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I Belong


Early Review: A Soul to Take by Emily Taylor

A Soul to TakeTitle: A Soul to Take

Author: Emily Taylor

Genre: NA Paranormal

Series: Soul Stealers Trilogy (Book #1)

Publication Date: April 4, 2017

Format: Paperback, 480 Pages

ISBN-13: 978-1942111078 (REUTS)

Reviewed by: Kristie

Synopsis:

The world has changed: demons of legend now live among humans, integrated into society through Government programs, wishing for peace.

Elixia Albelin, however, isn’t sold. As an Agent-in-training, she knows firsthand the blood-thirst of demons and isn’t jumping to befriend the monsters plaguing her dreams.
But when a mission sours, Elixia’s sister is caught in the crossfire: taken. Abandoned by those meant to protect her family, Elixia is left with only one option if she wants to retrieve her sister—a taboo option that goes against everything she believes in.

She must sell her soul.

Now, bound to a beast and living on borrowed time, Elixia has to navigate the demonic world to find her sister within a cesspool of human traffickers and serial killers. Enemies control her fate, the simplest truths are questioned, and misperceptions must be shattered. Only one thing remains consistent—Elixia must find her sister before time runs out. Or become the very thing she fears most: a soulless monster.

Gritty, powerful, and exciting, A Soul to Take is a gripping debut that explores prejudice, justice, and the consequences one family faces when those two collide.

Quick & Dirty: Solid start to a new series that has a feel of urban fantasy, alternate history and science fiction.

Opening Sentence: The goblin’s tar-black skin reflected the blood moon as it scaled the old museum’s exterior.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

A Soul to Take by Emily Taylor is a promising start to a crazy new trilogy about demons and the humans who have to deal with them walking freely in the world. I really liked the idea that humans knew about demons in this dark, dreary and quite rainy world. The story wasn’t quite what I was expecting but the more I read of the story the more that I got invested in the character of Elixia and what was happening to her. I would recommend this story for those who like reading from authors from other countries that use their lingo and slang. I love experiencing other cultures this way especially since I will probably never be able to travel there. (In this case, the author is Australian, at least that is what Goodreads says.)

Elixia has a grudge against demons. This grudge has fueled everything that she has done in life which includes joining the Agency, a job that lets her track down demons within the law because demons now have rights like all human beings. Elixia is in the middle of an assignment when a demon derails her job by killing her and kidnapping her sister, Shellie. When Elixia is “killed” she made a deal with the devil, in a manner of speaking, which brings her back Marked. As a Marked, she is under a contract with a demon who keeps her alive until she can get whatever task that she made a deal about is done. Except not all is as it seems and Elixia’s deal isn’t at all what she thought it was. Shrouded in a bunch of secrecy, Elixia is led down a path that forces her to look to her past if she wants to get her Mark removed and her sister found.

Elixia’s demon guardian/escort is Sebastian. He is a sexy, tormented demon who tries to look after Elixia’s welfare but she certainly makes him work. Sebastian won’t tell her anything, just that he will help her get her sister back but they still have to figure out who is holding her and why. The story that follows has Elixia dealing with deceptive humans, sadistic demons, terrifying humanoids and stolen souls.

Elixia is heir to a Media Empire that has her sitting pretty but she is no socialite. She hates everything about the society and only uses what she needs to do to get by. She only started uses the sources available to her to help her find her sister. Elixia can be a bit abrasive at times but when it comes to her sister she is quite self-less. She is convinced that her life is over after her sister is found so she makes sure that her sister has everything that she will need when Elixia is gone.

My biggest beef with the story is I’m not entirely sure the time period this is set in because the date the story takes place is in the 1860’s and in the 17th century there was the demon revolution or whatever but there is clearly modern technology and even more advanced technology talked about. I guess because it is clearly an alternate world, they had the advances in technology way earlier? I would have like to have more detail how this world developed especially with the dates being what they were because I honestly thought it was set modern day until they showed the date. After this twist, I couldn’t decide if carriage meant car or a vintage horse drawn carriage because the author did twist between car and carriage in the story.

I read an ARC of this novel which was riddled with missing and misspelled words. Also, the format didn’t work well with my Kindle so I did have a hard time with conversations, I couldn’t tell if sentences went with one person or someone else so I did have to reread a bunch of conversations over and over again. With ARC’s I try not to let this get to me because I hope the released version will be fully fleshed out.

There is one other thing that I never quite understood and I hope it will be explained better in the sequel but I never quite understood the whole Sebastian/Damien thing. I was confused how she didn’t recognize him at first but if there were looks involved I don’t think it translated well to what was going on. I won’t spoil anything else here and it could have gotten lost in my formatting issue because there were several characters that were called by two different names and I would get confused. There was one character who was referred by his first name only most of the time but then it got changed up to referring him only by his last name. It wasn’t until she said his full name that I realized it was the same person.

I recommend this one for the older young adult crowd or for those who like new adult novels. The story really isn’t explicit or anything. There is barely even a romance at all. I would almost say this is more of an urban fantasy type novel with the first person POV. The story elements are pretty harrowing and dark. I’m really looking forward to seeing where to story goes from here. There were some questions that were never answered and I really want to know what happens. I’m really glad to know that this is a trilogy. For my rating, I would say it is a solid 3.5 but I will round up to 4 because I did think it was a good, solid effort for a debut novel.

Notable Scene:

I looked back to the chimneys, wincing at just how much smoke flooded the air. How many bodies is he burning in there? Were they the victims? A way to discard them after he was… finished? Did he know we were coming? My stomach curdled the thought. Mason—

“Hey, if that stuff mixes with the rain and someone accidently gets it in their mouth, or their eyes, does that make them a cannibal?” Verity’s gaze turned thoughtful on the house as she rested a hand on her hip.

“Well, I don’t think your skin absorbs water unless you’re in a bath or something…” I began before stopping, realizing what we were discussing.

“Yeah. So, like anyone caught in this area is stuffed when it rains.”

“Verity, really?” I asked, incredulous.

She looked at me, but didn’t stop. “Demons eat humans—well, we did. Do? Whatever; you’re with me. My question is: Elixia, am I a cannibal?”

Soul Stealers Trilogy:

1. A Soul to Take

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FTC Advisory: REUTS Publications, LLC. provided me with a copy of A Soul to Take. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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