Thursday, June 28, 2012

Review: My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent

Even though the Soul Screamers Reading Challenge is officially over, since I wasn't able to reread and review MStS and IID during the Challenge, I'm going to now!!

My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent
Released January 4, 2011
Source of my copy: Library Loan

Trying to work things out with Nash—her maybe boyfriend—is hard enough for Kaylee Cavanaugh. She can't just pretend nothing happened. But "complicated" doesn't even begin to describe their relationship when his ex-girlfriend transfers to their school, determined to take Nash back. 
See, Sabine isn't just an ordinary girl. She's a mara, the living personification of a nightmare. She can read people's fears—and craft them into nightmares while her victims sleep. Feeding from human fear is how she survives. 
And Sabine isn't above scaring Kaylee and the entire school to death to get whatever—and whoever—she wants.
Everyone's favorite teen bean sidhe is back, and this time she's facing more than just hellions, a Netherworld addiction, and general evil--well, all that stuff, too--she's facing a real, literal Nightmare: a terrifying creature who can use your own greatest fears against you, and feed off your terror.

Oh yeah, and she's Nash's ex-girlfriend.

Keeping with the pattern of my other reviews for the SSRC, I'm going to be talking about character development. And with the introduction of such a complex and awesome character as Sabine, she's absolutely going to be the focus. 



Sabine Campbell. Teenage girl. Nash's ex. Nightmare.

I don't remember precisely how I felt about Sabine the first time around (I probably liked her and very much disliked her simultaneously. Not because I wanted Kaylee and Nash together--I was just as unable to forgive him as Kay--but because she's just so IRRITATING), but going back, I LOVE her!

She's snarky, tough, and hilarious, and I love her for it. She's had a tough time of it, being a Nightmare and scaring everyone she meets. And while that's left its scars, it's made her stronger, the same way Kaylee's struggles have helped her.

Besides that, she's so supremely LOYAL to Nash, even when he kinda doesn't deserve it. And while I can't exactly say I think their supremely codependent relationship is exactly HEALTHY, I want them both to be happy, and they make each other happy, in their weird way.

There's also a part in Sabine's short story Niederwald (included in the Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions anthology) that really helped me connect with her character and choices (I'm including it because it takes place--I think--either between MStS and IID, or POSSIBLY during IID, I'm not sure, but the part I'm talking about isn't spoilery) where she talks about Nash and Kaylee's relationship.

She talks about Kaylee's desire to "fix" Nash, to buff out the dark bits of his soul, the ones she can't connect with. Sabine, on the other hand, notes that she can love all of him, because she recognizes the dark side of him that matches hers, and loves him for all of him. 

It's no one's fault, and it doesn't mean Nash and Kay don't love each other. But I don't think they're right for each other. (I'll talk about this more in my If I Die review, because there are a couple points from it I want to cite. And you people who've read it, I don't mean the obvious one from the math hall ;D)

Anyway, Niederwald is one of the many factors that helped me sympathize with, and, yes, start to love Sabine. I haven't read her other short story, Fearless, but I so want to!

I'm not going to talk about Emma or Sophie, because I don't have much to add to their character analysis at this point that I haven't said in earlier reviews, and I don't have much more to say on the topic of Nash and Kaylee until If I Die, except maybe to note the struggle for trust between the two of them since Nash's addiction. 

So that leaves us with Tod.

<3 Obviously I love Tod. I probably don't even need to mention that. Tod's role in the books keeps growing, and by MStS he's very clearly close and loyal to Kaylee. And we, the reader, aren't the only ones who might have noticed his feelings growing. [Highlight for a note that maaay be a bit IID spoilery, if you're really concerned about that]. 

Rereading, I was surprised at how quickly Sabine noticed. She dropped some hints about Tod and Kaylee I didn't catch last time around.

Anyway, Tod is just as awesome as ever, delivering death, pizza, and unsolicited relationship advice. And speaking of that advice...Does Tod's insistence that Kay and Nash don't belong together driven by something other than his desire for both their happiness and well-being, and they belief that they don't fit together? Or is there another reason for his intervention...?

Altogether, My Soul to Steal gets <*><*><*><*><*>


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