Friday, 3 May 2013

Review | My Soul To Keep, Sean Hayden

My Soul to Keep (Rise of the Fallen, #1)My Soul to Keep by Sean Hayden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Be careful what you wish for…

It’s a great thing to fall in love. It’s an absolute devil of a thing to jeopardise the one you love. What price would you pay to have granted any wish you could imagine?

Connor, the very definition of an average guy, enjoys not much more in life than playing video games… and loathes not much more in life than algebra! In a moment of manic lunacy, he decides to make a deal with…the devil?… he has no idea. He’s just bored. And he has a black candle. And with a drop of blood scribbled over a randomly composed ‘contract’ to trade his soul for a wish, he has a moment of ‘crazy’.

Up to the kerb, straddling a throbbing motorbike, roars a beautiful young woman, Clarisse. Impatiently, she has only one thing she wants to know from Connor… ‘what d’ya want?’

Clarisse is one of the Fallen. And much to her amazement, shock and – well, horror – Connor asks for that which should never be asked for…

…To be one of the Fallen.

Clarisse, reluctantly, must grant him that wish. After all, a deal’s a deal. And now she has to guide him through the complex structure of his new role. But she doesn’t do so with good grace. In fact, she has nothing but malice for he whom she calls the “worm”, who dared to ask for such a thing…

However, Connor’s life takes a bright turn, as Jessica, blind and beautiful, walks into his high school and into his life. Whilst very carefully courting this jewel in the classroom, Connor must deal with the training which the demon Clarisse forces him through, the undertaking of his new obligations, and still of course…algebra.

His powers grow. Rather too fast for comfort. Algebra is no longer a problem. Athletics come easy. Nothing, for that matter, is a problem and everything, for that matter, comes easy. Except that he can see vampires. He can see witches. He can see everything he'd rather not see, but must learn to accept that nothing is as it seems. His first task as a Fallen seems, like everything else, easy enough. But [without giving up spoilers]… there may be some consequences of an unpredictable and quite dangerous nature to deal with further down the line.

Ever said ‘I don’t know my own strength’?

That’s Connor’s problem…he doesn’t.

This is a belly-laugh funny tale of an average boy made special. And how he copes with the terms of his blood contract. How he copes with an overwhelming desire for the beautiful Jessica. And how he copes with the sweet, snarky wench, Clarisse. It’s a swift read because you just want to keep on laughing at the misadventures of this errant teenager. This line is just one gem out of many: “I wanted to seem intelligent, so I kept my mouth shut” – and let’s have another: “Only one thing travelled faster than light, gossip”…


My Soul To Keep is funny as all Hell broke loose, imaginative, cleverly developed, and littered with bizarre surprises. Recommended.

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