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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Before I Wake
Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers series is one of my favourite YA series and I always look forward to each instalment as so much happens. While this isn't my favourite book in the series so far, it is high up there on the list.

So Kaylee is now dead although having to deal with having an afterlife. She's trying to go back to school and she also has a new job in...
Published on 18 Aug. 2012 by Fiction_Fan

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3.0 out of 5 stars Epic instalment to the series
Before I Wake is the fifth instalment of the Soul Screamers series featuring everyone's favourite Bean Sidhe, Kaylee Cavanaugh. Readers were left with bated breath at the end of If I Die with Kaylee in the fight for her life against her murdering math teacher.

When Kaylee is brought back as an immortal, but perpetually dead, reclaimer of souls, she didn't...
Published on 14 Aug. 2012 by Pamela Roach


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4.0 out of 5 stars Before I Wake, 18 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: Before I Wake (Soul Screamers) (Paperback)
Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers series is one of my favourite YA series and I always look forward to each instalment as so much happens. While this isn't my favourite book in the series so far, it is high up there on the list.

So Kaylee is now dead although having to deal with having an afterlife. She's trying to go back to school and she also has a new job in the afterlife and everything seems to be getting on top of her. I know her reasons for going back to school are explained, and really well, but I know that would be the last thing on my mind if I had recently died. At the same time, she's really just trying to deal with how she feels about everything that has happened so far and that is a really tough thing for her.

Thankfully, Kaylee has Tod on her side to help her out. Being a Reaper, Tod knows what it's like to die and to have a job in the afterlife. He understands her and is always there for her when needed. I always loved Tod throughout this series and was hoping the day would come that he and Kaylee got together. I am so glad this finally happened in book 5 and I really enjoyed seeing their relationship develop in Before I Wake. While Tod is great for Kaylee, she still has ex-boyfriend and Tod's brother Nash to deal with. The tension and upset between these three characters was fantastic to read about and the emotions were so well described.

The Soul Screamers series is coming to an end now so with this book being nearly the last one, I was expecting some major excitement. Rachel Vincent does not disappoint in this area either. Page after page, new twists and turns are thrown in and so much happens in this book. I was not expecting for most of the twists to happen and I loved the majority of them. There was one or two things that I would have maybe preferred to happen slightly differently but overall, the plot was a great one and very unexpected.

While most of the plot does revolve around Kaylee and her trying to get on with (kind of) life, new and old characters and intertwined into the plot. New guy Luca was really interesting and Sophie gets some more page time. I'm not Sophie's biggest fan by a long shot but it was nice to see her get more involved with her family and not be such an outsider. I was glad to see Sabine and Emma have quite a big part in this story too as they're both characters that I have absolutely loved so far. Sabine is still one of the best characters of the series for me and I love getting to know more about her.

As I said before, not my favourite in the series but still damn good!
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5.0 out of 5 stars this series continues to get stronger and stronger with every book., 21 Feb. 2015
I adored basically every element of this book. Allow me to list and rant about them:

I loved the progression of Kaylee and Tod's relationship and the moments we got between them. I especially loved the various hurt/comfort scenes - that stuff is like CRACK to me.

I loved how Nash and Kaylee had a scrap of friendship in this book, and I hope we get more of that in the final book. I also hope Nash gets his ass into gear and admits he's in love with Sabine. Come on, man. It's obvious.

I enjoyed how the stakes were ramped even higher than previous books, even if I didn't like the consequences (Alec, no!) and how Kaylee's new job was intrinsic to the plot.

I loved the introduction of Luca, super cute necromancer that he is, and the reintroduction of the other hellions (Avari is getting tiresome and repetitive now, even if his methods have got fancier~~)

I loved experiencing Kaylee's struggle at saying human, corporeal, and how honest Rachel Vincent's portrayal of that was. Kaylee's afterlife feels very honest, in its flaws and hardships and even the added benefits (I wish I could blink!!). It doesn't feel like a cliche death, it feels very human, very real.

The only thing I didn't love, and the only reason it's not one of my absolute favourites, is that the ending confused me for a good half an hour before I reread it. I still don't know what to make of it, though. I think there was just too many characters in one place and my head went 'nah, I'm out.' Still, eager and nervous to read the next, last, book. Does it all have to end? Can't this series just last for twenty books?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as If I Die but fantastic ending to make up for it, 15 May 2013
This review is from: Before I Wake (Soul Screamers) (Paperback)
Before I Wake is book six of the Soul Screamers series and I will be talking about major spoilers from previous books as they kind of set the scene for this book. So if you haven't read If I Die - run now!

