I don't feel quiteas gutted with this series' ending as I did with the last one I read, but I'm not going to lie, I did shed some tears. I didn't discI don't feel quite as gutted with this series' ending as I did with the last one I read, but I'm not going to lie, I did shed some tears. I didn't discover this series until the fourth book was out and I'd won a copy, but you'd better believe that I rushed out to catch up and then waited not-so-patiently as each subsequent book was released. And with each new book, I loved this world, the story, and the characters that much more.
Kaylee Cavenaugh and friends have survived a lot. Okay, maybe survived is the wrong word. Not everyone has come through this war with the Netherworld unscathed...or even alive. We've lost some friends along the way, but we've made some new ones, too. These characters have moved past heartbreak, overcome addiction, and triumphed over evil time and again. And what's ahead for Kaylee in this final installment leaves her at the edge of a precipice, facing a decision that no one, dead or alive, should ever have to make.
"These beautiful blue eyes show me all the things you'd be willing to do for the people you care about. The things you would give up. The pain you would put yourself through for anyone you love--including me--and I can hardly stand to look into these eyes sometimes, because when I do, I know that you're going to do what needs to be done, even if that might take you away from me. From all of us."
Kaylee has never been opposed to taking risks to protect those she loves. And she is no less gallant in With All My Soul. But she is entirely too impulsive in her decisions this time around, leaving others wounded and hurt in the process. In fact, it almost felt like she was channeling Faythe from Rachel Vincent's Shifters series. And Faythe annoyed the crap out of me for much of that series, so it's a safe assumption that I found Kaylee infuriatingly frustrating for a big chunk of this book. But her motivations are pure, and though her intentions weren't always clear, it was obvious she'd considered every angle before acting.
One of my favorite things about this series is the dialogue. And not just from the swoony Tod, though I am admittedly partial to him. It's realistic. It's sarcastic. It's witty. It had me laughing and crying and swooning every step of the way, and I'm going to miss the banter between the characters something fierce. But I am mostly going to miss all the sweet, romantic words from one very hot reaper.
"I want you for all of you. Each individual part and the sum of them all. I want you for everything you are and everything you will ever be. I will never have enough of you, because there's no such thing."
This series is one of the few times I've actually approved of a love triangle. Because in reality, and especially at the age these characters are depicted at, it is entirely possible to outgrow your first love and find solace in another. And after everything these characters have been through, it felt right for the romance to take the path it did. It was refreshing to see the emotional growth of these characters throughout the series, but I was especially elated at the resolution provided in this final Soul Screamers book. Hurt feelings or not, I think this is the way it was always meant to be.
There were some plot developments here and there that I could have done without or that I thought would have taken an entirely different turn than they did, but overall, I still consider this one of my favorite series. I mean, first of all, it's the only one I know of focused on wailing banshees. That in itself is pretty awesome, but when you couple it with intriguing characters, intense interactions with sins personified as villainous hellions, beautiful world-building (centered around my hometown, no less!), and a well-crafted storyline, well, you can't really go wrong, can you?
I found Inbetween to be cute and clever, and although it wasn'Stop by The Starry-Eyed Revue on 8/24 for an excerpt as part of the Inbetween Blog Tour!
I found Inbetween to be cute and clever, and although it wasn't completely original (what is these days, right?), it was still a very fun read. It was engrossing to the point that I'd find myself skimming larger passages to read ahead and find out what happened, only to have to go back and re-read those sections to ensure I hadn't missed anything. I love when a book has me in its clutches like that, but I also hate it because it feels like I have to read everything twice.
Inbetween is set in our world but also in a location parallel to our world, aptly named the Inbetween, as it is that gray area between Heaven and Hell. It is the place where souls are sent if they haven't quite earned their spot in Heaven or Hell, though if they are truly exceptional souls, they may be given the opportunity to return to the land of the living to really prove their worth.
