Thursday, July 11, 2013

Soul Taken by Katlyn Duncan Review

Soul Taken (The Life After, #1)  
Soul Taken
By Katlyn Duncan
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Goodreads Synopsis- After-life just got a lot more complicated

Maggie is a Soul Collector. It’s her job to transport souls from the Living Realm to the After – but during a mission to find a stolen soul, she ends up stuck in a teen mean girl’s body. 

Trapped, Maggie’s soul is catapulted into Ally’s life – and the human world she hasn’t experienced for one hundred years. But, as a descendant of the most powerful beings in the After, Maggie must rescue Ally before the girl’s soul dies… 

To survive, Maggie must uncover devastating secrets – because with one soul taken by a terrifying enemy, Maggie’s could be next!

This is a paranormal romance thankfully in the YA genre.  I've seen some reviews refer to the beings in the afterlife in this book as angels, but the author is fairly careful of not calling them angels. I liked that about this book as I'm not a huge fan of angels. (Except Patch). So I really had no idea what this book was about when I started reading except from what the synopsis says which is a bit vague.

The characters- Maggie is the one we see the story through and she's a bit cold at first. She's been a soul collector for at least 100 years so most of her humanity is gone. It's only natural that she seems detached as she goes about her job. But in a somewhat contradictory move, she is training the youngest of the soul collectors, children, despite her lack of humanity. Of course, that's what makes her the best soul collector. Still it doesn't seem that she'd be exactly nurturing with kids that have to collect souls and match them with their True Souls, a frightening task I would think for a child. But when Maggie is sucked into Ally's body she has to pretend to be her and has a crash course in being human again. She has feelings and memories that she's lacked for 100 years. And she has a complicated relationship with one of the guards, Cooper, who had been watching over Ally since she was born.

There are other characters but even naming them will give too much away.

The world-  This is my one problem with the novel. I felt lost in the After Life world. There is very little world building and while I don't like to waste a lot of time with that, I do need some of it for some understanding. I did not get the concept of the True Soul. (It's explained in my interview with the author). I didn't understand what Maggie and Cooper's world looked like. How were they chosen? Did they do anything for fun? If they did have relationships, what did they do? Is there marriage in the after life? Some things though were explained really well. I knew they didn't have to eat and how the guards could transport anywhere anytime while Soul Collectors were more limited in their travel. So it just wasn't completely fleshed out for me. I felt like there were a lot of holes or just skimmed over.

The plot- I think the plot was really interesting and though not really deep, it had some great surprises and some really dark twists to it at the end. I figured who the villain was pretty early on but the other surprises were not expected at all. Maggie's past was a huge shock and something that will definitely compel me to read the next novel in the series. Plus, there were some really interesting characters that I want to follow and see where the story goes.

What I thought- I guess I kind of said it all in the plot up there. I think it was a little lacking in the world building but the plot was good with twists and a darkness I didn't expect. The characters ran the gamut from being well developed to just well enough fleshed out to make you want to know more. There was a good mix of humans and after life people that it didn't feel too supernatural. The romance was light and I'd actually say this would be a great beach read. It's fast and light enough you can read it in an afternoon. And that cover kind of screams BEACH READ!

I received a copy of this novel from the author for review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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  1. I'm really looking forward to this!! I love the concept and I really want to read it.. I'm surprised (for whatever kind of reason) that you say the romance is fairly light...
    Still! Totally want to read it :)

    1. Kate says the romance was secondary to the plot. But there was romance, Danny, enough that I think you will enjoy it. You know I like my romance in my novels as well.

  2. I have seen this cover around on other books....Sigh well this wouldn't be for me as I am such a stickler for world building and if you think the world building is weak and you had issues, I will be sure to complain. Thanks for the honest review, so glad you are back!

    1. Kate will be developing the world more in the second novel. Since most of the novel takes place in the human world there isn't a lot of world building (per Kate). And that is true. I just wanted more.

      Thank you Heidi. I missed everyone!

  3. Sorry it was a little lacking on the world building, but the presmise sounds good.

    1. It really was, Brandi! Definitely worth it!

  4. Oh now I'm curious about this one. Yea, I was thinking it was like all the others out there. I don't mind a light romance. Sometimes things need to be established before the romance takes place. Really need to check this one out... and I need a beach as well.. :)

    1. I guess you might have to settle for a lake, but this isn't like anything I've ever read. Definitely different!

  5. I'm no good at guessing. I'll just have to read & see.

  6. I like fast and light... I have so many books to read, but it's been a while since I read one about the after life... hmmm. (also--Patch! I need to finish that series!)

    As for her big secret.... maybe that she was a murderer!!! That'd be cool.


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