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A Soul Reclaimed

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Hell is divided into seven regions. The first region is designated for the purest of souls, the seventh is for the evilest. There was once a king of Hell, but the steward family has ruled for centuries.

Nora, the stepdaughter of the steward is undone when her mother and step-father take away her beloved tutor, Peter. When Nora confronts the steward and her mother, the discussion is heated and ends with the steward in inexplicable pain.

Shortly after, Nora finds herself in the Starry Wood. Peter told her of the perils within the forest, and it's not long before the inhabitants of the wood find her.

A giant hunter named Aegis comes to Nora's aid. He is drawn to Nora, compelled to protect her from the steward's assassins, the giants, and the evil souls who escape the seventh region.

Together, they travel the seven layers of Hell to discover why the steward is so threatened by a teenage girl.

192 pages, Paperback

Published April 15, 2019

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Shayna Grissom

8 books43 followers

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Displaying 1 - 19 of 19 reviews
Profile Image for Esther Haddie's Haven.
899 reviews56 followers
May 9, 2019
This book is a debut! What? Shayna Grissom writes as if she's been around and releasing books forever. Brilliant! I love Nora's character. I felt Nora was very relatable and she felt like a real person. I would totally love to be her best friend. As the story goes on, I was sucked right in. There's a shimmer of suspense; the book is thrilling and executed so well. Again, this is a debut?? Really? Okay, I believe you. Amazing.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book. This is my honest, voluntary review.
Profile Image for Jasmine.
943 reviews81 followers
May 14, 2019
A Soul Reclaimed is the debut novel of Shayna Grissom. It tells the story of Nora, whose stepfather is the steward of the kingdom of Hell. Nora, always a little different, ends up being sent away, only to wake up in the Starry Wood (not a good place to be, by the way). Ambushed by creatures, Nora is saved by a man who also happens to be more than he seems. On her journey back home, Nora starts to realize there may be more to her than meets the eye. And it may explain why she had been sent away. Will Nora uncover the truth behind everything that's been going on in Hell before it's too late?

First off, that cover is gorgeous. I absolutely love it.

Second, I have to admit I really liked the character of Aegis. He's really well-written, and I enjoyed the fact that he was willing to do whatever it took to help Nora. She, on the other hand, did have moments where she frustrated me, but she's a decent character. All she wants is to figure out why her stepfather had her only friend (her tutor, Peter) dismissed, and why he's so afraid of her. She is just a normal girl...right?

Plot-wise, I will admit the book did start off a little slow for me. And I was confused in a couple of spots, mostly trying to keep track of who was who and what was going on. But once I got into the story a bit, it picked up, and I found myself eager and curious to find out how everything would play out.

I did like that Hell was divided into seven regions. Nora and Aegis end up exploring them, and each one has its own uniqueness. The world building was nicely done, although there were times I would have liked a little more detail, or perhaps more time spent somewhere. It would have be interesting to see each region a little more fleshed out.

Overall, though, a really strong debut. I like it.

4 stars from me.
Profile Image for Krista Failey.
8 reviews
March 28, 2019
Just finished and loved it!! Such a new, innovative story line. Badass female lead, broody sexy vamp vibes, lots of badassness & chaos and just an amazing story. Very proud of your debut my friend ❤❤ can't wait for this one to continue!
May 25, 2019
I need further books now , like yesterday. I loved this so much, really addictive read. I loved Nora so much, I look forward to more books by Shayna Grissom eagerly and recommend this book thoroughly

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
Profile Image for Jessi.
75 reviews
August 8, 2019
An odd story. While i liked the premise, the subtle parts of the story are what killed it for me. Most of the book Nora is described as a little girl. It builds up a mental image of this young (maybe 12 year old child). But, really she is 16. suddenly the story jumps from what seems like a child being rescued, to her talking about her rescuers genitals. And him saying contemplating what he would do if she ordered him to sleep with her. Little jarring scenes like that killed what could’ve been a really good story.
Profile Image for Aeschere Knight.
3 reviews1 follower
August 8, 2019
A Soul Reclaimed is the debut novel of Shayna Grissom. It follows the story of Nora, a sixteen year old girl, as she searches to try and find where she belongs. But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a traditional coming of age story. The entirety of the tale takes place in Hell. Yeah, actual Hell though most of it is rather pleasant. Hell is divided into seven regions and not all of them are hellish.

