Friday, September 28, 2012

Review: Soul Weaver by Hailey Edwards

I reviewed this book for Brazen reads, which can be found here:

This is the first book in a series about fallen angels, Wicked Kin, I believe the series is called.  Up until I read Gena Showalter's Wicked Nights, I didn't have much interest in angels, but I enjoyed this story and really liked the two main characters.

The Soul Weaver, Nathaniel, - an angel who fell because he was trying to protect his family - falls for a dying human.  He attempts to save her when he notices she has no friends or family - he describes it as having no "tethers to this world" and her soul wouldn't survive the trip to heaven.

I found this idea especially interesting, because I always wonder about the people who don't have anyone.  If there is no one to miss you, no one to notice you're gone, what happens to your soul or your spirit?  Every time there is a disaster or big tragedy, we hear all about the families and loved one who are grieving those they've lost.  But I always find myself thinking about the people who don't have anyone to miss them.  We don't like to think about that, but I promise you, there are plenty of people like that out there.  People who go through life completely alone. 

Because I think about that so often, I felt a personal connection to the character of Chloe, who was too scared of life to live it, who kept herself confined to her home and the bookstore downstairs.

My only problem with this book was that I found the details of Nathaniel’s job and background to be a bit confusing. This is the first book in the Wicked Kin series, but a few pages into the book, I stopped to check and see if maybe I’d misunderstood and began this mid-series. This is written as if the reader should understand what is happening, and I didn’t, at least not at first. I found myself re-reading passages, thinking I’d missed something. By the end of the book, everything had, for the most part been explained. I like that it’s such a complex world, with so many potential storylines – but I wish it had been explained a little more clearly.

Nathaniel’s life is grim. There isn’t much, if any happiness associated with his existence. Viewing so much horror committed by humans and being forced to see and feel their sins is resulting in some major job burnout on his part. It’s no surprise that he’s drawn to Chloe, who possesses a soul so different from what he’s used to handling.

Nathaniel isn’t supposed to interfere with the balance of life and death, but he wants to give Chloe more time, time to find someone and create bonds so that she’ll be allowed into heaven when her time on earth ends. Only later does he realize that his attempt to provide her with another chance has damned her soul.

This isn’t the first time Nathaniel’s good intentions have backfired on him. There is so much sadness in his life. His attempts to protect his brother and save his nephew having resulted in his fall from Heaven. He requests time off from his job so that he can try to figure out a way to remedy what he’s done to Chloe.

While Chloe’s agoraphobia may have began with her wreck, she had social problems long before her accident. Her parents sheltered her, preventing her from having any sort of normal childhood. She has no friends or family.

When Nathaniel walks into her store, offering to do some much-needed repairs on the storefront’s porch, Chloe is startled by her reaction to him. She’s never been drawn to another person like this. He seems to be able to read her mind. When he leans in to kiss her, even though he’s practically a stranger, she offers no resistance.

I really liked the romance between these two characters. It took a while to develop. There is so much going on in this story, that Nathaniel and Chloe don’t have their first date until more than halfway through the book, but it was worth the wait.

I think a story loses credibility when a character who has never so much as kissed a man suddenly becomes a sexual expert in the bedroom, so I appreciated that the author stayed true to Chloe being nervous and hesitant about getting involved with Nathaniel and then inviting him up to her room for the first time. There’s something so sweet about how Nathaniel regards Chloe. He’s so careful with her, always aware of her fears and her inexperience. He was exactly what someone as fearful as Chloe needed.

Nathaniel's entrance into Chloe's life makes everything extremely complicated and difficult.  But still, I liked this story and I'm looking forward to the next book in this series -- really hoping there's more of Chloe and Nathaniel and not just a brand new couple in this world, as most series tend to be it seems.

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