Book Review: Shattered Souls

Shattered Souls
By Mary Lindsey
Philomel/Penguin
Hardcover
Author’s Website
Hardcover | Kindle

A thrilling debut story of death, love, destiny and danger. Lenzi hears voices and has visions – gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can’t help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she’s a reincarnated Speaker – someone who can talk to and help lost souls – and that he has been her Protector for centuries.  Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn’t make a decision soon.

HOLLI’S REVIEW:

I am so excited to have the opportunity to write a review for Shattered Souls.  I’ve read a few good ghost stories, but this one provided a fresh take on the “Ghost Whispering” concept that made it truly unique.  Mary Lindsey’s 2011 debut Novel Shattered Souls, will take you on an adventure full of mystery, self-discovery, loss, triumph, love, and hope until the last second.

Plot: 10

Lenzi hears voices, see’s visions and has a long line of past lives she can’t remember.  Her father was severely ill with schizophrenia and ended up committing suicide.  When she starts hearing voices on her seventeenth birthday, Lenzi fears the worst.  She thinks she is losing her mind, and becoming ill like her father.  The truth is, Lenzi is gifted.  She is a Speaker, and has been a Speaker for centuries, fulfilling her job in helping the Hindered.  The Hindered are wandering souls that are in need of resolution, restitution, and sometimes vengeance.  Ideally, upon turning seventeen, Lenzi would regain her past life memories, making it possible for her to continue her “lives” long work.  Not so this time.  So when Lenzi’s Protector Alden steps into the picture, she doesn’t know who he is.  Not only does he tell her she is reincarnated, but he tells her the voices she hears are real, and they aren’t going away.  If life couldn’t get any more complicated, Lenzi has a boyfriend that is a jealous drunk.   Zak could never possibly understand all that Lenzi is facing without thinking she has truly lost it.  So where does that leave their relationship?

With that being said, the plot was intriguing.  The roles of the Speaker and the Protector were unique.  It put a new twist on the whole “Ghost Whisperer” concept, while providing ample opportunity for a seriously well bonded romance.  Mary didn’t waste any time building the suspense!

Characters: 8

I liked Lenzi’s character.  I felt that when she was presented with her circumstances, she responded in a manner that most seventeen year old girls would have.  It made her character more believable.  I’m not going to lie.  She struggled with her confidence, with her own personal identity apart from Rose, and even with whether she was cut out for her destiny.  However, when the going got tough, Lenzi found her strength and came off as independent and strong willed.  She even redeemed Rose in the end when she stood for what she believed was right regardless of the rules.

Zak was not a very memorable character.  Not unless you like the jealous alcoholic type.  Sure he was handsome, but then he opened his mouth (or a whiskey bottle) and ruined it.  I honestly don’t see why she was so hung up on him.  Looks aside, he was total bad news.  It should have been a no-brainer, but I will say that the guy deserved a clean break with closure.  Not to worry, he got his closure!  With that being said, if you’re a sap like me, you might want to have a box of tissues handy for this book.

Alden, Alden, Alden!  Ahhhhhh … what a strong male lead!  Mary did a fantastic job building his character.  She has you falling for him as hard as Lenzi did!   Alden is a stable, solid, charming, and honorable male lead.  He is every mother’s dream for her teen age daughter, and every teen age daughters dream in a mysterious bo!   Yes ladies, Alden is swoon worthy!

Smith:  What a scary character he is!  Though Smith has a somewhat minor role in the book, he made his presence known!  Smith provided a lot of nail biting material that left me peeking between my fingers.  EEK!

Setting: 10

This was the sweetest part of the book for me!   Shattered Souls setting was more than familiar.  I live in Texas, and up until hurricane Ike, I lived on Galveston Island.  I can’t tell you how enjoyable that made this book for me.  When Mary was describing the setting of Lenzi’s world, I was right there with her.  I knew all the images she portrayed right down to the smallest detail.  It certainly helps when you’ve seen it with your own eyes.  Mary seriously couldn’t have picked a better place for her setting.  Galveston Island is notorious for hauntings due to the great storm back in the 1900’s.  The Galvez Hotel (which was also mentioned in the book) is another hot-spot for ghost sightings.  So call me bias but she gets an automatic 10 just for writing her setting so close to home!

Pacing: 5

The story hit the ground running.  You’re captivated by the first few sentences.  It has plenty of page turning suspense.  There was the occasional hang-up, most of which occurred during the periods where Lenzi was bouncing between her normal life and her destiny.  However, the book did continue to carry momentum through to the end.  I will admit that if I knew this book was going to be a series, the pacing might have received a higher score. But as I was nearing the end there was still so much that had to be wrapped up I thought the book would end with a Cliffhanger.  Not so.  It did wrap up, though it didn’t satiate my literary appetite.  Mary had me sailing through the ending at full speed, and then face planted me right into Galveston Sea Wall.  Where is the rest of my story!?  So much potential and good, meaty material to spin-off from!  Please don’t perceive this as an insult; it is in fact a compliment because I was so wrapped up in the story I didn’t want it to end.  If there was a sequel available for pre-order, I would have bagged that baby in a heartbeat!

Style: 9

I loved Mary’s writing style.  It was easy to follow even with its fast paced beginning.  She was able to draw me quickly, which is not the case with a lot of books I read.  She crafted each twist and turn with such smooth technique that I truly got lost in the story.  Had it been a weekend, I could have easily read the book all the way through without stopping.

Although Mary’s original intent was for Shattered Souls to be a standalone, there is a lot of potential for it to be made into a series.  I can only hope and pray that Mary Lindsey changes her mind!  She did make mention that there may be a spin off or a companion in the future!  I certainly hope there is!  This will be one very heart broken fan if I don’t get my resolution.  There is hope until the last second!

Grade: 93

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About Jenna (Does Books)

Working momma of a little pink princess and reader of all things YA. I'm an artist, writer and avid reader who swears that she's having a hard time letting go of the childish things... Let me read your latest YA book and let's see if it makes the grade!

Posted on February 3, 2012, in Book Review, Four Star and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I liked this book too. I agree it is surprising that it’s a standalone, though that’s kind of refreshing these days where everything is a trilogy. That’s fun that the setting is so familiar to you – I enjoy when that happens too.
    Great review!

  2. I loved this book. I wish there was a sequel, or like Lucy said, a trilogy. It had a great plot and I adored the characters. The plot was just different, that I wanted to know more about everything.

    Thanks for the great review. 🙂

  3. I’m a bit selfish. I admit I want more of Alden and Lenzi! They’re relationship was just starting to take off! Ahhhhhhhh! I also want to see what happens with Smith! His bad bogeyness is still floating around! It was a really great read and I thoroughly enjoyed how unique it is!

  4. This book was absolutly amazing!!!!! I loved it sooooooooo much can’t wait to read the second one 🙂

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