Monday 21 October 2013

Book Review- The Weight of Souls by Bryony Pearce

Title: The Weight of Souls
 Author: Bryony Pearce
Series:  The Weight of Souls #1
Published:  6 August 2013 by Strange Chemistry
Length: 350 pages
Warnings: N/A
Source: netgalley
Other info: Bryony wrote for me A Ghost By Any Other Name. She has also written Angel’s Fury.
Summary : 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?
Review: Taylor Oh sees the dead. As  a result of the agreement that one of her ancestors made with Anubis, she and her family must, if they see a ghost of a murder victim who marks them,  they must transfer the mark to the murderer as soon as possible. Because the Darkness will come for whoever carries the mark, and no one knows what happens  to them then. Taylor has been doing this for five years now. It’s been okish up until now, but then Justin Hargreaves, Taylor’s source of torment, dies and comes back as a ghost. But he doesn’t know who is responsible for his death, and Bryony must discover some of the school’s dark secrets before the darkness comes for her.
I was a little interested in this when I heard about the concept. Then the cover came and the MC is Chinese, which makes me really happy. Then I got the guest post about how these ghosts are different, and I thought: yes, I’m reading this one.
It starts quickly, showing Taylor’s normal job. And the dynamics between her, her friend Hannah AND THE POPULAR GROUP OF Justin, Pete, James, Tamsin and Harley within the first few  chapters. Justin dies about a fifth of the way in, a good pace. The pacing works.
I really liked Taylor. She’s been dealing with the ghosts since she was ten, and as well as having to cope with them. She has to deal with  dissolving friendships and trying to get in with the crowd she hated to find the killers. Justin, likability levels vary as the novel progresses, but by the end, you’ve seen who he really is. I really liked Taylor’s dad, who’s determined to find a way to defeat the curse, and is really supportive of Taylor.
The writing is great especially in places of tension and once Taylor’s picked up on the actual lead. The scene with the wheel and the scene at the tube station are two standout scenes that kept me gripped. The unmasking scene is not what I expected and what follows is definitely unique.
The ending is  really clever, links well to the clues scattered throughout, and leaves room for a sequel. A sequel I can’t wait for.

Overall:  Strength 4 tea to a superbly written novel.

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Thanks for taking time to read this!
Comments are much loved.
Nina xxx

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