Review: Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent

Review: Before I Wake by Rachel VincentBefore I Wake by Rachel Vincent
Series: Soul Screamers #6
Published by Harlequin Teen on June 26, 2012
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 339
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
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four-stars

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 is 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 books remind me so heavily of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. It’s both the unevenness of quality along the narrative, with some of the episodes being silly and cheesy and some being dark and cruel and epic. The other thing is that, seriously, this town would not have people in it anymore. The body count for redshirts is high. Before I Wake continues the trend of soul-punching awesomeness that began in If I Die, where the series transitioned from individual episode mysteries into the end of story arc big boss battle of badassness.

The plot in Before I Wake is totally creepytown. So, Avari, whose established himself as head evil dude becomes many times more evil, revealing a plan for worldwide domination, both in the Netherworld and the human world. The hellion has figured out how to cross over into the human world, and basically no one is safe ever. It’s a level of creepy that goes along with being attacked by zombiefied family members or the dogs with the eyes of the fallen tributes at the end of The Hunger Games. I’ve not really talked about Avari before, but he’s a decent villain. For some reason, he doesn’t give me the heebie jeebies unless he’s possessing someone though.

Before I Wakes is brutal in a weird way. I’m a big proponent of main characters dying and, though Vincent doesn’t do too much of that, she still manages to really turn the knife in the heart of her characters, both literally and figuratively. See, the way things go down may not kill Kaylee, but they fuck her up big time. Basically Vincent shares Sabine’s nightmare powers and brings them to bear on Kaylee. ‘You hate seeing friends hurt because of your actions? HAHA, ENJOY THE PAIN, MY CREATION!” Or, at least, this is how I imagine it went down. I really don’t know though.

The characters are all changing a lot in these last couple of books, Kaylee most of all. Even if she’s still alive, sort of, she’s not pure of heart or of body (YAY) the way she was before. What she has had to do will scar her mentally forever. Kaylee would prefer to sacrifice herself for others than to have to live through being culpable in their destruction, which is what makes this book so painful in such a good way.

Also, for those who are interested, I declare myself happy with the ship, though I’m really over Nash and Sabine and their endless moping. I mean, it makes sense, but I super do not care. However, Sabine’s also sort of my spirit animal, minus her shaming. Her don’t give a fuck attitude, though, is perfection. Clearly, if I lived in this world, I would be a mara.

Only one more book left in my binge read. BRING IT ON, VINCENT. I know some people weren’t thrilled, which I can only hope means that With All My Soul is incredibly brutal and too dark for most readers. That would be lovely. Find out next time!

Favorite Quote:

“I can’t believe they even bothered filling that faculty position again. They might as well rename the class Defense Against the Dark Arts. I mean, seriously, who would answer an ad for this job?”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

your worst nightmare

One response to “Review: Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent”

  1. Julie S. says:

    I love this series! Enjoy the final book. It is such a ride!
    Julie S. recently posted…That’s what HE said Thursday- September 25, 2014My Profile

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