Spoilers for the end of the previous book My Soul To Keep.
Trying to work things out with Nash - her maybe boyfriend - is hard enough for Kaylee Cavanaugh. She can't just pretend nothing happened. But "complicated" doesn't even begin to describe their relationship when his ex-girlfriend transfers to their school, determined to take Nash back.
See, Sabine isn't just an ordinary girl. She's a mara, the living personification of a nightmare. She can read people's fears - and craft them into nightmares while her victims sleep. Feeding from human fear is how she survives.
And Sabine isn't above scaring Kaylee and the entire school to death to get whatever - and whoever - she wants.
I don't think so."
I absolutely loved this book! Beginning to end I was captivated and could not put it down. The Soul Screamers series is very different to most YA series out there at the moment with it's focus on bean sidhes rather than the more popular topics of vampires and angels. It gives you something new to get your teeth in to but what really makes this series work is the very creepy dark side found in the Netherworld and the fantastic, realistic characters and the way they develop.
Not only is this a great paranormal story in which Kaylee is attempting to get to the bottom of a spate of sudden deaths and stop them, but she's also battling with very serious personal issues, which Rachel handles incredibly well. At the end of My Soul To Keep (book #3) Kaylee realised how badly her boyfriend Nash had betrayed her, and she was strong enough to walk away. Addiction is a difficult subject to handle, but Rachel has managed it perfectly. She could have easily written it so Kaylee simply forgave Nash and they lived happily ever after, or had her walk away and suddenly stop caring. Neither would have been realistic, but the former something that could possibly have been expected. But instead Rachel deals with it in a very real and honest way. Kaylee isn't about to stop loving Nash or wanting to be with him. And she's also not about to suddenly trust him again. Trust takes work and hard as it is for them, I'm really enjoying seeing both Nash and Kaylee work to make things better. Nash's addiction is not going to be left by the way side and forgotten. It's something that will be ongoing, just as any addiction in real life is. It's handled maturely, without talking down to readers and without glorifying any aspect either. There are plenty of harsh truths involved with addiction and many conflicting emotions, none of which are skipped over, making for an excellent story.
My Soul To Steal sees the addition of Sabine, Nash's ex. And wow, she's a hell of an addition! Sabine was introduced in the short story 'Fearless' (which she narrates) found in the 'Kiss Me Deadly' anthology. I loved that short and fell in love with Sabine then. I actually love her more now, after Steal, although I've no doubt many readers will dislike or even hate her. She's very forthright, very nasty at times, and very, very blunt about her reasons for being at Kaylee's school. She wants Nash back and she doesn't care who she has to hurt to get him. Sabine is such a fantastic, complex character and I also love how she tells Kaylee what's what, revealing some home truths and making Kaylee face them.
Another important character in Steal is Tod. Tod is quite possibly my favourite character in this series. He's funny, caring, selfish and when its really needed, he can be very honest as well. He has a scene with Kaylee in Steal which might well be one of my favourite scenes of the series. Tod clearly cares about Kaylee, but he doesn't protect her from the darker truths she needs to know about. I love the caring honesty he gives her and the way he's developed over the series.
The paranormal aspects of the story are beautifully blended with the personal creating an intense read and like I said at the start, I couldn't put MSTSteal down! This series has just gone from strength to strength. Steal is achingly painful at times, with some fantastic drama, laugh out loud moments and awesome character development as well. Kaylee is growing in strength and self confidence, something I love to see and enjoy following. Steal is easily my favourite book of the series so far and it left me hungry for more! One of my favourite reads of the year and I can not wait for book 5, If I Die! Spectacular work from a wonderful author and a must read series!