Nora finds herself all alone in the world (er, Hell) with no real idea of what to do and how to survive. Luckily, her hero comes in the form of Aegis, an incredibly old vampire who somehow wound up being my favorite character. Together they travel throughout Hell and, eventually, Nora realizes where she belonged all along…but if you want to know where that place is, read the book ;)

The book itself starts off a bit slow; not unbearably slow, though. I was engaged enough to keep reading even if I hadn’t been asked to review this book but it took me until later on to become super invested in the story. It’s a quick read, something that you want to keep reading and not put down. I genuinely enjoyed it.

Besides the slight slow pace in the start there are a few other things I’d like to mention. We see an incredible amount of Hell and actually get to experience it. Shayna did an incredible job making sure that the reader could see the world without telling them. There isn’t pages upon pages of descriptive detail about the landscape but we can still visualize it clearly in our minds. It’s extremely well done.

Nora as a character is interesting and we see her mature and change throughout this book. Her mindset is that of a teenage girl who has been thrown into a very adult situation; so exactly how it should be. She’s a believable character. Aegis, as I mentioned, is my favorite because he is a very well developed character with a lot of depth. The Steward we also get to see quite a bit of. Nora’s mother is my only character issue because she comes off a bit flat. However, she’s also made out to be a rather flat person so perhaps that’s for the best.

My only true issue with this book in any way, shape, or form is the ending. We spend 300+ pages with Nora on her adventure and, towards the end of the book, she decides to take what’s hers. Unfortunately, this whole situation is way too easy. Now, I need to remember that this is fantasy and a young adult novel so things don’t have to be entirely realistic but still. Without much spoilers I’ll say this, Nora ends up having to fight the crown (or Steward, I guess). She manages to get the entire military on her side, which is unbelievable in itself. Wouldn’t at least a few side with the Steward and his money? Then when it comes to the actual show down it takes, what? Two chapters, roughly 12 pages of conflict and roughly 6 pages of actual battle. It felt too easy. Plus, the book ends there, with only a little bit of story left.

BUT! This is only the beginning! For a debut novel, this was a well-crafted and enjoyable story. For the first book of a series, it did a good job of making me look forward to the next one. I genuinely recommend this book. It’s a fun, enjoyable read that made me laugh out loud plenty. But it also offers some commentary and insight about the world around us (here and now) and how, if we truly try, we can change the world for the greater good.

*I was asked to review the book by the author and given a copy of it. However, this is my genuine, unbiased review of this novel.
Profile Image for Paige.
1,697 reviews72 followers
June 13, 2020
Disclaimer: I received this ebook from the author. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: A Soul Reclaimed

Author: Shayna Grissom

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 3/5

Recommended For...: Hell, Adventure, Destiny

Publication Date: April 15, 2019

Genre: YA Fantasy

Recommended Age: 17+ (romance, hell, adventure, violence, slight gore)

Publisher: Sands Press

Pages: 192

Synopsis: Hell is divided into seven regions. The first region is designated for the purest of souls, the seventh is for the evilest. There was once a king of Hell, but the steward family has ruled for centuries.

Nora, the stepdaughter of the steward is undone when her mother and step-father take away her beloved tutor, Peter. When Nora confronts the steward and her mother, the discussion is heated and ends with the steward in inexplicable pain.

Shortly after, Nora finds herself in the Starry Wood. Peter told her of the perils within the forest, and it's not long before the inhabitants of the wood find her.

A giant hunter named Aegis comes to Nora's aid. He is drawn to Nora, compelled to protect her from the steward's assassins, the giants, and the evil souls who escape the seventh region.

Together, they travel the seven layers of Hell to discover why the steward is so threatened by a teenage girl.

Review: For the most part this book was pretty good. The character development was well done and I was really invested in Aegis. The world building was really good as well and the book was very intriguing.

Overall, I liked this book but the book does start out really slow and it has a lot of names and events that have to be kept up with.

Verdict: An interesting read.
Profile Image for Arlene Mullen.
379 reviews4 followers
May 17, 2019
This is the first book by this author. I have to say that it was very well written, for a first book. She lives in the kingdom of hell with her mother and step father. She does not fit in as well, she is different. Peter is sent away. Then she wakes up, drugged into the starry forest.
Then she meets Aegis and he vowed to do whatever to save here. She doesnt understand what's going on. Why her step father hates her? Why she was never loved? What is with the voice in her head.
The traveling through all the realms is pretty cool. I liked how she explained them all. Enough so you understand, but not to much where you are wishing it was over.
I loled how each chapter told you whose point of view it was from, but I didnt like how the flash backs were done. I usually couldnt tell if it was a flashback or just the story.
It takes a little to get into the story. But I'm glad I stayed with it. Like any main character, she had her moments of annoyance. A great debut novel.
Profile Image for Adrienne Bross.
Author 1 book9 followers
August 12, 2019
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Shayna Grissom's debut novel, A Soul Reclaimed details the adventures and dangers of a young woman attempting to discover not just herself, but how she fits into the Hellscape that is her life. I don't mean that to be figurative. Grissom creates a rich world of Hell, dividing it into seven regions and showing us much of the world through Nora's eyes.

