My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent (review copy) - WARNING! I cannot review this book without spoiling the others in the series. Read no further if you're planning on reading this series and don't want it spoiled for you.
SOMETIMES DREAMS DO COME TRUE...AND THAT'S THE LAST THING KAYLEE NEEDS.
Working things out with Nash - her maybe boyfriend - is hard for Kaylee. She's already coping with being a teenage banshee. Worse, Nash's gorgeous ex-girlfriend just transferred to their school. Sabine's no ordinary girl. She's a mara, a real-life walking nightmare. Draining people's energy through their darkest dreams sustains Sabine...and makes her Kaylee's top suspect in a cluster of super-creepy deaths. To win back Nash, Kaylee's determined to unearth the truth. But Sabine knows the deathly secrets of Kaylee's subconscious - and she's not afraid to use them to get whatever and whoever she wants... From Amazon UK
After finishing My Soul to Keep, I immediately picked up My Soul to Steal, desperately needing to read more of this story I am now hooked on. And it didn't disappoint!
With the introduction of a Mara, a creature that reads your darkest fears and creates nightmares for you to have while sleeping so they can feed from your fear, MSTSteal knocks the creep-factor up a level. What makes it slightly worse is that the Mara in this story, Sabine, is Nash's ex-girlfriend, and he is absolutely certain she is not behind the seriously bad things that happen in the book - which means that what she does might not be because of some evil scheme, but because she simply wants to torment Kaylee. To me, the possibility of her not actually being the one who is killing these people, but just sending Kaylee nightmares through jealousy makes her creepier, because if she's not the villain, how can you get rid of her?
I love how amidst all the urban fantasy, Vincent can still give us a human element, or more specifically, in the Soul Screamers, the teenage human element. In the last book it was teens using drugs, in this book, it's boyfriend stealing. Kaylee and Nash are on a break after she discovered, while he was addicted to Demon's Breath, he let Avari, a Hellion in the Netherworld, possess Kaylee's body, and never told her about it. Although she still loves him, she doesn't trust him, and is still hurting from the betrayal. Then along comes Sabine. As I said, Sabine is Nash's ex-girlfriend, and she is determined to get him back. She complicates everything for Kaylee, because although she doesn't want to lose him, she can't be with him right now, where Sabine is quite happy to accept he's done some bad things and love him anyway - and give him things Kaylee is not yet ready to give. Kaylee can't deny that Sabine and Nash obviously have a strong bond, and is terrified Nash will turn to her if she doesn't take him back soon, but how can she take him back so soon when she's still struggling with her trust issues? Add to this that Sabine is happy to play dirty by tormenting Kaylee with seriously freaky nightmares among other things, and you will have yourself one seriously stressed out bean sidhe!
As creepy as she is, I actually really liked Sabine. Sure, she goes about trying to get Nash back completely the wrong way (though frankly, I think she shouldn't have just accepted he loves Kaylee and gave it up), I have to admire her determination, and was impressed, along with sometimes shocked and angry, at how far she was willing to go to get what she wants. She is unbelievable! But I empathise with Sabine too, even if I can't relate to her. She has had such a tough life, and for all her tough front, she just seems so insecure and, well, desperate. Nash may belong to someone else, but he is all she has in the world, and she really does need him. And beyond Nash, Kaylee has absolutely everything Sabine doesn't - a family, friends, people who care about her, and a generally good life. Sabine is just a really complicated character, and I feel sorry for her. And I also think she's going to make make future books that little bit more interesting!
What I've discovered from reading MSTKeep and MSTSteal is that what appears to be the main conflict for the story, despite how big a deal it seems at first, it's nothing compared to what is around the corner - and there's always, always something. And the magnitude of these somethings is just beyond anything you can imagine! There is so much more going on in this book than the freaky events surrounding the Kaylee-Nash-Sabine love triangle, so much more, but I can't say anything about it! It's one of the things I love about the Soul Screamers Series, the mix of urban fantasy - Kaylee and friends in our world, and high fantasy - all the goings on in the Netherworld, which is completely made up by Vincent, so you never know what's going to come next! I love it! It's always big, and scary, and freaking awesome!
And, if I'm reading things right, I believe the current love triangle might actually become a love diamond (sounds much better than a square or rectangle, don't you think?)! There might just be a certain someone who also has feelings for our little bean sidhe, and I think I might possibly be rooting for him! Another incredible book, and I cannot wait for If I Die! I think the Soul Screamers might just be, dare I say it... possibly a little bit better than the Shifters series! I am addicted to these books!
Thank you to Mira Ink for sending me a review copy.
Published: 21st October 2011
Publisher: Mira Ink
Buy on Amazon US
Rachel Vincent's Website
Other reviews from the series:
My Soul to Lose (Soul Screamers Prequel)
My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers Book 1)
My Soul to Save (Soul Screamers Book 2)
My Soul to Keep (Soul Screamers Book 3)