Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
Series: Soul Screamers #7
Published by Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. on March 26, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Length: 11 hours 47 minutes
What does it mean when your school is voted the most dangerous in America?
It's time to kick some hellion butt....
After not really surviving her junior year (does "undead" count as survival?), Kaylee Cavanaugh has vowed to take back her school from the hellions causing all the trouble. She's going to find a way to turn the incarnations of Avarice, Envy, and Vanity against one another in order to protect her friends and finish this war, once and forever.
But then she meets Wrath and understands that she's closer to the edge than she's ever been. And when one more person close to her is taken, Kaylee realizes she can't save everyone she loves without risking everything she has....
The last thing you hear before you die.
My Initial Reaction…
At the end of Before I Wake I was in tears and shocked beyond belief. That was not the way I expected this series to go and needless to say it was mere minutes before I started listening to this book (thank goodness I was reading it after the series was finished)! With All My Soul did not disappoint. I was laughing and crying from the start, shocked numerous times and only regretted that this great series is over.
As with every book in this series, Amanda Ronconi is incredible. The depth of emotion that she manages to convincingly portray and with such individualized characterizations took this book to the next level. When I reread this series (which I most certainly will) it will definitely be with the audiobooks.
So much happens to the characters in this concluding book of the series. What I love about this book is the way all their complicated relationship dynamics are finally starting to work themselves out and they’re starting to realize that they all love each other, even when they’re so angry they think they hate each other.
Kaylee has grown so much over the course of this series; she’s seen so much death and experienced so much pain and overcome so many challenges that she could have easily lost herself. Instead that quality that I loved so much about her from book one still holds strong: Kaylee has a gigantic heart and is fiercely determined to do what she feels is right to protect those she loves, regardless of the cost to herself. That strength of character was really tested in this book, where she has gone from being devastated by all that’s happened to being pissed. Her rage holds her together and propels her forward as she makes some of the most difficult decisions of her life (and afterlife).
All the characters have grown though, not just Kaylee. Tod, who was struggling to hold on to life while working as a Reaper has come alive and the love between him and Kaylee is incredible. I tend to be a little sarcastic when it comes to teenage love stories – if it feels over the top for their age I usually find myself rolling my eyes. But Kaylee and Todd are unique teenagers, being dead with eternity ahead of them, and that experience has made them grow up into an incredible couple. There’s some really heart-warming and heart-wrenching developments on that front in this book. Nash and Sabine, no longer so distracted by Kaylee, are starting to get comfortable as a couple and it’s really great to see. Nash is stepping up and having a will of his own, now that he’s not following Kaylee around and Sabine is no longer such an outsider. In fact, she’s living with Sophie since the death of her foster parent and is in the first real family she’s probably ever had.
Even Emma and Sophie, two characters that have been sidelined quite a lot in the series because of not having supernatural abilities, really step it up. Emma (now Emily) is in a brand new body and she’s really struggling to cope. Not only has she had to leave her family, who know thinks she is dead, but she’s having to be the new girl at school. And without her previous advantage of being one of the most attractive girls in school. She has to figure out how to be herself in her new body; she grows, not without some major difficulties, in incredible ways. In the last book Sophie was finally clued in to what’s been going on around her and she’s coping amazingly well. She’s still Sophie, but she’s growing and starting to take some responsibility for helping when disaster strikes. She’s not part of the gang exactly, but she’s not entirely outside it either.
Kaylee and the gang start this book still reeling from the disastrous events of Before I Wake, which concluded with Kaylee’s desperate attempt to save Emma by putting her into Lydia’s body. It worked, but not without consequences. As far as everyone outside their circle is concerned, including Emma’s family, she died that day and we pick up with the story with her really uncomfortable funeral.
Needless to say they are all hurting and tired of being demon’s play things. Kaylee is consumed with rage at what Avari has taken from her and her loved ones. She’s ready to stop playing defense and go on the offensive, with the gang following her lead – but as usual things don’t go as planned. Avari’s already working on a plan of his own and he’s not resting until he gets Kaylee’s soul or destroys everyone she knows. His final move is the one that makes her snap, determined to do whatever it takes to bring him down and keep her family safe.
This is the longest book of the series and not a second of it was a waste. It’s perfectly paced, action-packed, shocking, and well-written. A very satisfying, if bittersweet conclusion to a great series!