My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers, #1) by Rachel Vincent
Published by Harlequin Teen on August 1, 2009 (first published on January 1, 2009)
Genres: young adult urban fantasy, paranormal romance
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I started this series at the recommendation of a friend who sang its praises as a fun, unique urban fantasy series about banshees (or bean sidhes, as they are called here).
And I will admit, the bean sidhe aspect is actually pretty cool. I find banshees to be pretty cool creatures, but I don’t see them as a major species in a lot of these types of books, so it was cool to see them as the primary species here. I enjoyed Vincent’s spin on them and her spin on reapers (so much, in fact, that I wish she’d do a spin-off series on them; I’d totally read it). Her explanations are clear and simple without being too watered-down; it’s a good framework for the rest of the series.
Overall, I liked the characters—Nash and Emma, especially (and Tod, too). They’re all capable characters with distinct personalities, and they’re easily relatable. However, I didn’t find them developed enough to be remarkable. There’s a good foundation there, and they were almost across that line that elevates them from characters to people, but, in my mind, they fall a little short. Kaylee, in particular—I couldn’t really visualize her very well, though I do like that, unlike some YA heroines (*cough*Bella and Nora*cough*), Kaylee has a backbone and is more determined than most. But I had to look up her name in order to remember it. Same with Kaylee’s friend, Emma. That should tell you something.
The plot was also intriguing; someone’s killing students at Kaylee’s school, and she’s trying to figure out why before the next target is someone she loves. However, while this plot was, overall, compelling and a good page-turner, I found the ultimate payoff—the reason why girls at Kaylee’s school were dying—to be a little lackluster and anti-climactic, though it made sense. Everything just seemed wrapped up a little too abruptly for me. But, as a whole, the plot was interesting, fun, and even a bit chilling at times, and I enjoyed the ride.
A decent start to a promising series, but not a remarkable one. I’ll probably read at least the next book, just to see what happens next.