Review: Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent

If I Die by Rachel Vincent, UK edition cover.

Title: Before I Wake (Soul Screamers #6)
Author: Rachel Vincent
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: MiraInk (6th July 2012)


Covering up her own murder was one thing, but faking her life is much harder than ex-teen banshee Kaylee expected. Now she’s fighting to stay visible to the human world and struggling to find time alone with her new reaper boyfriend Tod.

To stay in the mortal realm, 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 . . .

Rating: ***** (5 stars)

I really enjoyed the fifth book, If I Die, in this series so I was really looking forward to reading Before I Wake. I was NOT disappointed. Vincent took all the things I enjoyed in If I Die and multiplied it in Before I Wake. Like the rest of the series this book is narrated by Kaylee and continues her story.

I think Vincent was really brave killing Kaylee off in the last book. I also loved the way that she got around it, and the fact that it came at a price. I thought the fact that Kaylee’s new “job” is to reclaim stolen souls was actually pretty neat. With the events in the previous books it kinda makes a lot of sense.

Before I Wake opens with Kaylee and her friends and family coping with the consequences of If I Die. Yeah Kaylee is “alive” and having to attend high school, but it isn’t easy for her.  I also liked the fact that Kaylee’s death changed her. I thought it was pretty realistic – I mean, being dead must be a huge change. I like the new Kaylee, she is both familiar and  not.

Nash, Sabine, Emma, Tod, and Kaylee’s father have to learn to know and deal with this “new” Kaylee. Some with more success than others. Nash is still dealing with Kaylee’s choices, and their consequences for him. Tod really comes alive in this book – excuse the pun – and does his best to look after Kaylee and to make her happy. Sophie also makes a big appearance in this book, as does Luca – a new character who is connected to Kaylee’s “job”.

The plot of the book was really enthralling and complex. It allows Vincent to set up the next and final book brilliantly. Especially the ending which was brilliantly handled. It left me with a definite sense that the next book will be the end game, and that all questions and plot threads will be tied up neatly. Before I Wake is a brilliant and exciting addition to the Soul Screamers series.

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