Borrowed Souls (Soul Charmer #1) by Chelsea Mueller
Genres/Themes: Urban Fantasy, Magic, Romance, New Adult-ish, Souls, Religion (kinda), Drug abuse
I’m so disappointed, to be honest. Mostly because I was expecting a different kind of book than I got. Although, the more I think about this book and try to think of what I disliked besides what I thought it would include…. there really isn’t much. There is SO Much Good here.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Callie Delgado always puts family first, and unfortunately her brother knows it. She’s emptied her savings, lost work, and spilled countless tears trying to keep him out of trouble, but now he’s in deeper than ever, and his debt is on Callie’s head. She’s given a choice: do some dirty work for the mob, or have her brother returned to her in tiny pieces.
Renting souls is big business for the religious population of Gem City. Those looking to take part in immoral—or even illegal—activity can borrow someone else’s soul, for a price, and sin without consequence.
To save her brother, Callie needs a borrowed soul, but she doesn’t have anywhere near the money to pay for it. The slimy Soul Charmer is willing to barter, but accepting his offer will force Callie into a dangerous world of magic she isn’t ready for.
With the help of the guarded but undeniably attractive Derek—whose allegiance to the Charmer wavers as his connection to Callie grows—she’ll have to walk a tight line, avoid pissing off the bad guys, all while struggling to determine what her loyalty to her family’s really worth.
Losing her brother isn’t an option. Losing her soul? Maybe.
Let me clear up my expectations:
There is a quote from the author of the Charley Davidson series stating the book was snarky and sexy…. which I definitely did not think it was. ESPECIALLY since I was then thinking it would be funny– like the Charley Davidson series!
I don’t think I laughed at all reading this–it is gritty with hard topics. No witty comebacks or kickass-ery. I don’t mean this to say all novels need it, but because that was what I was expecting, I feel like it should be mentioned for the next person. The cover is deceptive too because she looks so confident…
Besides my misguided expectations, what did I dislike?
>I wanted more information– more things to be fleshed out. There is a lot going on here and while the world-building is great, I wanted to know more about how soul magic came about, how else is it used, is there really no other magic?
>There is a lot of religion mentioned. Which is difficult when you aren’t sure it matters (proof within story that condition of soul determines where you go after death) because if there is no afterlife then what does it matter? I really bring this up too because Callie cares about her soul, but doesn’t care about church or religion as much. So…. why not have an impure soul?
I didn’t completely dislike the book though, I feel like I should state that. This is one I would definitely rec. to other lovers of UF fiction. The concept is new and interesting. Soul magic? Having another soul within you and it somehow changes your DNA and fingerprints??? (Yeah, I don’t believe a soul can change the physical but I went with it….) But it is something new I haven’t read before.
Romance? hmm…. they fit together, I like them together– I LOVE Derek, I thought it was built up slightly so not insta-love. I thought it was done quite well for a UF novel. I love how conflict was handled between them as well. They acted like mature adults!!! They admitted when they messed up, apologized, and moved on. It was so refreshing. A REAL RELATIONSHIP!!!
At the end of the book I felt more like the adventure was just beginning than had already started– like we just went through the tutorial or learning process of a game and now we will get into the story and learn the big stuff. PREQUEL! That is the word I’m looking for. It read like a prequel to me.
Will I read the sequel??? Probably… maybe. Thinking about the book more while writing this has made me like it more than I did reading it. So, I might have to do a re-read later before considering moving on.