Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format/pages: Hardcover 336 pages
Format read/Source: ARC tour, read August 12 2011
Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars
Shattered Souls is an addictive read that captivated me from beginning to end with its haunting story and intriguing characters. This fast-paced and well-crafted paranormal romance is one of my favorite paranormal books of the year.
Lenzi has been hearing voices and seeing visions, which are interfering with her life and making her wonder if she’s inherited her father’s schizophrenia. Her rocker boyfriend, Zak, tries to understand but he’s battling some issues of his own. She suddenly meets Alden, someone who seems to know what the voices mean. He tells her that she is a Speaker; someone who can hear and speak to lost souls and helps them move on. Not only that, she is a reincarnated Speaker who has performed this role over many lifetimes. Alden knows about this because he has been her Protector for centuries. But something is different this cycle and Lenzi must decide if she wants to continue on in her destined role or break free.
Lenzi has no recollection of her past lives and history with Alden and in fact she is jealous of the person that Alden describes. Lenzi has a lot to deal with in her life, both personally and with her new unexpected role, but her personality makes it easy to root for her success.
Alden is a complex character, very protective and brave, and I enjoyed finding more about his and Lenzi’s past lives. Since they have such a long history together, though Lenzi can’t remember it, it makes sense that they would be drawn to each other rather quickly. By contrast, Zak seems like his heart is in the right place but does not have Alden’s cool and confident demeanor.
The story’s pacing is well balanced and the action, romance, and surprises kept my attention throughout. The malevolent ghosts that pop up in the story added some scares and encouraged me to read during the daylight hours. Combined with the rescuing of lost souls, the reincarnation mystery and romance kept me turning pages. This book seems to be a standalone, and the story does tie up loose ends while leaving me craving a sequel. Shattered Souls should appeal to fans of YA paranormal romance books such as Unearthly. This book is a standout in the genre and more than just a pretty cover. Look for it to hit shelves in December.