Okay, so I’m still reeling a little bit. A couple weeks ago when Rachel Vincent asked on Twitter if I would be interested in beta reading the next Soul Screamers novella – uh, yeah, of course – I sort of thought she was joking. Like, surprise, it’s April Fool’s Day. You’ve been Punk’d. Or maybe she Tweeted the wrong person. It’s happened. I’ve done it before.
Well, yesterday it happened again. She asked if I was interested – um, yeah, that wouldn’t change until the last breath was escaping this body and I’d still find a way – and then… She sent it to me.
When I downloaded it to read, after my hands stopped shaking and twitching and I picked my jaw up off the floor – no this was no hoax, I was really going to get to read this – I dropped everything, and I mean everything, to read it.
Forget my blog post, forget my review, forget dinner, forget family, forget The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle, it’s Soul Screamers time. And oh what a time it was.
While I can’t reveal the title, the character(s) or the plot – I know, so why am I writing this post? – I can talk a little about its awesomeness. And since I can’t talk about any of the aforementioned points, instead of setting this up as a review or a Book Buzz post, I thought I’d set this up as more like a Random Thoughts post – with maybe just a little rambling thrown in. So I can be cryptic. So I can tease just a little bit (and yes, a little bit more). And so I can gush and do all that fun stuff. These are random thoughts after all.
So, what did I think?
I absolutely love the title. When I got to that page (yeah, it was the first one, but with just how much I was shaking, it took a while to get that far) I was already psyched. A good title can be just as enticing as a great book cover. (And no, I did not see the cover art.)
And this title was perfect for this story.
Well, after the initial shock that I would actually be reading this and giving my thoughts and opinions on it wore off – though it didn’t completely ever really wear off – I started to get really nervous.
Especially once I realized that there was no way this novella could ever be as good as Reaper. I mean, that one was about how Tod became the Tod we know. My favorite reaper. The boy I spent all summer crushing on and defending and getting to know more than any other fictional character, aside from Roland Deschain.
Well, let me tell you, this one is so much better. (Shocking, I know. Right?) And it’s better than My Soul to Lose. This was action-packed. This one was totally nail-biting. It felt like I was reading a few chapters pulled right out of one of the full-length books rather than just a novella. It didn’t feel like a side note or an afterthought to the series, but one that was woven right in with the main story.
When I finished reading, which took me just a little bit longer due to the whole beta reading aspect of it – which I did forget at times because I was absorbed in the story so deeply – I was stunned. I didn’t expect to connect with this particular story as much as I did. Why? Well, that I can’t say, but once it’s out there you’ll know exactly why.
I’m a huge fan of novellas. I love that they give readers another glimpse at the characters and the world, even if they are just tiny peeks. Well, this was much more than that. This one will carry me through those long months until Before I Wake hits shelves.
Do I plan on re-reading this? Yes. Several times. Will I be buying the eBook even if it isn’t a freebie? Heck yeah.
Is there excitement? Yes. From just a few pages in until the very last page. (Hey, there has to be a couple pages to set up the story, right?) We’re talking the typical edge-of-your-seat, “what are you doing to your characters?” kind of roller coaster that is so typical of any of Rachel Vincent’s Soul Screamers books.
Is there a hottie? Oh yes. Oh most definitely yes. Hmmm. (Oh, did I say “hmmm”? I meant “yummmm.”) I can say nothing else about this right now except that he might be shirtless at one point. (I hope that was okay to reveal?)
Is there sarcasm and humor? Of course! This is Rachel Vincent we’re talking about. I can’t imagine a story she’s written without it. If there is such a story, please show me. I think I’ll faint dead away. I smirked, I laughed out loud and there was even a grin or two. Couldn’t be helped.
Is there one of those “tug on your heartstrings” moments? Yes. I was all full of sighs and “aww’s” and a few more sighs. Did I expect to feel this way? No way. Absolutely no way. Why? Well, that I can’t tell you just yet either. But I did not expect to feel all mushy-gushy. And yet I did.
Were there surprises? Yes. From the first line I was surprised. To the subtle and not-so-subtle reveals. And of course I was surprised at just how much I loved this novella. That was a huge surprise to me. Given… well… um… yeah… There’s no way I can get that thought out without spoiling everything.
Will there be questions? Yes. Actually quite a few questions. I already have my list going. But I am not so mercilessly tortured that I must know right now. (Well, okay, I kind of am, but that’s just me, I always want to know right now. I’m an impatient sort of girl. Really impatient.) But I think most readers will have questions, be okay with chewing on them for a while until Before I Wake and not suffer endlessly because of them.
Will fans of the Soul Screamers series love this? I really think so. How can they not enjoy anything Rachel Vincent has to write?!? But will they love this more than the other two? I still think so. There’s just so much more going on in this one, and it has a more complete feel than the other two short novellas. And there’s that hottie I spoke of above….
Can this be read out of sequence? I say no. If you haven’t read If I Die you should not, not, not, not, not read this one. Why? Well, of course you know I can’t say, but trust me. If you read this before If I Die because this is less expensive or a freebie, or because it’s shorter than a full-length book, you will regret it just a little a lot.
Whether this is a free eBook or not, this is definitely one to add to any eReader book collection. Especially as it leads into the next book in the series so seamlessly. Giving readers of If I Die background that they didn’t even think they needed. But background they’ll definitely be glad they have.
Would I like to get a sneak peek at the cover of the eBook? Oh yes. Dying to see what they plan on doing for this one. Especially given the title and what (and who) this story is about.
Reading is always one of my favorite ways to spend the evening, reading something from the Soul Screamers is even better, and reading a story just a tad earlier than I normally would be allowed to is fan-freaking-tastic, so thank you so, so much!
(Now I will just live in fear that my comments might have been just a bit too OTT.)