Anyway, so Before I Wake is the novel about Kaylee's adjustment from being an alive banshee to a not-so-alive banshee. Having been offered a job as an 'extractor' at the end of If I Die, Kaylee is still with us. And enjoying her whirlwind romance with Tod while trying to reassure everybody not in the know that she isn't dead and continuing at school. She didn't have to.. she is dead. But she has some unfinished business to take care of and the school seems to be the place she is most likely to find it.

I love novels about people becoming part of a new species and coming to terms with their new selves. This is one of the things I really liked about Before I Wake because while we are six books into the series and the idea of "dead but still with us" characters is nothing new, we experience Kaylee's becoming an extractor through her eyes. An extractor is more-or-less somebody who deals with stolen souls and the like and recovers them to their rightful place. As Kaylee is a banshee, this makes her the ideal candidate plus, the extraction department has a staff shortage and somebody is stealing souls. The trouble is, when she's on her own during this adjustment period, she forgets how to be human and we have to deal with these depressingly low areas of the novel which makes it difficult to enjoy in places. Sure the series has been getting a little darker but depression is something else entirely and I didn't feel like it was dealt with very well because the only way she feels able to turn this off is to be with Tod who teaches her how to live with being able to make herself as corporeal or incorporeal as she likes.

What's more, Nash and Sabine are being their usual selfish selves. I still can't understand why Kaylee sticks around them when they treat her like dirt, it really reminds me of an abusive relationship with Sabine tagging along expecting everything to go her way. Nash very much goes into whiny-little-teenage-boy mode in Before I Wake. He's still in love with Kaylee but she's moved on to Tod now and Nash is left with Sabine. He still has his addiction to cope with and after Kaylee framed him for her murder, he blames her for his little stint in prison too. As if she had a choice. Nothing makes me shout at a book more than frustrating characters and Nash and Sabine have to be some of the worst for this. What's worse? Kaylee goes with it! "I couldn't blame Nash for hating me." Yes, you can! You were murdered and having your best friend and family threatened. Don't be such a doormat! Sorry, getting into rant mode. This drives me mad and somewhat ruins the series for me.

However, it is saved by Vincent's magnificent storytelling. Even when I only kind of like the main story in the novel (I'm just bored of Avari and the hellions by now), I still find myself invested in what happens to our characters. Yes, even Nash and Sabine. But most of all Tod, Alex, Emma, and Kaylee's dad. Despite him abandoning her for most of her life and just deciding to be back in it one day, I like him. He clearly realises what a huge mistake he made and he loves his daughter. And Tod.. while I'd like to see Kaylee stand up on her own a little more without being selfish and reckless (and yes I consider her bouts of self sacrifice selfish), I do love the way Tod treats her. He tells her how amazing and wonderful she is when Nash would have treated her like a naive little girl. He lets her make her own decisions where Nash would have tried to stop her. And he tells her how wrong Nash is when Kaylee starts agreeing with the nasty things he says to her. He also makes me laugh, which is a bit of comic relief very much needed when you consider how dark this series has been getting.

So far, the book was maybe getting a 3 star rating. I liked it, but it wasn't the best thing I'd ever read and didn't quite live up to If I Die. Then we're struck with that ending. Those of you who have already read Before I Wake will know what I mean but.. oh my god. When Rachel Vincent wants to break your heart and leave you gasping for more, she bloody well means it. The ending of Before I Wake is so superb and shocking that I had to raise my rating by a whole star. It was that good. Before I Wake is an overall enjoyable Soul Screamers installment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It gets better and better ..., 15 Aug. 2012
By 
Nimue (Cambridge, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Before I Wake (Soul Screamers) (Paperback)
Warning! There will be spoilers about the Soul Screamer books 1-5 in this review.

Before I Wake was one of the books of 2012 I couldn't wait to get my hands on. The ending of If I Die was heartbreaking, shocking and beautiful at the same time and I needed to know what would happen next to Kaylee and Tod. I was hoping for some happy time without murder and angst. I knew this wouldn't be the case. This is still a Rachel Vincent series. Always when you think you had it all this author take sit up a notch and proves once again that you haven't read anything yet. Before I Wake is even more heart-wrenching, there is more death, more emotions and the stakes are higher than ever before.

