Being a teenager is hard enough, especially if you have not been blessed with the natural beauty or charm that ensures your place amongst the popular crowd. Imagine how much more complicated that would get if you had the unnerving ability to predict when somebody near you is about to die and if that knowledge compelled you to scream bloody murder. Literally.
Kaylee Cavanaugh is the protagonist of Rachel Vincent’s Soul Screamers series which is being released in the UK for the first time in January. My Soul To Take is the first book in the series and sees Kaylee gaining the attentions of Nash Hudson, one of the hottest guys in school. She barely has time to reflect on his attentions though as young, beautiful women start dropping dead for no reason and more often than not, Kaylee is there to predict the horror. There is something about Nash though as he seems to understand more about what is happening to Kaylee than seems possible. As Nash helps Kaylee to discover that she is in fact a bean sidhe (banshee), the attraction and bond that forms between the two seems to be the only things that is keeping Kaylee sane.
My Soul To Take is a fantastic young adult debut for author Rachel Vincent, and I enjoyed every single page. It is a long time since I have read a book that kept me up at night and interrupted my sleep patterns as much as this book did. That is even more impressive when you consider how saturated the supernatural and urban fantasy market is at the moment on both adult and young adult levels.
Rachel Vincent has such a fluid, seamless style of writing and yet manages to describe interactions in such a manner that you feel as if you are in the room with the characters as they hold a conversation while cooking pasta or making coffee. I loved how original the story was, and this is the first time that I have come across the bean sidhe mythology in any detail. I am a great fan of urban fantasy and devour books on vampires, werewolves and wizards, but this was fresh, imaginative and absolutely engaging.
One of the most compelling parts of the novel was the descriptions of the grief and devastation that overcome Kaylee every time somebody around her is about to die. It is very well written and reflective of the suffocating and cloying experience of the grief process, and I felt drawn in and a part of Kaylee’s power, not just a spectator as in many supernatural or magical novels.
It is a long time since I have read a novel like My Soul To Take, and I honestly cannot fault this book on any level. Were it not for the stunning design and beautiful covers on the UK editions, I would no doubt be importing the next books in the series from the United States. Indeed, this book has made me want to buy not only all the other books in the Soul Screamers series but Rachel Vincent’s Shifters series, too. I loved everything about this book from the characters to the story to Rachel Vincent’s style of writing, and I have no hesitation in giving the book five out of five stars.