Release Date: August 6, 2013
Published by: Strange Chemistry
Page Count: 350 pages
Source: Provided by publisher
Author Links: Site | Twitter | Facebook
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?
Since I wasn't familiar with author Bryony Pearce, I wasn't quite sure what to expect from The Weight of Souls. But any expectations I may have had were far exceeded. The story was intense, occasionally unnerving, and contained a mystery that genuinely captured my interest. It's not often that I find stories that can be described as scary, but there were several events and descriptions that came across as very eerie when read in the dark and complete silence.
Pearce does an excellent job of weaving this story together. While we're introduced to Taylor and learning the details of her curse and how she is affected by the ghosts surrounding her, we're also fed pieces of history from The Tales of Oh-Fa and given glimpses into teaching experiences between Taylor and her mother.
The characters were also well-written and relate-able. Taylor was an interesting protagonist with a unique ability and a number of strengths and weaknesses that made her feel more realistic. Her father was also a large part of the story and was portrayed as a loving man consumed by his need to cure what he thought of as his daughter's inherited illness.
My only complaint with this story would be the developing romance. It wasn't a huge negative for me, but I felt that the story would have been just as good ...or I should probably say better... without it.
The love interest was a difficult character to understand. We're only shown his negative side, so it was hard to view him in a positive light. I think most readers would agree that they don't cheer for a protagonist to fall in love with a character that they don't like.
The story grows in intensity as the mystery draws closer to the big reveal and it doesn't let up until it's over. If you're a fan of ghost stories and mysteries and enjoy strong lead characters with unusual talents, then I would suggest reading Bryony Pearce's The Weight of Souls.
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