R&R Review Monday: Our Souls To Keep by Gary Caruso

Our Souls to Keep #1

Goodreads Blurb:
After seventeen-year-old Wake Reynolds agrees to trade his life to prevent the damaged soul of his suicidal mother from the fiery tortures of Hell, Satan strips him of his humanity and forces him to become a demonic collector of souls. With no memory of his human existence, Wake preys on defenseless teenagers until they willingly end their own lives.

After many years of loyal service, something inside Wake is changing. Images of a forgotten life, lost human emotions begin to emerge. As Wake struggles to keep these new sensations hidden, Satan orders him to corrupt the soul of a pregnant girl, Annemarie. Beautiful, gentle Annemarie. From the moment Wake sees her, she brings lightness to his blackened heart. If he chooses to defy Satan and spare the lives of Annemarie and her unborn child, his mother’s soul will writhe in Hell’s deepest pit for eternity. Annemarie or his mother? It’s a choice no one should have to make.

Thank you to the author, Gary Caruso, for gifting me with a copy of Our Souls to Keep in exchange for an honest review!

Quite honestly, I loved this book.  It was wonderful in every sense of the word!

I first want to talk about the prequel and background it provides.  If you are thinking of starting this series, I highly recommend reading the prequel – The Promised Land – before you start this book.  It provides so much more background and I understood Wade, the main character, so much more.  You really have an idea of his background and how his mind works.  He really gets screwed over in this book but also has some amazingly happy moments.

I also really loved the concept of human emotion and free will and how that was all integrated.  The idea that demons are walking around among us an they’re the ones who influence us is interesting.  What’s even cooler to think about is that we are in charge of our own destinies, no matter what anyone else says.  That’s free will for you.

Now for Annemarie.  She was actually the only part of the book I didn’t connect with.  She was just this modern day Mary sort of character and that was all.  Perhaps if there had been a chapter from her perspective after she found out everything or before she did?  She just felt slightly alien to me and her problems at home seemed really distant.  Even better would be a chapter from her perspective during her normal life living with her dysfunctional family.

As for the ending, OH MY GOODNESS.  It was all okay and then it all went to hell.  Literally.  I can’t say much more than that but let me tell you – it was epic.  I loved the way it ended even if it did break my heart into tiny pieces.  But bonus!  There’s another book coming (presumably)!

The Final Verdict:
Overall, a very addicting and exciting book to read that left me breathless.  I felt like I was actually there and all of the characters had such contrasting personalities!

“No demon should smell like lavender”

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