Today we're going to be talking about some books that I read back in December for the 24 Hour Readathon. This review is for one in particular, 7 Souls by Barnabus Miller and Jordan Orlando. I originally picked this book up because of the cover and synopsis. I was curious as to what Egyptian influence was in it because of the hieroglyphs all over the cover. I'm sad to say I was disappointed in this book. Originally, I wasn't going to review it, but I thought it was important to share my review of it anyways.
Mary expected her seventeenth birthday to be a blowout to remember, courtesy of her best friends, fellow New York City prepsters Amy and Joon, and her doting boyfriend, Trick.
Instead, the day starts badly and gets worse. After waking up in a mortifying place with a massive, unexplainable hangover, Mary soon discovers that nobody at school is even aware that it's her birthday. As evening approaches, paranoia sets in. Mary just can't shake the feeling that someone is out to get her—and, as it turns out, she's right. Before the night is over, she's been killed in cold blood.
But murder is just the beginning of Mary's ordeal. Her soul gets trapped in a strange limbo, and she must relive the day of her death through the eyes of seven people—each of whom, she finds, had plenty of reasons to hate her. As Mary explores the mysteries of her world, discovering secrets that were hidden in plain sight while she was alive, she clings desperately to the hope that she can solve her own murder, change the past, and—just maybe—save her own life.
With its blend of suspense, horror, fantasy, and realism, 7 Souls is an adrenaline rush of a thriller.
See it on Goodreads
Alright, let's start breaking down the elements of this book. My main problems were with the characters and the plot, so I'll address the characters first. There are no likeable characters. The narrator begins as a fickle, manipulative girl who goes through a cliche transformation-during which she can be whiney and inconsistent- and her character is the sole extent of character development in this book. So, even though her character development is lackluster, it's really the only development any of the lot undergoes. Since all of the characters fell flat, I found it difficult to connect to them and the story.
Now I'll move on to my thoughts about the plot. There was some good in this aspect. The first part of the novel (it's divided into 3 main parts) was mysterious, eerie, built up in intensity, and by the end I was interested in the story even though the characters were lacking. However, the second part and third part were, to me, disappointing. After the potential of the first, the second took on a predictable development. It felt very basic as certain aspects repeated themselves without any unique developments from the character. The third part is very brief, and doesn't end the book well. It's very rushed, and didn't feel complete. The story had a decent start but lost it as the book became predictable and rushed to an incomplete conclusion.
I do want to say some positive things about the book- I did give it 2.5 stars. Now, normally if I read through a book it will at least get 2 stars, but there was a nice writing style in this book that I appreciated in regards to the wording. It felt like words were chosen very carefully and thoughtfully to express an idea or describe a scene. I do want to recognize that. And that wouldn't have fit the protagonist, since she isn't a careful or thoughtful sort, but it was done in 3rd person so that it could have this eloquence separate from her own thoughts. So I thought that I should mention a bit more of a positive aspect, and it was a nice addition even if I disliked the book.
Overall, I wouldn't recommend this. It was missing a lot of crucial development, both in character and story. I did appreciate the writing, but not the story. If you've read this, what were your thoughts? I did not want to post a rant, only a genuine review, so I hope that this is so, and I hope to have many more reviews coming to you all soon.
From a paper world,