Oct 23, 2012

Before I Wake (Soul Screamers #6) by Rachel Vincent review

Naturally as this book is the 6th in a series, major spoilers abound. Enjoy at your own risk!

Before I Wake coverI died on a Thursday—killed by a monster intent on stealing my soul. The good news? He didn't get it.

The bad news? Turns out not even death will get you out of high school…

Covering up her own murder was one thing, but faking life is much harder than Kaylee Cavanaugh expected. After weeks spent "recovering," she's back in school, fighting to stay visible to the human world, struggling to fit in with her friends and planning time alone with her new reaper boyfriend.

But to earn her keep in the human world, Kaylee must reclaim stolen souls, and when her first assignment brings her face-to-face with an old foe, she knows the game has changed. Her immortal status won't keep her safe. And this time Kaylee isn't just gambling with her own life….

From Goodreads

Kaylee is having a difficult time adjusting to her afterlife. As if being a bean sidhe teenager with a hellion out for her soul wasn't awkward enough, after slaying her incubus math teacher (and dying the process) Kaylee has been restored. No she hasn't been brought back to life, she is a restored soul who will spend the rest of her perfectly preserved at 16 and immortal afterlife chasing down bad guys.

Her personal life (beyond the obvious transition) is anything but cleared up. Would you think death would allow most people to forgive & forget, but setting up your ex-boyfriend for your murder while simultaneously hooking up with his reaper brother can put quite a crimp in anyone's social life.

With a serial soul thief on the loose, drama in all of her relationships, and a few new friends, Kaylee is out to finish off what started just short of one year ago. But how many people is she willing to lose in the name of taking down a hellion?

I must admit. I've read all the book in this series. There was a bit around book four I think where I kind of lost interest and that may have been due to the relationship building/not much action dynamic, but Rachel has me back on board in this sixth installment. The next to last book in a delicious series, Before I Wake doesn't stop to even let you catch your breath. We're dropped right back into the story from the ending of If I Die and move full steam ahead into Kaylee's new life. 

Friendships are strained, her triangle with the scrumptious Nash (the ex) & his brother Tod (the reaper) is escalating, and her family is becoming increasing determined to bar her from self-destructing. Death does not really suit Kaylee and while her adjustment can be considered normal, we really get a look at what holds her relationship together. There is a lot of soul-searching taking place & some deep, emotional fragility being displayed throughout the entire book by all the players. This peak behind the curtain puts a lot of past incidents into perspective in a way that begins the process of closure.

One last thought...I want to warn fans. I found myself completely unprepared for some of the heartbreak that takes place in this book. Have tissues on standby if you tend to get attached to characters. Rachel is pulling no punches when it comes to what happens. One might even compare her to Joss Whedon in some ways... I had to send Rachel a tweet about one particular scene and that was when it dawned on me..."Sometimes I forget that as hard as it can be to read it, that it must have been infinitely harder to write it."

So I just want to take a minute to say thank you to all the writers who do what they have to, no matter the pain or the cost, to stay true to the story.

I am truly looking forward to the final installment of the Soul Screamers series in March 2013. As sad as I will be to see the series end, I have a feeling that she has something else coming up in the near future.

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