This novel is told as a dual narrative, from the perspectives of Emma and Finn. They may not have known each other in this lifetime, but each feels a deep connection to the other after a chance encounter that leaves Emma without her father and reminds Finn of a painful loss he suffered some fifteen years earlier. As a reaper, Finn takes some serious risks to ensure Emma's safety once he realizes who she is. And Emma is in danger quite often, which leads to a lot of trouble for Finn, since he's not supposed to interfere in human affairs or "go corporeal" because his boss can sense it and will require a full report.
Emma is a sneaky little minx, digging deep to discover things about Finn that he won't divulge himself. Yet, she never quite figured out what I had deduced nearly from the onset of the novel. I'm not going to sugar-coat it…this novel was a tad predictable, but that only kept the first half of the novel from being as enjoyable as it could have been. Once the action -- aka attempts on Emma's life -- really got going, the book became a bit more suspenseful and engaging.
The romance was sweet and cuddly but in the way a sad puppy at the pound is because there can't be a future for these two. Emma is of the living, and well, Finn is most definitely not. He's a reaper, meant not to develop feelings for a human but instead to send them on to the Inbetween to await their fates. But he can't help himself. His reaper friends -- Easton of Hell's domain and Anaya of Heaven's -- both try to convince him his intentions are fool-hardy, that he's wasting his time and causing trouble for all of them, but he's a lost cause. He'd try anything, do anything to be with Emma. I kind of have to wonder if this guy has ANY scruples after some of the things he's done for her or even contemplated so that he can be close to her.
Although this book is focused on the reapers and a rather forbidden romance, it has a little bit of everything in there, just to keep you on your toes: possible body-snatching, Ouija boards, psychotic ghosts, overbearing mothers…you name it. Oh, and a hot, if somewhat pervy, best friend who remains strictly in Emma's friend zone. So, no love triangle…well, not in the most literal sense, anyway, so yay! Wait, wait, wait. I just remembered there's no cliffhanger either -- though I did feel that the ending was a little too perfect, a little too easy. I guess this novel doesn't have everything then, but in this case, that's not a bad thing. All in all, Inbetween is a great start to a new series that I definitely plan to continue.
Thanks to Entangled Publishing for providing a copy for review!...more
OH. MY. SWEET. TOD. I lost count of how many times I exclaimed that while reading Before I Wake. If you thought If I Diewas full of revelations and eaOH. MY. SWEET. TOD. I lost count of how many times I exclaimed that while reading Before I Wake. If you thought If I Diewas full of revelations and earth-shattering changes, you haven’t seen anything yet!
I’m going to write this review assuming anyone reading it has read the rest of the series. So, if you’ve haven’t, you might not want to read any further for fear of spoilage.
So, my first thought while reading was, “Why is the onus all on Kaylee?” I love her character…out of all of Rachel Vincent’s books, she’s my favorite heroine. She’s down-to-earth, honorable to a fault, and so selfless. And with Before I Wake, we get to add completely tortured to the list. Not only is Kaylee dealing with her death, as well as her newfound position with the reclamation department, but her arch-nemesis is still after her and he’s pulling out all the stops to get at Kaylee’s soul. And, of course, she feels guilty for the way things ended with Nash and began with Tod.
But that Tod showed her she wasn’t alone in all of this. Nash was the boy she fell for and deeply cared for, but Tod was the man who proved his devotion and undying love. (Heh.) Honestly, I don’t think I cared much one way or the other before If I Die, but man, that book changed things. Tod was reckless and obstinate, but when it comes to Kaylee, he is a changed man. He would risk life and limb for that girl. If there was ever a question of which guy deserved Kaylee more, I think it’s definitely answer in Before I Wake — assuming it could even be questioned after Until I Die.
As always, Vincent kept me on my toes. With some series, I find myself easily predicting where the current novel will end and where we’ll be left hanging until the next installment. Not so with the Soul Screamers series. My mouth was literally hanging opened when I turned the last page. I love that feeling, but I also hate it. At any rate, I’ll be eagerly awaiting the seventh and final novel in the Soul Screamers series, due out in April 2013.