Published by MuseItUp Publishing on December 2nd 2013
Source: ARC from author, Bought
Please Note: I received this book for free from ARC from author, Bought in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Recommended Read?: READ THIS BOOK. NOW.The Soul Cutter is hunting again.
Seventeen-year-old Élan spends her free time videoing psychic scams and outing them online. Skepticism makes life safe—all the ghosts Élan encounters are fakes. When her estranged mother disappears from a film shoot in Egypt, Élan puts her medium-busting activities on hold and joins the search.
In Egypt, the superstitious film crew sucks at finding her mom. When a hotel guest is killed, whispers start—the locals think their legendary Soul Cutter has come back from the dead. Élan's only ally is Ramsey, a film-crew intern, but he’s arrogant, stubborn—and hiding dangerous secrets.
When Élan discovers the Soul Cutter is no scam, she finds herself locked in a deadly battle against a supernatural killer with more than her mother’s life at stake.
Élan is fighting for her very soul.
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I have to say: I know Lexa. I even read this pre-agent/pre-book deal and loved it. Lexa gave me an ARC before the book was published (though I’ve since bought one as well). When I first read this book though, I didn’t know Lexa very well. So my opinion of it wasn’t based on how awesome of a person she is :)
Now, on to the review …
Élan has a rather horrible mother. Her mom spends all her time away from home on TV as part of a psychic duo. To fill her time, Élan goes around exposing fake psychics with a couple of her friends. When her mom goes missing in Egypt, Élan feels like she has no choice but to go to Egypt and look for her. Her mother doesn’t have all the time in the world either — she’s diabetic. Without her insulin, she’ll die.
The pacing is ideal, in my opinion. Élan doesn’t just sit around waiting for someone to help her: she takes action and searches for clues. It doesn’t take long for the creepiness to start either — and wow, does it get creepy. The whole premise of the SOUL CUTTER is so remarkably original in my opinion. There’s twist and turns. I was in agony as the story continued on because of how much I wanted Élan to succeed — to survive.
Élan is a heroine I can get behind. She’s strong, sensible, and willing to do what’s needed to get done. She’s loyal too. If I were in her shoes, I wouldn’t go to Egypt to find my useless mother. My favorite aspect of Élan is how she can be petrified, but still keeps going. She doesn’t like her fear get the best of her. I also liked how, even though there was a boy involved, she was got things done on her own. She wasn’t perfect, of course no one is, and when she needed it she would accept help, but she didn’t relay on others.
Ramsey *swoons*. Ramsey, Ramsey, Ramsey! Smart, savvy, handsome, sensitive, and sometimes a little arrogant — gotta love him. I admired how complex of a character Ramsey was. How I thought I finally understood all of him, but then another layer of him would come undone.
Soul Cutter — another complex character. Another filled with twists and turns. When I thought I understood him — thought I knew what he was up to — Lexa would throw me for a loop.
Élan/Ramsey — yeah, this needed to happen in my opinion. I liked how the romance was developed slowly. They didn’t fall for each other instantly, but only after they started to learn each other’s secrets. Only after they witnessed each other at their worst — and best. It was really endearing.
Excellent. Third person POV is something that’s really difficult for me to connect with and so often I find there’s no voice in third person. There’s exceptions: Neil Gaimain and Laini Taylor are honestly the only ones I can think of right now. Other than Lexa Cain, that is. Élan and Ramsey both share POV in this story, and each has their own voice. I can’t imagine this story working as well in first person POV.
And the setting! The setting was so vivid in the story. Lexa has a skill at setting the atmosphere. It’s so captivating. To have a horror story succeed, the atmosphere has to be set just right — and that’s what happened in the story. Plus, have I mentioned it’s set in Egypt? I’ve always been fascinated by Egypt, and I loved all the new aspects I learned about the country and its culture through this amazing book.
Fan Girl Love:
Sometimes I make covers for books I <3 lots. Fan covers. So here’s mine for SOUL CUTTER:
Not that I don’t like the real cover for SOUL CUTTER. It’s pretty and interesting — you can get a sense of the story from it. But I couldn’t think of another way to express my absolute love for this story — aside from reviewing it and talking about it all the time — other than spending a couple of hours making some fan art :)
I can’t draw worth anything, but I can use Photoshop. So here it is: my version of the SOUL CUTTER (though I know it’s not perfect. Couldn’t figure out how to add the glistening bottles without making it look not-so-great).