As always SPOILERS WITHIN
To begin I would like to say I LOVE Rachel Vincent. I am slightly willing to be unfairly kind to her because her the world she creates with her mind makes me so uber happy I am sometime willing to overlook things I would sometimes give other authors grief about. This all stems from the Shifters series, of which I fell madly in love with. That being said I remember when Vincent started releasing information about Soul Screamers and then finally the novella. I toyed with the idea of reading it over and over again, mostly because I love her and there were times between Shifters books when I needed a fix. But alas I avoided the YA. My reasoning behind this is this, I also have a bit of a love affair with Rachel Caine (PS I love that both of these amazing women live in Texas). I started with Rachel Caine’s Weather Warden books, and then moved on to her Morganville books. While I enjoyed the Morganville books, they clearly have a different tone to them, and because of that I picked up on things I found annoying. And then when I went back to Weather Warden books because a new one had come out, I would find those same things I found annoying in Morganville, and then my love for Rachel Caine got a little bit smaller (I still buy all her books and read them religiously so it’s not like I’m a Rachel Caine hater now). My fear with Vincent is that the same thing would happen, and I was not willing to do that. Well Shifters has been over for a while now, my tears have dried over the amazing ending to a great series. And now I need a Rachel Vincent fix. After stalker her website for months, and searching the internet far and wide for any information on her new series I have given up and gone for Soul Screamers, or at least the novella, it’s hella cheap on my Nook so I figured why not. It’s short if I don’t like it no harm no foul, I will just wait patiently for the new series.
So with that really long and probably unnecessary introduction, I read it. I liked it. Vincent is a great writer, she never dumbs things down for the reader, even the YA department. Another thing I like about her is her world building. I remember reading the first Shifters book and coming away from it thinking I have a really good grasp on what is happening in this world. This not always the case for some series, some series I can be three books in and confused because my foundation isn’t good. This is not a problem Vincent has, she’s great at the world building (and if her twitter posts are any indications it’s because she works her but off on getting everything the way she wants it).
That being said this novella was no world building, it was Kaylee building. Kind of a new concept for me, I’m used to character building while world building. Vincent doesn’t explain what Kaylee is, doesn’t really introduce any other characters in any kind of major way. You leave the novella knowing that Emma is Kaylee’s best friend, and a good one judging by the fact that she wrote to Kaylee while she was in a mental hospital. That her Uncle really loves her, and probably understands her best out of all of her parent figures. That her Aunt loves her but doesn’t get her. And that she has a “cool” cousin who we never meet.
Most of the novella takes place in the mental hospital, which is a traumatic experience for Kaylee, as I think it would be for any young girl suddenly waking up tied to a bed. Vincent’s descriptions of Kaylee’s reactions were real and easy to relate to. I could easily see myself reacting the same way as Kaylee did if I were in her situation.
Mostly this novella leaves the reader with a feeling of knowing what Kaylee is going through and how she feels, and more than that the reader wants to know what the heck is going on with her as much as Kaylee wants to know. It is clear Kaylee knows when someone is going to die, which she knows when she has what she refers to as a “panic attack” and the overwhelming desire to scream. So I kind of have a feel of where this is going but in no way do I have any specifics, or have any idea how Kaylee is going to get a handle on this, but I want to know.
I think the novella achieves its purpose by making me want to see what happens to Kaylee. Vincent gives just enough to make me like Kaylee and find out what happens next. That being said I follow Vincent on Twitter so I know the names of characters and kind of a round about idea of what is going on (I think there is someone named Todd and I think he might be a reaper, don’t quote me on that). Either way I am intrigued, and thoroughly enjoyed the writing, will be reading the next book in the series sometime soon.