March 8, 2014

Review: Soul Control

Soul Control by C. Elizabeth
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: December 1, 2012
Buy Links:

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Book Description:

Words of truth for seventeen-year-old Saydi Gardiner upon discovering her ancestry. 

But if she has doubts, further confirmation is forthcoming and it comes in the form of a wickedly gorgeous Nathanael Braxton, when he steals her heart and cuddles into her soul – the last place the boy should be.

Nineteen-year-old Nathanael’s unrelenting good looks aren’t the only thing that make him dangerous – and he knows it! However, his caring human self struggles with a loyalty – a loyalty that binds him to the hunt for the soul that will give his family the power they seek. There’s only one problem: When he finds her, Nathanael falls in love with his prey – Saydi

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After I finished reading "Soul Control" by C. Elizabeth, I had to sit down for a bit and think about how I felt about it. Yes, I enjoyed the story while I was reading it, but was that enough? After some contemplating, I decided that I did like the book, even if there were some things I would have liked to seen altered for a better telling of the story.

This is very much a story of Good vs. Evil of biblical proportions. Elizabeth created a world where Tovs (gods) and Pyres (demons) exist and they're fighting a battle over human souls. I liked that the author tied in some biblical back story and kind of did her own thing with it. It gave the characters the ultimate motivation and fueled all of the action that was about to happen.

A downside to the biblical back story was that sometimes while it was being explained to our main character, Saydi, things seemed a bit muddled. I don't know if it was the writing style that was being used or if I was just personally having a hard time understanding it, but all of the stuff that Saydi learns from an ancient book and a scroll went over my head at points. They talked about the device (or whatever it is) that is supposed to destroy Saydi's "Light" and in turn make the Pyres victorious. However, I still don't really know what the point of this contraption is and exactly how Saydi fit in to its discovery. I just wished things were a bit clearer in the explanation.
At times I really liked Saydi. She was on a journey and discovering all of these powers she didn't know she possessed, and it was cool to get to see her train as she learned all that she could do. But then, there were also times where I just wanted to slap some sense into her.

There's one point in the story where her and her boyfriend Nathaniel get into a fight because he tells her all she thinks about is herself and how everything is affecting her, and I sided with him completely on that front. Yes, she's this magical mystical key or whatever for the Pyre's to start collecting all of humanity's souls, but she still wasn't the only one who was making sacrifices for the upcoming battle. She came off as very selfish a lot of times, and I ended up siding with Nathaniel during most of their fights (and there were a lot of them at one point).

Some of Saydi's reactions also fell flat for me. She seemed to just take everything weird that was coming at her in stride. For example, she had lived 17 years thinking that her father was dead, and then he shows up in her kitchen and after a short talk everything is fine and they're hugging and she's calling him "Dad." I'm sorry, but I think that it would take a bit more work than that after 17 years of him being absent from her life. I would have just liked to see some more fight in her at times, instead of just accepting everything or forgiving things that she shouldn't have necessarily forgiven.

The story itself was long. The book rounded out at over 400 pages, and I'm not entirely sure that it was all needed. Instead of focusing on the action and the upcoming battle, the bulk of the book was about Saydi and Nathaniel's relationship up and downs with a bit of her training thrown in. While I understand this is a YA novel, and any good YA has some romantic element, I still think that with this subject matter there should have been more action. I can even say I enjoyed reading about all of it, but that doesn't mean it was necessary for the bigger telling of the story.

There were also some other characters that I would have liked to get to know better. Nathaniel was a triplet, and it would have been nice to get more characterization from his brothers Job and Joshua. Another group who just seemed to be sitting on the sidelines was Saydi's Magisters (her trainers to help her with her new powers). They all seemed like they would be interesting if we just got to know them a bit more.

All in all I would say that while "Soul Control" was an enjoyable read for me, it's not a "Must Read". However, if you prefer a book where the relationship takes precedence to everything else that is happening, this might be a book to look in to.

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Author Bio:

I live in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada with my family and work full-time as a paralegal. During my short writing career I've learned a lot about myself, sometimes to the point that I wonder how the heck I got this far in life and know so little about myself.

Have you ever had something happen to you that makes you shake your head in awe, wondering where it came from? Well that's what happened to me with Absolute Obsession. For the majority of my life I had dabbled in many things, such as drawing, photography, sewing, only to find that after a while, I would lose interest, but writing was a different story -- it found me and continues to be an addiction, as well as a most wonderful, incredible passion.

My characters are the storytellers, I simply narrate it for you, the reader. The goal is always to take you on an emotional journey where you are present in every room, feeling every emotion, being thrown in the throngs of the argument, witnessing the tenderness, and the like. I want you to laugh with me, cry with me, get mad with me, I want you to feel every emotion under the sun while reading my novels, because if you do, then rest assured, I'm right there with you.

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