Monday, November 12, 2012

Review: "Soul Screamers" Series Vol 1: Books 0.5-2

Soul Screamers: Vol 1 by Rachel Vincent
4 out of 5 stars

This is actually two books in one plus a novella at the beginning, but I picked it up in an omnibus, so that's what I'm going to review here. I always have a hard time listing the omnibus' on my you put them under the one omnibus (OMG, how many times can I say "omnibus" in this review??!) or do you list them separately because it really is 2 books? I listed this one separately, so I could get credit lol. That's such a dorky thing to do and admit, isn't it? Oh well. :)

I really, really enjoyed this book. It was an impulse pick-up one day at the bookstore and I am so glad I did. I can't wait to get Vol 2, it is coming out this week I think? The only reason I would say to get the omnibus over the individual books is because each one comes with an extra novella that really adds a lot to the story. Plus the omnibus is a whopping 550+ pages and still less than $10! Such a deal! ("Omnibus" has now lost all meaning to me as a word.)

All right, let's talk about the actual story now shall we? Kaylee is a typical teenager in Texas (I love hometown books :)) who lives with her aunt & uncle and her cousin Sophie. Her mom died when she was young and her father took off to Ireland for business, so she hardly knows him. In the prequel novella, Kaylee and her BFF Emma are at the mall shopping, when Kaylee has a panic attack. Only it's not a normal panic attack: Kaylee gets an overwhelming sense of doom and darkness directed at a specific person and if she doesn't get far, far away from the source of that doom she will let loose with a blood curdling scream. And this is exactly what happens at the mall. She can't stop the scream from erupting and causes a huge scene in the JCPenney's. Security is called, Emma tries to help but there is nothing she can do and soon her Aunt Val is called and Kaylee is taken away to a hospital. The prequel focuses on that hospital visit and how utterly crazy it makes Kaylee feel.

In My Soul to Take, the actual first book, we fast-forward a year to junior year for Kaylee. She hasn't had any more "attacks" and things are looking more normal. Kaylee and Emma go to a bar one night (sneaked in by Emma's older sister) and run into Nash, who is only the hottest guy in the senior class. Nash seems to actually be interested in flat-chested Kaylee instead of big-boobs Emma. And then it gets bad...Kaylee starts having another attack and is convinced a girl there is going to die. Soon. Emma tries to help Kaylee by pulling her out of the bar, but Nash follows and takes over. He manages to calm her down and Kaylee tells him what happened, even though she knows it will just make him think she's crazy. But it doesn't. He seems to know what's going on with her and wants to help.

Obviously, you can tell right away that Nash & Kaylee are going to get together. There's lots of smoldering looks and almost kisses, but it kind of works. Nash is made out to be a kind of bad boy at first, with a bit of a reputation, but you can tell he genuinely cares for Kaylee. And Emma is a great BFF...she's always looking out for Kaylee and doesn't just disappear after a while like some BFF's (Hush, Hush I'm looking at you). She's a part of the story. I'm kind of gushing, aren't I? Whatev, like ZOMG you guys you totally have to read this it's like sooooo GOOOD!! ;)

Okay, so what's the paranormal hook, you ask? Well, it's not vampires, werewolves, witches, or anything I've ever read. I'm going to put this after the spoiler owl, because it's a good 150 pages before you find out...unless you already have, being way smarter than me lol.

Kaylee is a bean sidhe, or a banshee. A Gaelic heralder of death. Plagued with premonitions of death. Nash is a male banshee, meaning he has the ability to send a soul back to its body and also help calm female banshees when they are in mega-scream mode. I loved the different twist, but the "bean sidhe" drove me crazy throughout the book. I just couldn't make myself pronounce it "banshee" in my head. Kaylee's dad (and her mom, who died when she was a baby) and uncle are all banshees, but have kept it from her, hoping to protect her.

Once Kaylee finds out the truth (or most of it), she's relieved to finally realize she's not actually crazy. But there are girls dying all around her and she wants to find out why and how. The rest of the first book is spent on her adventure, trying to find out the truth behind these girls' deaths and meeting new people from the Netherworld. Including a sarcastic, funny, hot guy named Tod. Ah Tod...right up there with Nash in the looks department, but a little more on the dead side. ;) Tod and Nash have a complicated history that causes some trouble for Kaylee and I'm sure will be a love triangle in upcoming books.

My Soul to Save, book 2, picks up about a month and a half after all the drama of the first. Kaylee & Nash are still together and at a concert with Tod when the singer suddenly collapses on stage. Kaylee isn't worried at first, because she doesn't have the urge to scream for the girl's soul. But when it becomes clear that the girl is indeed dead, Kaylee and the boys realize that something odd is going on. This book dives headlong into the Netherworld, with Demon's Breath, hellions, soul selling, and more. While the supernatural is definitely interesting, it's Kaylee & Nash that really bring the story together. There are some steamy scenes between the two that always conveniently get interrupted at an inconvenient time. I am very excited to pick up the next omnibus (count=8 lol) and see if they ever get past second base hah!

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