While an interesting adventure, I must admit that I felt myself wanting more from much of the text. There were many opportunities to add depth and breadth to the world and the characters that felt like they went unfulfilled. However, it was still a fun and exciting read, with interesting characters that, despite not having more depth, were still engaging. Closer to a 3.5 than a 4, but I usually round up, and would recommend this read to anyone who is a fan of the sort of paranormal fantasy Grissom writes about.
Profile Image for Meaghan Brown.
58 reviews
November 3, 2019
I won a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is SO much better than I thought. You shouldn't judge a book by the cover, and this book is a prime example.

In the seven regions of Hell, Nora was raised by a mother who never wanted her. Until age 6, she had lived in region 5 with her grandparents, who also were not kind to her. In the absence of a king, the steward reigned Hell. He married Nora's mother, but mostly to keep an eye on Nora. He believes that she may be the king of Hell, but the king's have all been men up until this point. After the steward fires Nora's tutor Peter, he knows that she is the king or queen of Hell. Because of this, he tries to kill Nora, but instead Nora finds Aegis. A vampire who has sworn to protect the king always.

Th book follows Aegis and Nora, as well as her mother and father. It's an excellent story, and well written.
Profile Image for Andrea Thompson.
717 reviews6 followers
May 13, 2019
I read the blurb on this multiple times, and still was very pleasantly surprised by this story! We get a journey through the levels of hell with a girl, Nora, who has secrets and newfound powers and a big destiny, her right hand who happens to be a vampire, lots of other fantastic characters and a unique mythology around Hell and how it is run.
SO fun and entertaining! If a step out of your regular YA box is something you are looking for, this is a great one for you.
Profile Image for Briony Smith.
Author 5 books8 followers
October 15, 2019
Between this very interesting depiction of hell, and the three very interesting characters making feel interested it wasn't much of a struggle to pick up this book again and again until I reached the end. 
Profile Image for Kenzie Mills.
875 reviews10 followers
March 30, 2020
I did not care for this book at all. It felt very like the story of a bratty child dealing with a bad stepdad situation.
Profile Image for Tabatha Shipley.
Author 10 books66 followers
July 30, 2019
What I Liked:
-The 7 layers of Hell is approached in a cool way that balances explaining it to us and yet making it seem normal for Nora.
-Aegis is a great honor bound character.
-Gorgeous cover.
-The ending. I won’t spoil but it’s well done.

Who Should Read It:
-Fantasy fans specifically those who like chosen one tropes
-Fans of books where the MC is coming into themselves

For Full Review (including what I didn’t love): https://youtu.be/qALNpWwvkZg (35:06)

Profile Image for Amandasadventuresinbookland.
24 reviews6 followers
August 25, 2019
I absolutely loved this book. I gave it 5/5 stars. I couldn’t put it down. I only wish it was longer and more to the story maybe another book as a series. I have been recommending it to everyone!
Profile Image for Nancy (The Avid Reader).
2,248 reviews94 followers
June 8, 2019
Nora is upset when her mother and step-father take her tutor Peter away from her and runs away. She soon finds herself in the Starry Wood where dangers are all around. She meets up with a guy Aegis who looks out for her and keeps her safe from the hunters that her step-father sends after her.

Nora and Aegis are on their way to the castle and have to go through the layers of hell encountering all kinds of evil along the way while trying to stay hidden from her step-father’s assassins. Hell is divided into seven regions with the different souls ranging from good to bad with each level.

Nora wants to confront her step-father but must wait until her powers become stronger. Nora has just come into her powers and doesn’t know exactly how to use them correctly or what her powers consist of as of yet but she is learning more and more each day.

It is a long and rough journey for Nora and Aegis through the layers of hell with meeting some very evil souls but meeting some nice ones as well. It gets so bad that at times Aegis carries Nora, awe sweet.

Nora and Aegis are great characters with big hearts and would not hurt a soul unless that soul crosses the line between good and evil, once that line is crossed then it is on and someone is going to pay for what they have done. Nora is not afraid to do what is right no matter what that may be.

