Thursday, November 21, 2013

Review: The Weight of Souls

The Weight of Souls by Bryony Pearce

Synopsis (From Goodreads): 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?

Bryony Pearce has created a ghost story with a twist in her debut, The Weight of Souls. Taylor Oh is far from popular, in fact, she is often the butt of the popular kids jokes because she's different. But she can't tell anyone why she's so different, even her best friends who are one more lie away from giving up on her. Taylor is cursed to see the spirits of murder victims, and if the spirits touch her she must find their killer before the darkness comes and claims her instead. Taylor goes out of the way to avoid the spirits if possible, but when one of the popular kids, Justin, is murdered and he doesn't know he's dead, let alone who's killed him. Taylor has to try and get in with the popular kids and uncover the mysteries around a secret society in order to find his murderer before the darkness comes for her.

Right from the premise I was intrigued by this novel, and I wasn't sorry. Taylor is a brilliant character who is struggling between having friends and living with this curse (as well as trying to convince her father that it is a curse and she's not crazy). The tension that the novel opens up between Taylor and Justin adds for wonderful suspense and chemistry between them once she is forced to help him or be doomed to take the darkness on herself.

The plot never slows down and there are plenty of twists and turns as Taylor tries to uncover who Justin's murderer is, especially when Justin doesn't even know who killed him (or that he's dead at the beginning), leading to a surprising revelation when the murderer and reason is revealed… but I won't say any more here as it will give too much away.

The Weight of Souls is just another wonderful addition to Strange Chemistry's ever building book list and I look forward to Taylor's continuing adventures in future books. I would recommend this to anyone who loves a great mystery or ghost story, especially books like Marlene Perez's Dead is the New Black series.

Source: NetGalley
2013 Debut Author Challenge: #11 of 12


Sheena-kay Graham said...

This reminds me of a novel idea I had with the spirit of a murder victim choosing revenge and having a certain amount of time to find the source of her death before her soul was lost. And the source wasn't the murderer. Dun, dun, dun....still have the unfinished manuscript.

Anyway this story is very intriguing and I have the e-galley but never got around to it. Maybe I should now.

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