Saturday, September 27, 2014

REVIEW: A Feast of Souls by Hailey Edwards

***This book was originally reviewed for GraveTells.***
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Summary:

Mana can communicate with the dead, but she’s out of her depth when a soul attaches itself to a canis and declares himself the soul of an old friend’s long dead father. What’s worse is that she’s stuck with Vaughn and can’t tell him where she’s getting her information, nor does she dare divulge her secret fantasies that very much involve him. Vaughn is a warrior, but Mana calls to his softer side, at least when they’re alone. Outwardly he needs to be just as intimidating as ever while treachery lurks around every turn.

Thoughts:

I loved book one of this series, so I was really excited to delve into the sequel. I have to admit, I feel let down. I liked some of the banter between Vaughn and Mana, and even many of the other characters seen periodically. I liked the canis angle and thought it was fun, even though we’re never made to be fans of Vaughn’s father from stories of him both in this book and the last. I liked Mana’s spirit walking. The plague comes into play again from the first book, and yay for closure on that. Ultimately though, it doesn’t overshadow the flaws.

This definitely doesn’t work as a standalone. There are many story arcs that stem from the previous book so if you haven’t read it before diving in, you’re going to be pretty lost. Speaking of story arcs, there were quite a few, and because they didn’t all mesh, it made for some confusion as the reader tries to figure out which conflict is the one to take the most interest in. The spirit walking made for a slower pace, while I felt other times were too fast paced, such as some of the action sequences and the romance as a whole.

I LOVED Vaughn in the first book and so looked forward to reading his tale, but he didn’t seem the same. He’s still gruff and all, but he just seems a little softer, and not just because of Mana. Mana, while she’s got some brave moments that were endearing, she largely comes off as painfully na├»ve, and occasionally a little slow. Old Father tried to tell her something about her soul mate, and it seemed to go right over her head. Their romance seemed a little forced sometimes too, which was disappointing. Overall, A Feast of Souls has some inconsistencies and just lacks that magic that made the first book great. That being said, I was still satisfied to have learned their story, seen more of Vaughn’s home and history, and find closure on certain plot lines.

A Feast of Souls is definitely one of those sequels where the first was far better, and it had some flaws, but you get more of the fascinating world of the Aranaea, and satisfying closure to storylines beginning in A Hint of Frost. I think it’s worth a look.


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