- Title: Before I Wake
- Author: Rachel Vincent
- Series: Soul Screamers #7
- Previous Book: Before I Wake
- Source: Personal Purchase
Both the description and my review will contain spoilers for the rest of the series, specifically book 6, Before I Wake.
Description from Goodreads:
What does it mean when your school is voted the most dangerous in America?
It’s time to kick some hellion butt…
After not really surviving her junior year (does “undead” count as survival?), Kaylee Cavanaugh has vowed to take back her school from the hellions causing all the trouble. She’s going to find a way to turn the incarnations of Avarice, Envy and Vanity against one another in order to protect her friends and finish this war, once and forever.
But then she meets Wrath and understands that she’s closer to the edge than she’s ever been. And when one more person close to her is taken, Kaylee realizes she can’t save everyone she loves without risking everything she has….
With All My Soul was one of my most anticipated books of 2013. I devoured the Soul Screamers series last year and could not wait for the conclusion. With all the hype I had built up for this book, could it really live up to my expectations? The answer is a resounding YES! I devoured With All My Soul in a matter of 2 days and even stayed up until 2am on a school night (for the kids, obviously) to finish it!
With All My Soul picks up very soon after the ending of Before I Wake. Emma is still adjusting to the end of her former life and the reality of spending the rest of her life in Lydia’s body. With the hellions’ supply of souls gone, the group knows that they can’t cross over any time soon, but they are still able to wreak havoc on the school, leading to it being voted the Most Dangerous School (Of Its Size) in America. Kaylee and her friends know that they have to do something to stop the demons and run them out of town, but how do you stop something that can’t be killed and is more powerful than you are?
Kaylee is facing a host of problems in With All My Soul. Aside to still faking life and having to finish school, there are some side effects to Emma inhabiting a different and, more importantly, a syphon’s body, they still haven’t found Thane and don’t know what’s become of the souls he’s taken, Avari is becoming more impatient and more aggressive in his quest for her soul, and to top it all off, she has attracted the attention of a new demon, the hellion of Wrath.
Kaylee and her friends hatch a far-from-foolproof plan to rid their school of the hellions, and they start putting it into motion immediately. Unfortunately, the plan takes some time to execute, and Avari’s impatience is mounting. When Avari takes someone close to Kaylee to force her hand, she realizes that her plan is no longer going to work. Herein lies the problem: Can Kaylee save the people she loves without giving up her soul for eternal torture to Avari? And even if she does, can she save herself from Wrath?
What I loved best about With All My Soul is that the stakes are higher, and it complicates everything. Kaylee wants desperately to save everyone from Avari and the other hellions, and Tod desperately wants to save Kaylee. This situation ultimately leads to secrets and lies, which adds to the tension of the book. With everything going on, the last thing I wanted to deal with was the possibility of Kaylee and Tod breaking up. However, I firmly believed that their love was strong enough to overcome these things.
I really felt like the characters grew a lot in With All My Soul. There is a certain situation that occurs that makes them have to really figure things out for themselves, and I really enjoyed seeing how they stepped up to the plate.
The tension is high while reading With All My Soul. Since I loved the other books of the series so much, I formed a connection to all of the characters, which is almost unheard of for me. I usually care about one or two characters in a book, but I really found myself attached to all of them. (Well, the good guys, obviously.) There are several scenes throughout With All My Soul when the fate of a character is unknown, and I found myself freaking out a little each time.
While I predicted a hint of the climax and resolution of the book, the full extent of it surprised me. However, I thought that the whole thing was handled excellently and in as realistic of a way as could possibly be expected in this world. The whole thing was way more complicated than I could have imagined, but this was for the best. I don’t like when an ending is too easy or too rushed. I still think about this ending and am still amazed at how it was all handled. I think this was one of my favorite resolutions ever.
There was one thing that was not resolved at the end of the book, and as an information whore, I am DYING over it. It was honestly not hugely important to the overall plot of With All My Soul, but it was just something I wanted to know. (Ooh, just adding this in: According to this interview, there may be one more short story. Hoping it deals with the thing that I didn’t get resolved!)
There is so much more that I would like to say about With All My Soul, but all of it would involve spoilers, so I’ll stop here. If you’ve read it and want to talk about, please contact me! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and I would love to chat with you about it!
In short, I absolutely loved With All My Soul and thought that it was a great finale for this series. With that said, however, I am still a little sad that it’s over, and that I’m saying goodbye to these characters, especially my favorite book boyfriend: Tod.