My Soul to Keep (Rise of the Fallen #1)
By Sean Hayden
Published April 4th, 2012
Young Adult Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Source: Received from author in exchange for unbiased review
From Goodreads: Ever have one of those bad ideas just pop into your head? You know the ones. They seem like a great idea at the time, but if you had stopped to think about it a moment…
I’m talking about those ideas where you just seize the moment and do what your heart tells you to. Then, after the dust settles and you get bandaged up, your parents say, “What the hell were you thinking?”
“But, Dad, I wasn’t!”
I had one of those moments.
I guess if you want to be technical, I had a whole chain of those moments leading up to the big bang moment. The problem was I didn’t have anyone standing around saying, “What the hell were you thinking?”
The moral of this story?
There are several.
First, stores don’t sell black candles for a reason. They’re bad news. If you happen to come across one in the mall that sells questionable items…walk away. Trust me on this one. Black candles are bad.
Second, always know what you want out of life. Coasting along, not caring about anything will get you into trouble. Maybe more than you can handle.
Lastly, if someone offers to grant you your fondest wish, wish for something you really, truly want. Wish for something that will make the world a better place or you a better person. Never ever wish to be a monster…
You’ve seen the title before, right? It’s not the same book. I have to admit, the title is slightly used but it actually goes along with the story extremely well and I can’t imagine another title that would fit as appropriately. For a quick, action urban fantasy/paranormal romance story, My Soul to Keep is fun, unique and has a surprisingly exciting ending. I can’t wait for the next one 😉
Connor is a 15 year old self-described loner. His parents both work so his typical day consists of coming home from school, faking through his homework and then jumping on his PS3 all before his pain-in-the-ass sister comes home from cheer leading and disrupts his quiet “me time”. But on one such day, Connor gets a “wacky” idea to perform a ritual involving a black candle, a contract written in his blood and an oath spoken out loud to no one in particular. He’s just promised his soul for a wish and he has no clue where the idea to do this came from. Turns out, it didn’t just pop into his head all on its own.
I was originally interested in reading and reviewing this story because I wanted to read a romantic hero’s POV actually written by a guy. I wanted to see if there was difference between a female author and a male author. Honestly, I really couldn’t tell a difference but it definitely lend credibility to Connor’s POV.
At first, the story kind of lost me with its “teenager-isms” (example: fart fan – the fan in the bathroom) but after the first chapter the story picked up and took off very quickly. I’ve noticed that first books in UF series tend to be heavy in world building. My Soul to Keep stayed balanced and evenly paced with the added humor, crazy action and some light romance.
As for the characters, I really fell for Connor. At first we get the picture that he’s just a typical teenager coasting through life. But then we see that there’s more to him in the second chapter when he realizes that he really doesn’t want to lose his soul; that it’s pretty important to him. Then he meets his girl, is able to be himself around her, and he gives selflessly to her. It’s pretty gosh darn cute! I’m still trying to figure out Clarisse, his mentor, but for an “older, much older” girl, she’s going to be hard to pin down. Personally, I’d really like to see more of Connor’s “rents”. Oh, and that bad-ass Fallen, Darius; I absolutely loved the kick-butt fighting Fallen.
The world Mr. Hayden has built is freaking outstanding! Okay, I love angel stories! What Mr. Hayden has done to the hierarchy of angels is really unique. He has two types, the Chosen and the Fallen. When you think of the Fallen, you think Lucifer and demons typically. And in this case, that’s kind of true. But Mr. Hayden has broaden it a bit to say that the Fallen believe in free will and the Chosen believe that if you don’t do what you’re told or if it doesn’t fit the mold, then it must be destroyed. Both groups were created by the Creator (or God, I’m thinking) and loved by him. But they fundamentally don’t get along. And they do bump into each other from time to time. Add in some vampires of the pop cultural nature and this book really is a good time, not a heavy religious tome I’ve somehow made it out to be. I tend to get carried away with my angels….. sorry!
I asked Mr Hayden when the second Rise of the Fallen is coming out and he said he’s hoping at the end of this year. Between now and then, I have a discussion question for you: If anyone can tell me who the good guys and the bad guys are between the Fallen and Chosen, you’ll get a gold star (I’ll probably disagree, though).