Thursday, 25 July 2013

The Weight of Souls ARC reviews and guest post

The Weight of SoulsThe Weight of Souls by Bryony Pearce

Book Synopsis

Sixteen year old Taylor Oh is cursed: if she is touched by the ghost of a murder victim then they pass a mark beneath her skin. She has three weeks to find their murderer and pass the mark to them – letting justice take place and sending them into the Darkness. And if she doesn’t make it in time? The Darkness will come for her…

She spends her life trying to avoid ghosts, make it through school where she’s bullied by popular Justin and his cronies, keep her one remaining friend, and persuade her father that this is real and that she’s not going crazy.

But then Justin is murdered and everything gets a whole lot worse. Justin doesn’t know who killed him, so there’s no obvious person for Taylor to go after. The clues she has, lead her to the V Club, a vicious secret society at her school where no one is allowed to leave… and where Justin was dared to do the stunt which led to his death.

Can she find out who was responsible for his murder before the Darkness comes for her? Can she put aside her hatred for her former bully to truly help him?

And what happens if she starts to fall for him?
Thanks to Strange Chemistry and Netgalley for providing copies in exchange for an honest review.

Pre-order it on Amazon http://amzn.to/10nFz1a

Shona's review 5 of 5 stars

Pearce has written a story that grabs the reader's attention right from the beginning. I have read a few YA ghost stories and this one stands out from the crowd. While a lot of other stories like to give you some background info first, Pearce throws you right into a scene where Taylor is about to approach the killer of her most recent ghost. And then we get snippets of back story as the tale unfolds. Sometimes we get rushed into the story and it can make for uncomfortable reading. However, Pearce avoids this and lets the story unfold at a nice pace.

I was hooked from the very first chapter and I seriously struggled to put this book down. There are a few points in the book where you think "well yeah I saw that coming", but not in a way that lessens the enjoyment of the book. I enjoyed the evolving relationship between Taylor and Justin, and the effect her curse had on her friends.

This story is built on characters who feel real with real issues, from the popular crowd who bully the less popular, to dysfunctional families and the death of loved ones and the hole it leaves in your life. There is no quick fix available for these characters and the story is more about how they come to terms with the hand they have been dealt. It is these struggles that Pearce focuses on rather than the curse itself, although we do get some bits of the curse and what it means.

When I got to the last page of the book I almost swore... not because it was a crappy ending (because Pearce has set us up nicely for a second book) but simply because it had ended.

Lisa's review 5 out of 5 stars

WOW! You know a book is good when you finish it in a day, can't put it down, and when you are busy doing other things, all you can think about is getting back to the book. Which is exactly what happened once I started reading The Weight of Souls. And it was so easy to read, I felt like I had been reading for 5 minutes when I realised that I was on page 100.

The Weight of Souls appealed to me as although I read lots of paranormal, there are vampires, demons and so on, but I don't read a lot that has many ghosts in it, and the fact that Taylor Oh was meant to avenge the death of the murdered gave a different spin to any book I have read before.

Right from the very first line I was sucked in. The writing is so imaginative and descriptive it's like being transported right into the pages of the book. I immediately fell in love with Taylors character, it doesn't take long to see how much her curse affects her whole life and the people in it, from the bullies at school, to her dad trying to find a cure. I even found myself warming lots to Justin, who at the start of the book is part of the V Club that torments Taylor, but after he dies and we learn more from his side, its hard to dislike him for long. I think this is the first time I have read a book where even the smaller characters have been written  with as much care as the main characters have, and it pays off. It helped the flow of the whole book, and made the whole book seem more realistic.

As for the story of Taylor and her ghosts that Mark her so she can pass the Mark on to their killers so the Darkness can take them - it was so good, and so refreshing to read something new. It seems a lot of books these days, especially in similar genres and categories as The Weight of Souls, all seem to be heading along the same lines, the same kinds of characters and 'otherworldly species' so to read something that felt totally fresh and one of a kind maybe what made me fly through the pages.

I  really hope that Bryony Pearce is writing another book to follow this, as there was a great little twist towards the end that put a smile on my face and I wanted to see how that panned out, but there were also a few unanswered questions, so I hope there is a next book to get those answers, and it's not going to be one of those books you never find out everything (and okay, I really want more of Taylor and Justin, too!)

This is a Young Adult book, but I am almost 30 and loved it, and I would be happy to let my almost 11-year-old read it, there are a few swear words but nothing heavy, and not consistently throughout, but I honestly think young adult, or mature adult, whatever age I would have really enjoyed this book.
Read a sample chapter  http://issuu.com/angryrobot/docs/theweightofsouls-samplechapter

Ten favourite films or TV series

I was going to do a mixed top ten, but I just couldn’t.  I’m a big film and TV fan and I struggled too much to cut them down, so here are two lists for the price of one – my top ten films and my top ten TV series.

When I was compiling this list it quickly came clear to me what I love in a good film:

1. It has to be quotable, here is a sample of the quotes that can regularly be heard in our house:

“Quick, let’s get out of here before they kill Guy.”

“Never get involved in a land war in Asia.”

“Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line.”

“Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.”

“You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means.”

“Teenage the fuck up!”

“There is no spoon.”

“Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.”

2. It has to have heart.  Most of my favourite films have wonderful relationships at their centre; not romantic relationships, but true friendships and teamwork.  They are love stories between people who have to learn to depend on each other.

3. It has to have awesome special effects. OK, not HAS TO, but I do like science fiction and that is a general given.

4. It has to have funny moments.  This links back to the quotability and heart.  Shakespeare had his jester, even in King Lear.  Funny moments are essential in even the most serious of stories.

5. It has to have moments that stay with you forever.  Think Batty’s (Rutger Hauer’s) death scene in Bladerunner.

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe.  Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.  I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate.  All those moments will be lost on time … like tears in rain … Time to die.”

Or the moment where Ridley and Newt emerge from the alien infested colony only to find that the ship meant to take them to safety is gone.

6. It has to have an amazing story.  I need to see an excellent story arc, have some genuine twists and turns, I have to be on the edge of my seat, needing to know what is going to happen next.

7. It has to make me think.  If I can talk about a film for ages afterwards, if it can really make me think, make me need to watch it again because I have to go back and find stuff I missed, or re watch it following a revelation, then I’ll love it.

So, with no further ado, here are my
Ten favourite films

Bladerunner

The Matrix

Princess Bride

Avengers Assemble

21 Jump Street

Serenity

Lost Boys

Aliens

Galaxy Quest

Bring It On

Yes, I know Bring It On doesn’t fit well with the others, but it turns out that I also really like films about cheerleaders.

For a TV show, many of my same rules apply.  I love a good comedy, a fantastic story arc (this is where Whedon comes in, I’m a huge fan of his work), for me a good show must have an amazing script (quotable) and believable relationships. And I would really like it if US networks would stop getting halfway through a decent series and then cancelling it!

Ten favourite TV series

Firefly

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Blackadder

Doctor Who

Game of Thrones

The Big Bang Theory

Friends

Misfits (series 1-3)

West Wing

Prison Break series one


Giveaway


And as a special treat Bryony is holding a TOUR WIDE competition. For details on how to enter simple follow this link http://bryonypearce.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/the-weight-of-souls-a-very-big-competition/

3 comments:

  1. Sounds like an awesome book! Thanks for the great review! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Cianna. It most definitely is an awesome book :-)

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