Kaylee is the star of the soul screamer books. They are written from her point of view and we got to know her as a perceptive, compassionate, powerful and loving young girl who will fight for her family and friends and everyone else, who deserves it. She constantly puts everybody else's needs higher than hers. She had to go though a lot of pain, both emotionally and literally.okay, she made does make mistakes, she isn't perfect. But that all makes her so much more human and believable. So I was worrying how she would deal with loosing her humanity, after being resurrected. In a lot of paranormal books with immortal beings everything is peachy and people are as happy they can be because they can't die. Kaylee struggles, heavily. She feels detached from life. Like a visitor, a un-involved bystander. This was so hard to read, I felt so sorry for her. Surviving all the bad things (kind of) and then she is so unhappy. And as usual she tries to puts up a good facade to not worry everyone else. Her only help is Tod, he does understand as he feels the same. He is her anchor. The scenes between them are sweet and loveable and I was melting away. They a growing so much as couple in this book, it's adorable.

But as if this wouldn't be hard enough, Kaylee also has to start working. Saving souls that were stolen. And somebody is very active in her area. Old enemies are back and strong then ever. Kaylee and Tod, and all the others have to start fighting harder then ever before. The plot was very gripping. I started reading and couldn't put the book down until the last page. What an ending! What a shocker! I never ever would have guessed something like this.

I also enjoyed all the supporting characters. Now that I know them so well, it's like meeting old friends. I'm actually starting to like Sabine. She is a straight-forward as ever, but in a way her heart is on the right place. In contrast to Nash. He infuriates me. He is always the victim, he is blaming people left and right and is swimming in self-pity. Of course he was framed by Kaylee for something he hadn't done, but she came back to make this right. And he still is so furious with her and doesn't even try to see her point. It's amazing how a character can change or at least my perception of him. I loved him in the first few books and now I just want to kick his butt.

Overall this was the perfect sequel to If I Die. I can't really criticise anything. I love this book and though I wish these character wouldn't have to go through so much crap it's still great. I can't even imagine what will happen in the last book. Every time I think: That's it, what more could possibly happen and go wrong? I guess I have to wait and see. Rachel Vincent just finished the first draft of With All My Soul and it will be published in April 2013.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly exciting, tense and emotional, 14 Aug. 2012
By 
Michelle Cardozo (Wokingham, Berkshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Before I Wake (Soul Screamers) (Paperback)
Have I mentioned before that I'm a HUGE fan of the Soul Screamers series? Yes, I have? Maybe once or twice? It's also worth repeating... I am a HUGE fan of the Soul Screamers series and Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent has been my favourite book in the series yet. Mostly because I just can't get enough of Tod and Kaylee! But the romance aside, I found Before I Wake to be utterly exciting and tense and emotional as Kaylee adjusts to her afterlife and her job and this new relationship.

I love that most of the story revolved around Kaylee's difficult adjustment into her afterlife. She's no longer alive and that changes everything for Kaylee. She has to learn how to remain corporeal in front of her friends and family (and harder still, classmates!). She's struggling to connect with her humanity and feels a bit disconnected from it all. She has an anchor to that side of her in Tod, but there are so many things thrown at Kaylee in this book, I almost can't see how she manages it. With school, her disconnection from life, her romantic entanglements and trying to win back the forgiveness of her ex, but also encountering her long-standing nemesis, I do not envy Kaylee's position in Before I Wake.

But she's also changed for the better. It's like she's lightened up some, realising the things and the people that truly matter to her and she's able to forgive and move forward and see the people in her life in a different perspective. And that shift in attitude and outlook gives Kaylee a new strength and confidence that was wonderful to witness.

More than anything, I love how very different Rachel Vincent has written this series. She throws curveball after curveball and I find myself changing my mind constantly about how I feel about the storyline and the characters and I love that about this series. I'm also kept on my toes, with my heartbeat racing. I cannot wait for the last book in the series!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best book in the series!, 26 July 2012
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This review is from: Before I Wake (Soul Screamers) (Paperback)
I was lucky enough to be given a copy of Before I Wake to review for Mira Ink and as I love Rachel Vincent's work I jumped at the chance. As you can tell from my past few reviews I had to catch up on the series and I'm so glad I did. This series just keeps getting better and better. The characters are now like a family to me, it's like I'm standing there alongside them plotting how to get rid of the bad guys. I love how Vincent writes her characters they are so real, all of them, they are so vivid and the personalities are fantastically described. They are some of the best characters I have read and I will be sad to see them go when the series ends with the next book. Before I Wake is a strong addition to the series, things have changed now Kaylee is undead and we see her trying to cope with her new abilities. We see her struggle through pain, hurt and heartbreak but there are the good moments too. The love is so vividly described it just makes the reader's heart burst from happiness. It was a true roller coaster ride of emotion, and one I'm proud I went on with the characters.

