Review: Borrowed Souls by Chelsea Mueller (@ChelseaVBC, @skyhorsepub)

Posted April 13, 2017 by Carmel in Carmel, Reviews, Urban Fantasy / 8 Comments

Review: Borrowed Souls by Chelsea Mueller (@ChelseaVBC, @skyhorsepub)
Borrowed Souls by Chelsea Mueller
Series: Soul Charmer #1
Published by Skyhorse Publishing
Published on: May 2, 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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Callie Delgado always puts family first, and unfortunately her brother knows it. She’s emptied her savings, lost work, and spilled countless tears trying to keep him out of trouble, but now he’s in deeper than ever, and his debt is on Callie’s head. She’s given a choice: do some dirty work for the mob, or have her brother returned to her in tiny pieces.

Renting souls is big business for the religious population of Gem City. Those looking to take part in immoral—or even illegal—activity can borrow someone else’s soul, for a price, and sin without consequence.

To save her brother, Callie needs a borrowed soul, but she doesn’t have anywhere near the money to pay for it. The slimy Soul Charmer is willing to barter, but accepting his offer will force Callie into a dangerous world of magic she isn’t ready for.

With the help of the guarded but undeniably attractive Derek—whose allegiance to the Charmer wavers as his connection to Callie grows—she’ll have to walk a tight line, avoid pissing off the bad guys, all while struggling to determine what her loyalty to her family’s really worth.

Losing her brother isn’t an option. Losing her soul? Maybe.

Creative Great Writing Refreshing

More and more romance has been making its way into Urban Fantasy turning it into a lesser version of itself. Chelsea Mueller grabbed the wheel, and steered the genre back into the correct lane with BORROWED SOULS. Callie & Derek do form a connection however, the focus remained on the bold, gritty roots that make this branch of Speculative Fiction so compelling. This author’s years of experience as a book reviewer were put to good use in her writing debut.

Correlations can be drawn between this universe, and Stacia Kane’s DOWNSIDE GHOSTS with the nature of the story line, the heroine’s susceptible personality, and the flawed protector. This observation isn’t meant as a critique, but rather a compliment because I happen to really enjoy the aforementioned series, and similarities aside, this title distinguished itself with its inventive premise and well-built characters. Plus, Mueller is just getting started!

Soul magic was loosely explained however, I still have so many questions like… Where does the Charmer get his wares? Why was he able to do something to Delgado that didn’t work on Derek? What happens after the six-month self-life has elapsed? Needless to say, the author has a lot of world-building left to do, and I will DEFINITELY be snatching up the next installment. Theories aside, the plot was provocative, and I was happy with the direction that things seem to be taking.

I instantly connected with Callie; she’s barely making ends meet, and is being taken advantage of by her family, but deep down she’s a good person. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and although she’s not proud of her actions, they were relatable because everyone’s found themselves stretched to their breaking point for a loved one. I admired her spunk and tenacity, and look forward to watching her adapt to her new circumstances including her relationship with Derek.

You should spend your hard-earned money on BORROWED SOULS this week! Available for pre-order.

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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