Thursday, July 18, 2013

Audio Review: Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent

Before I Wake
(Soul Screamers #6)
Author: Rachel Vincent
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
Release: June 26, 2012
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I 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….

The Soul Screamers series still continues to impress me! Six books in and Rachel Vincent is still surprising and entertaining me to no end. She's also somehow managing to introduce me to new supernaturals with each new book. Before I Wake serves as a bit of a bridge between the shocking events of If I Die and the final book that will wrap up the series, With All My Soul.

After the fast paced craziness in both central plot and side story romance of the previous two books in this series, Before I Wake slows things down a bit. This one wasn't as exciting as those other two, but I still really enjoyed myself and Vincent still managed to leave me shocked by the book's end. This book just kind of feels like it's purpose is to give the reader some insight into Kaylee's new job-after-death as a soul extractor and to set up the events for the final book in the series. In fact, the ending to this one is very much a cliff hanger. The story just suddenly stops! I actually thought something had gone wrong with the Audible app on my iphone! And the ending I was left with - holy shit! Even though this book moves slower, don't mistake that to mean you can stop and catch your breath. There are still some surprising events - and losses - in this one.

In this book we also get to see Tod and Kaylee explore their new relationship both emotionally and physically (*eyebrow waggle*) and while the initial intense emotions between them aren't really there anymore, the sweet relationship they have now is enough to make me happy. Really, pretty much anything involving Tod makes me happy...

Nash was really starting to get on my nerves. Instead of focusing his anger and sadness on the huge fact that his girlfriend is now with his brother (!!!), he instead focuses on the fact that Kaylee got him arrested. To me, that was kind of silly. He knew the reason for that and I know he was just all around pissed at the world by the end of the previous book, but I was really ready for Nash to begin to heal. After being such a large part of the first four books, things felt weird without him on Team Kaylee. I'm happy that, in this book, he begins to recover from...well, everything shitty that's been going on in his life.

All in all, this is a solid book in the series that just suffers from a slightly slower pace than the previous two books. I still enjoyed it, but I'm ready for the pace to pick back up and all the excitement to come to a head in the final Soul Screamers book.

Notes on the audio: I just love Amanda Ronconi's voice for Kaylee. She really hits the nail on the head and I love how I can even tell the voices for the male characters apart. I also enjoy her version of sarcastic but wise Sabine.

Recommended for fans of: emotional young adult series, terrific characters you will feel connected to,  young adult angst, young adult romance, always...TOD!


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