Before I Wake joins Kaylee after she's been saved from death, although she's still dead. She now works to save the souls that are being stolen. Kaylee goes back to school on the same day she receives her first trial run. The rogue reaper she encounters is one who is very familiar one she wished she would never see again. It seems Avari is up to his old tricks and is still after Kaylee's soul. When people close to Kaylee begin to be threatened Kaylee has to face some tough decisions. Would she rather sacrifice them and keep her soul or give up her soul and her friends would live? It's a hard decision and one Kaylee finally has to face before things get even worse.

Kaylee is put through a lot in this book. So many decisions land on her shoulders, tough decisions that could lead to deadly mistakes. We see her tackle these and try to keep her friends and family safe but will it be enough. We see a braver side of Kaylee now she's undead, not as many things can affect her now and we see her taking advantage of her new skills. Although she's also more vulnerable, in the night she finds her body shutting down, leaving humanity behind, she's dead after all but it scares Kaylee. She doesn't want to leave her humanity behind but she will have to fight for it. Can I just say how much i love her new ability to appear anywhere, I would love to be able to do that!

Tod is still the same protective and caring boyfriend to Kaylee. In so many ways he shows the reader how right he is for Kaylee and how perfect they are together. He will always be there for her and that's what she needs. The chemistry between the two is fantastic, it's electrifying. It absorbs the reader and leaves them with either a wicked grin or a blush on their cheeks. There are some rather cute scenes between the two but there are also some scenes where things hot up between the two. I now it probably sounds weird but it works perfectly. They make a great couple and are one of my favourite fictional couples.

Nash and Sabine aren't as involved in this book as before but when they are they are the same. Sabine the same cold bitch and Nash is still trying to get over Tod and Kaylee together, he's trying but he's just so angry. Emma is still around and now is more aware of the dangers that are around her but she will stand by Kaylee's side no matter what. Kaylee and her dad have some close time and she finally stands up to him and tells him how much she loves Tod and her father's not angry. It's great to see their relationship developing especially as he missed out on Kaylee's early years.

Before I Wake is an incredible read, the reader falls into this world and doesn't want to leave even when they turn the last page. The characters stick in your mind well after you've finished reading, they are just so real. I'm really going to miss these guys, I've become attached but until the last book, I will be waiting. And when it comes out I will be there with the characters until the end, then I will go around giving these books to other people so they can enjoy them as much as I did. Rachel Vincent has another great series that will remain popular for a long while. If you're a paranormal fan and haven't read these, I suggest you do and get a little bit of banshee action!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Soul Screamers book 6, 5 July 2012
By 
Sarah (Feeling Fictional) (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Before I Wake (Soul Screamers) (Paperback)
Before I Wake is the 6th book in the Soul Screamers series and I'm going to assume that anyone who is reading this review has already read the previous books. If you're not up to date with the series then look away now because this review will contain spoilers for If I Die. I'm a massive Rachel Vincent fan, I love her adult books but I also love this series - in fact it is one of my favourite YA series so I couldn't wait to read this book! For those who haven't started reading these books yet I just have to ask you why the heck not? Go out and grab a copy of My Soul to Take immediately - I promise you won't regret it!

This instalment to the series sees Kaylee trying to come to terms with her death and her subsequent afterlife as an extractor. She is finding it hard to remain visible to her friends and family and often starts to disappear if she loses her concentration - not something that makes it easy to avoid attention at school. She also has to learn how to use the new abilities she has and discover how they will help her with her new role in the reclamation department. From her first assignment she realises that nothing is going to be quite what she expected and she is going to have to face an old foe who has developed surprising and worrying new skills. Luckily she has the support of Tod and her family but things are going to get worse before they can get better.

As the second to last book in the series you can expect some dramatic events in Before I Wake. Things that will shock and horrify you but also moments that will squeeze your heart and make you sigh happily. Kaylee has been through so much in the last few months but she has grown so much stronger because of it. No matter how hard her life has been she has always tried to stand up for those who couldn't stand up for themselves. She has always tried to protect the innocent even if it comes at a high cost to herself so fans won't be surprised to see that selflessness continue. She has to face some truly horrible events in this book though, things that are going to have lasting consequences on her and those around her.

