Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cruisin' Through a Series: Soul Screamers by Rachel Vincent

There are some standard stories that a good portion of these books follow: vampires who love humans, or teenage girls who wake up one day to find out they are the children of evil fairy queens/kings and have a quest to go on. Not that I am against a good literary trope, but I have to say, sometimes its good to mix things up. Enter my most recent speed read, the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent. Ok, look, these might not win any Pulitzers any time soon, but still. Here's the deal. The setting is boring as all get out, somwhere in Texas I never want to go. The characters are mostly banshees (spelled bean sidhes--I image to try and established some Irish-folklore-street-cred (which is a dubious thing to go for at all)) as well as living nightmares, grim reapers etc etc etc. There is also obviously an alternate universe that is a layer on top of the real world where creepy things live that like to eat people, steal their memories and so on. Don't go there. Its a bad idea.  

So there are 5 of these books so far, and to be frank, looking back on my December binge, I am not at all confident of what each separate book is about. There are some pop singers who sell their souls to the devil for fame who need rescuing, some drug addicts addicted to demon breadth (try saying that with a straight face out loud to someone) that need rescuing, and of course the main character Kaylee needs to be rescued a couple of times, as well as her studly boyfriend. and of course some witty teen banter. BUT I can say, while I was reading them, I was into it enough to actually take a paperback copy out of the library in front of my boyfriend (who judged, I am sure, as I deserved). Usually the Nook prevents me from the public humiliation caused by being twenty-something and reading this on the L train:

                                      or this     

I mean seriously. I am not 15. and people going to Lorimer and Bedford on the L train do judge you.
ANYWHO I plowed through these at breakneck speed and have to say Kaylee was alright, but I did do some laughing at Tod, the Grim Reaper, brother of Kaylee's hunky boyfriend, Nash.  Apparently the internet has a Tod v. Nash thing going on. Google it.  Will I read the one coming out this spring? Yes. Did I actually pay for If I Die and not just get it from the library? well.....

Originality: a solid 7--for finding some type of old world myth no one else wrote about yet (but was there a reason this was left alone.....?), and for the lack of vampires and star-crossed lovers.
Harry-Potterness: no magic, but she can scream and go to an alternate universe. but really, banshees just scream when people die. not a very cool magic power.
Absurdity: pretty high. can't quite put my finger on it, but at least a 6. I mean, banshees people. 

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