm two weeks into my month long trial of Oyster and it's already been feeding me suggestions like Diverse Speculative Fiction and Feminist Sci-Fi. This entire series is available for the reading there and probably also at your librar
Arielle Walker
Not bad at all, just... not really my thing, I guess. Maybe I just expected more, different, better. It reminded me, somehow, of Midnight Crossroad which I wasn't hugely enamoured with either. 3 stars because it deserves them, but for personal taste possibly less.
Kathleen Dixon
Oct 07, 2016 Kathleen Dixon rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kathleen by: Arielle Walker
A Goodreads friend reviewed this book - said it wasn't really her thing, actually, but I was intrigued by the book's blurb. For several reasons:
Its supernatural base is members of an Ethiopian sect.
It has immortality as a theme/problem.
It suggests you can be robbed of your soul.
I find these things fascinating. In the first place my husband is Ethiopian, and worships at the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. He, of course, would be horrified at the idea of the sect's immortality and how they came about i
Jan 16, 2016 Paige rated it liked it
3.5, maybe

This was an absorbing and entertaining read. There was some great tension in there, and some creepy scenes were written to very good effect. It was highly readable. The story was good. Ms. Due is a skilled writer. Given all that, you might think my rating is kind of on the low side, and I agree.

I added it to my list after hearing comparisons to Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed. While I think this book is more riveting, possibly even better written, and would probably provide a better experie
This book is great in concept but poor in execution. The characters were so underdeveloped I cared more about the dog that only appeared on the first chapter than anything that happened to them. The pacing was lackadaisical, making even the moments that were supposed to dramatic feel very low stakes. The book seemed to suffer from a real identity crisis, too. It was written with the pacing of literary fiction, had the problematic relationship of paranormal romance, and there were moments it lean ...more
Sep 25, 2016 Obsidian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
I was going to read and finish this for Halloween Bingo 2016, but since this is a DNF, it doesn't count towards the bingo. I finally just gave up reading this after I realized that I didn't like either main characters, and the book pace was so slow, it was positively glacial.

We find a man (or is he?) visiting an old woman in a retirement home. The man is sad to see that the woman has grown old (by the way this is really stupid when the reveal shows who he is, shocker dude, people get old) and th
Monica **can't read fast enough**
I can't believe how much I enjoyed this one. This was my first Due book, so I wasn't sure what I was going to get, but I enjoyed what she gave. Unique characters, story that takes you there emotionally, and a steady slow building story all kept me engaged. What kept me from giving this five stars is the slow parts of the story. There are a few sluggish moments, but they were well worth the overall experience. I can see myself reading this one again at some point and I will be getting the rest of ...more
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  • Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora
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Tananarive Due is a novelist and a creative writing teacher who has worked as a journalist. She won the American Book Award in 2002 for her novel The Living Blood.
More about Tananarive Due...

Other Books in the Series

African Immortals (4 books)
  • The Living Blood (African Immortals, #2)
  • Blood Colony (African Immortals, #3)
  • My Soul to Take (African Immortals, #4)

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