I absolutely love the developments in Kaylee and Tod's relationship, they are so sweet together and I couldn't be more happy with the way things have turned out. I was firmly on team Nash for the earlier books but I really think that with everything they have been through there could have been no happy ever after for them. It was nice to see them start to regain a bit of their previous friendship though and I hope that Nash continues to sort himself out and get over his Frost addiction. Anyway, as far as Kaylee's love life goes I'm now definitely a member of team Tod!

I really liked the addition of Luca to the story, we were introduced to his character in the Never to Sleep novella and I had a feeling we'd be seeing more of him. I'm looking forward to finding out more about his abilities. We also get to see Sophie from a different light in this book, I'm still not her biggest fan but it seems like she has finally started to grow up a bit - about time really! I don't want to talk about any more of the plot so I'm just going to say that this is another great instalment to a fantastic series. As much as I'm dying to read With All My Soul I'm equally sad that this series is coming to a close. I'm going to miss Kaylee and gang after it ends! I'm sure that this is a series I will be re-reading in the future though and that has to be the highest praise I can give it because I hardly ever re-read books anymore.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Epic instalment to the series, 14 Aug. 2012
This review is from: Before I Wake (Soul Screamers) (Paperback)
Before I Wake is the fifth instalment of the Soul Screamers series featuring everyone's favourite Bean Sidhe, Kaylee Cavanaugh. Readers were left with bated breath at the end of If I Die with Kaylee in the fight for her life against her murdering math teacher.

When Kaylee is brought back as an immortal, but perpetually dead, reclaimer of souls, she didn't realise just how hard it would be to fit back into her life. Kaylee doesn't need to eat. Doesn't need to sleep. Doesn't need to breath. And if she lets it, she can feel herself disappearing, and struggles to remain visible to the outside world.

But through all her struggling, there is one thing immortality has going for it, Kaylee's reaper boyfriend, Tod. Only Tod understands how hard it is to keep caring, to have to force yourself to want to carry on with `life'. But around Tod, Kaylee doesn't have to pretend. Because with him, her dead heart beats.

Before I Wake is a rollercoaster ride of adventure, romance, and horror. Old enemies resurface, current enemies find new ways to dig up trouble for Kaylee and friends. But this time they might just be outnumbered.

I think Before I Wake might be my favourite Soul Screamers novel yet. I was on the edge of my seat for most of it, and held my breath for the rest, though I wasn't quite as good at that as Kaylee...
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5.0 out of 5 stars I can't believe this series is about to end, 13 July 2012
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This review is from: Before I Wake (Soul Screamers) (Paperback)
This series is almost finished ...... this saddens me so much! I'm loving Soul Screamers and it just gets better with each book so I can only guess at how fantastic the finale will be. I will be both sad and uber-excited to read it.

So after Kaylee died in If I Die she's getting used to her life (or after-life) as an extractor. She has trouble keeping herself grounded and corporeal except when she's with Tod so she's with Tod a lot in this book - which is great 'cos I like the cheeky wee reaper. Their relationship runs hot and heavy in this book as well as Kaylee realised death doesn't mean the end of her life. But that annoying hellion, Avari, just refuses to leave her alone and continues to go after her friends and family in this book - with some awful consequences!

As I have previously stated in a few of my many Rachel Vincent reviews - I love her writing. All her series are addictive - and they all end after a few short books! Which I both love and hate - Ms Vincent has a way of provoking both emotions in me at the same time. She has a special talent, that wicked woman.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, 28 Sept. 2014
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Wow! Totally amazing story! I personally love Tod and am so so so glad that Kaylee picked him instead of Nash. Although I truly love Tod, my favourite character has to be Sabine! In the first book when she was introduced I thought she was a bit attention seeking and annoying by but I really liked her in this book. She's funny and never without a challenge.

I can almost personally relate to Kaylee. Can anybody relate to that?

I gave this book five stars because of ^^^^^^^^^^^^ all of the above! Their just amazing stories to read and an adventure to all!
I would recommend them to passionate, young readers of maybe aged 11-30.
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Before I Wake (Soul Screamers)
Before I Wake (Soul Screamers) by Rachel Vincent (Paperback - 6 July 2012)
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