A Soul Reclaimed is a very intriguing story that will keep you entertained from beginning to end and will keep you flipping the pages wanting to know what Nora and Aegis are going to get into next.

I would recommend A Soul Reclaimed to all fans of fantasy and young adult.
Profile Image for Taylor (Books&Beanies).
115 reviews18 followers
July 26, 2019
When Nora finds herself in the Starry Wood, she is fully aware of who caused her to be there. She knows the steward never liked her and her mother, well, let’s just say she’s not the best. After Aegis saves Nora from the horrible creatures from the Starry Wood, they travel throughout all the different regions trying to keep a low profile so they don’t attract any attention. Having never trusted anyone besides her beloved tutor Peter, it takes Nora a while to believe Aegis when he promises to be loyal to her and to keep her safe. As they travel, things start happening to Nora that bring to light who she truly is and why Aegis is so dedicated to protecting her.

I’m going to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the setting of the book, and that’s the only reason I gave it four stars. Other than the fact that it takes place in Hell, this was a good story. I enjoy the way this author writes. Everything was detailed perfectly and easy to understand and imagine. I liked the fact that this story was something new and not just a different version of a vampire, werewolf, siren, etc. novel. If you’re looking for a new fantasy outlet, I would highly recommend this book.

I loved all of the characters, but my favorite was definitely Aegis. He is loyal, strong, and protective of Nora. Aegis is the last of his kind and since that night in the Starry Wood when he felt that pull towards Nora, he has never failed to keep her safe. Aegis has been alive so long that he doesn’t remember much or why he feels the need to do nothing but protect Nora, and that’s why I love his character so much.

Nora was another one of my favorites. She’s stubborn and doesn’t trust anyone. Her mom had her young and with someone she should not have been with causing Nora to live with her grandparents for the first part of her life. Her grandparents were strict and basically only did enough to keep her alive. Nora has never been close with her mother and her only friend was her tutor Peter. I like her character more towards the end of the book when she’s really figured herself out and becomes this strong, awesome character.

Like a said before, this book is a different kind of fantasy novel than anything I’ve ever read, which I found refreshing. I really enjoyed reading this book and hopefully, the author will continue to write more books because I really like the way she writes. Unlike some authors, the author of this book writes simply and not over descriptive which makes the book easier to read. I will definitely be on the lookout for more books by this author.

Thank you, Shayna Grissom and Sands Press for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kayla Duford.
70 reviews
August 27, 2019
A Soul Reclaimed ✨ .

A debut novel from Shayna Grissom. A fantasy novel about the seven regions of hell and a young girls adventure through them with an unlikely companion. .

I really enjoyed this unique storyline and the characters within it. However, I do think this was somewhat of a missed opportunity for a longer, more detailed novel or series. It’s a great story, but very short (less than 200 pages) and at times I felt like it just hopped from big event to big event without going into enough detail. However, for a debut novel I thought it was pretty dang good! ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
Profile Image for Brie Anderson.
52 reviews3 followers
May 26, 2019
3-3.5 Stars***

**I was given an ARC through net galley for an honest review**

This story has given me many mixed feelings. I feel as though the story was short and fast-paced, but seemed to take place over a long period of time. The ending or "climax" of the story also seemed very fast. I did enjoy the story, but a lot of it just confused me.

For one, the love between Aegis and Nora. Not a lot of it made sense, and it was really hard to follow at times. Nora's powers also have been explained oddly, and I feel as though there are a lot of plot holes that need to be answered. I do wish this book was longer, and was continued on. This story has so much potential and can go very far.

This all being said, I did enjoy the story. The world building based on the seven layers of hell was truly interesting. The author made the layers into factions, and each faction had a different ability or specialty. The characters were easy(ish) to understand and like. For the most part, you understand all of the characters and what their goals are. I would've liked to know even more about the characters, especially Nora, Aegin, and the Steward. They just felt a little underdeveloped, and they could have added a lot more to the story. When Nora discovers who she is, I really enjoyed how she is trying to find herself and where she belongs. Her abilities would have been really great to know about though. The world was well explained, and it wasn't complicated at all.

Like I said, it was a fun quick read, but I wanted MORE. I wanted more from the story, and if it doesn't end here then more in the continuation (or the possibility of one). This world is very unique with a very unique story. I just wish I was given a little bit more to really make up for the uniqueness. Not a bad story, just a little underdeveloped. The author did great for a debut novel, and I wish to see her grow more as an author. Looking forward to reading more from her.
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