While Kaylee Cavanaugh has been fighting hellions & saving people's lives for the last six months, she never knew that she was running on seriously borrowed time. Just when things are starting to settle back into a normal rhythm she's dealt two blows: her dreamy new math teacher is actually a lust-sucking incubus hell-bent on having a son & Kaylee's soul extension is up, her death date is in less than a week.
With the clock ticking, loudly, Kaylee starts to focus on what few things she wants to do before she dies. At the top of that list is spending some quality alone time with hunky boyfriend (and fellow bean sidhe) Nash. Unfortunately his ex & almost everyone else in their lives seem to be conspiring to keep them from taking their relationship to the next level. Tod, Nash's grim reaper big brother, is the number one offender because he can blink in at any time he chooses. But as the clock ticks down, Kaylee gets more deeply embroiled in the nasty mess that her incubus teacher is leaving behind. While on a mission to out the incubus, Kaylee makes a decision that changes everyone's life, permanently.
Rachel Vincent has done a fabulous job with the Soul Screamers series... up until this book. Now before anyone gets upset with me, I'll give you the quick & dirty sum up: yes I still enjoyed this installment in the series, yes the characters are still as endearing & unique as they have been, I just feel like the content of this book strayed from where it's been headed all along. Now for the details:
The flow & content of If I Die felt very different from what I have come to expect from her work. The 5 books take place over just 6 months which is not an issue in and of itself, but the fact that Kaylee is trying to lose her virginity to her boyfriend of just 6 months (despite that just a few months earlier he was addicted to a deadly Netherworld drug & hasn't fully recovered yet) & the new bad guy in the story is a lust-sucking demon who is sleeping with (and potentially killing) young women in the hopes of having a son was just too much for what has actually been a very tame storyline thus far. I'm not opposed to sexual situations in YA, I just feel that these situations felt forced. They didn't seem to really mesh well with everything else that we've seen in the series. The baddies are bad, but they've never crossed the inappropriate line, until now.
Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I can move on to what was AWESOME about this book. Kaylee is as self-sacrificing as ever & really does make me feel like there are still really good character role models. Granted she seems to bring about as much trouble as she tries to negate, but I think that's part of the territory. Despite the tone of the storyline, I was surprised to see less of Nash & Kaylee's dad than I would have expected, but let me assure, there is a very good reason that we don't see much of them. While Kaylee is out to stop the incubus, another character is plotting a different ending to the love story. I can't tell you any more than that without ruining a very well-planned surprise, but let me assure you that you won't be disappointed. :)
Overall, the writing still oozed the sarcasm & wit that I adore from these characters. There's nothing like teenage angst mixed with otherworldly tempers to make things interesting. So go ahead & read this enticing installment in the fabulously popular Soul Screamers series. And be sure to let me know what you think about the book in the comments. Think I'm being overly sensitive or do you think it is just the natural progression for the storyline or something else entirely? Sound off below!
ARC graciously provided by Around the World Tours