I like a good book in a series when I know I don’t have to read the books in order and the back story is loose enough that I get it within a few pages. Rachel Vincent’s My Soul to Save is book #2 in her “Soul Screamers” series and falls into that category.
Kaylee is a bean sidhe (banshee), as is the boy she has a serious crush on, Nash. The story opens with them attending an Eden concert, a well-known pop star, whose show was opened by a local rising talent, Addison Page. When Eden collapses on the stage and Kaylee realizes that her screaming talents didn’t foresee the death, she knows there’s something deeper going on.
You see, Kaylee’s talent as a bean sidhe is screaming when someone is nearing their death. Well, she does when the person who is dying has a soul. It is the soul being released that causes the scream.
Things go from bad to worse when she gets signs that Addison Page will be nearing the end of her short life, as well, and it’s up to Kaylee, Nash, and Tod — Nash’s dead brother who also happens to have paranormal attributes — to figure out what is going on and how they can stall the inevitable death of Addison and her younger sister Regan.
My Soul to Save is way outside my normal reading habits, and I didn’t find myself hating it as much as I’d expect. I think that Vincent does a good job of world building and she shares enough back story of each character to make them make sense to someone who doesn’t read much of this genre. There is a nice mix of adventure, mystery, and romance to make the story move along quickly, and the scenario is pretty interesting, given what Kaylee and company come to learn about why Eden died and why Addison and Regan are about to die, as well. There’s actually quite a bit of reality to this.
What I didn’t like, though, was the sudden game change in the last couple of chapters in the book. New rules were introduced and it really killed the action that had been going on throughout, and it also made me question if Vincent didn’t know how to tie up the story. Again, reading with eyes of a person unfamiliar with the paranormal genre, I felt teased and ripped off a bit by the end. It could have been stronger, more consistent with the text, and left me feeling excited to read the other titles in this series. Instead, I felt cheated and am not entirely compelled to read more.
My Soul to Save is published by Harlequin, so you can expect some of their trademark embedded in the book. I thought it was tastefully done, and I thought it was woven well into the story line. Two teens have a realistic crush relationship, where it is part of their lives and not the entirety of their lives (I mean, tracking down the reason pop stars are dying DOES take up a little time in one’s day).
Overall, it’s a nice addition to the genre. For fans of the new Harlequin Teen line, this is a good one, and for those who read the prior title in this series, My Soul to Take, this will be a natural choice. I thought the standalone qualities made this a book that stands out just a little more from others. But, don’t expect great writing and prepare to feel fleeced at the end.