Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Review Pure & Sinful (Pure Souls #1) by Killian McRae


A priest, a witch and a demigod walk into a bar.
No joke.

With a start like this, Pure & Sinful had every chance to lift my mood after reading the book before it (beautiful, but sad). Mostly it succeeded.

One of the aspects that I liked is the naturalness with which the author deals with religion’s aspects, the Catholic dogma regarding the afterlife, but especially the importance of free will. (It would be better if you’ll read the author’s message from the beginning of the book).

Another book’s ace in the sleeve is the humor. Yes, Pure & Sinful is sprinkled with humor and most of the good humor (sarcasm) comes from Marc, the priest that has to face one of the major sins.

And because I got to Marc, let’s talk about the characters. I liked all, from the demon in danger to save his soul, the demigod already hurt in love, Marc - the priest who is likely to go to Hell for his love, to the witch Riona who makes havoc around her (literally and figuratively). However, if all the male characters are well defined (I forgot the Archangel Ramiel which also I liked) and you can understand their feelings, I personally didn’t really feel Riona. For example, Marc's suffering and love flow from each line and they are tangible. Rion's not so much; are more emphasized her feelings for Jerry than those for Marc and that why her sacrifice that she might make seems to be more from friendship, collegiality than from love ... In addition, her qualities, for which all men and women fall prey, are not very well highlight. So, she is a very powerful witch, with an attractive body, a sharp enough mind and with a big mouth that is on my taste, but all these qualities are more presented to you instead coming from her own deeds (perhaps except her witty replies).

However, as the pages pass all gets better. The plot thickens, the action gathers momentum and you become trapped in the game. Previously offered and seemingly unimportant details play their part, the traps are lay, the existence of important secrets appears on the horizon, the dangers are much more than lethal, after all we speak about the souls’ afterlife, and Lucifer not only stick his tail but he gets involved in all. Sides begin to change when the situation will correspond ad litteram speaking to "deal with the devil till you pass the bridge" and hence an excellent final, somewhat unexpected in which souls are falling and are saved. An ending which, in the following volumes, will put to the test the author’s talent. That's because Killian opened the door to immense possibilities that are more and more intriguing, but also to the reader’s desire (at least mine) to save (again) a soul or another and have a happy ending for everyone.

So, if you want to spend a pleasant time, read it!

I received the book for review as part of Book Tour - Thank you

Un preot, a vrajitoare si un semizeu intra intr-un bar.
Nu e o gluma.

Cu un început ca acesta Pure&Sinful avea toate şansele să-mi ridice starea de spirit după cartea citită anterior (frumoasă, dar tristă). În mare parte a reuşit.

Unul dintre aspectele care mi-au plăcut e naturalețea cu care autoarea tratează problema religiei, a dogmei catolice privind viața de dincolo, dar mai ales de importanța liberului arbitru. (Ar fi bine să citiți mesajul autoarei de la început cărții).

Un alt atu al cărții este umorul. Da, Pure&Sinful este presărat de umor şi majoritatea umorului (sarcasmului) bun vine de la Marc, preotul ce are de înfruntat unul din păcatele majore.

Şi pentru că am ajuns la Marc să vorbim despre personaje. Mi-au plăcut toate: de la demonul în pericol să-şi salveze sufletul, la semizeul rănit deja în dragoste, la Marc – preotul care are toate şansele să ajungă în Iad pentru dragostea sa şi până la vrăjitoarea Riona care face prăpăd în jurul ei (la propriu şi la figurat). Totuşi, dacă toate personajele masculine sunt bine conturate (uitasem de Arhangelul Ramiel care mi-a plăcut şi el) şi le poți înțelege trăirile, eu personal nu am prea simțit-o pe Riona. De exemplu, suferința şi dragostea lui Marc se revarsă din fiecare rând şi sunt palpabile. Ale Rionei nu prea; sunt mai mult evidențiate sentimentele ei pentru Jerry decât cele pentru Marc astfel încât sacrificiul care ar putea să-l facă ar părea făcut mai mult din prietenie, colegialitate decât iubire... În plus, calitățile ei pentru care toți bărbații şi femeile îi cad pradă nu prea sunt bine puse în lumină. Bine, e o vrăjitoare foarte puternică, cu un corp atrăgător, o minte suficient de ascuțită şi un arțag pe gustul meu, dar toate aceste calități mai mult îți sunt spuse şi nu reies întotdeauna din faptele ei (poate cu excepția replicilor acidulate).

Oricum, pe măsură ce paginile trec totul devine mai bun. Gluma se îngroaşă, acțiunea capătă amploare şi ajungi să fii prins în joc. Amănunte oferite anterior şi aparent neimportante îşi joacă rolul, capcanele sunt întinse, existența unor secrete importante apare la orizont, pericolele devin mult mai periculoase decât mortale, pentru că vorbim de căderea unor suflete şi nu unele oarecare, iar Lucifer nu doar că îşi bagă coada, ci se implică cu totul. Taberele încep să se schimbe atunci când situația va corespunde ad litteram vorbei „Te faci frate cu dracul până treci puntea” şi de aici un final excelent, oarecum neaşteptat în care suflete cad şi sunt salvate. Final care va pune la încercare talentul autoarei în volumele următoare. Asta pentru că Killian a deschis uşa unor imense posibilități care mai de care mai provocatoare, dar şi dorinței cititorului (cel puțin a mea) de a (mai) salva un suflet sau altul şi de a avea un final fericit pentru toată lumea.

Aşadar, dacă vreți să petreceți plăcut ceva timp, citiți-o!


The archangel continued. “Nothing distracted Gaius from his work, nothing.”

“Well, something must have.” Riona tasted the brew — some sort of licorice tea. “Otherwise you wouldn’t be setting him up to be the moral of your story.”

Ramiel’s eyebrow arched. “Sure Dee hasn’t told you this before?”

Riona curled her legs up under her frame. “I grew up in the post-Disney era, Ramiel. I know the ‘beware the danger of’ tone pretty damn well.”

“Hmm…” Long, graceful fingers pinched his chin. “Well, yes. As you know, a mortal sin, the kind that gets you sent to Hell, is all relative to the person’s own moral code. Unless they’ve declared a vow to a higher power, that is, like with Marc and the church. The Big Bad Hooha figured out that knowledge was Gaius’s pinnacle of morality, and exploited it. It’s a mini-victory every time a soul falls into darkness and becomes his property, but when that soul is a Pure Soul? Well, let’s just say the celebration Lucifer has would put a post-war tinker tape parade or the season finale of American Idol to shame. There’s nothing that makes him happier. So much so, that sometimes he gets a Pure Soul of particular interest or talent in his sight, and becomes obsessed.”

Riona jumped to the climax. “And let me guess: Gaius fell?”

“Like a senior citizen for the Nigerian lottery scam,” he confirmed. “It was a perfect set up. Turned out that the devil had saved that old apple Eve took a bite out of in the Garden of Eden. He does that, collects mementos. Lucifer took on his old angel form and rose to earth. In those days, we were still trying to keep it on the down-low that the ruler of Hell was a fallen archangel. Gaius thought he was a representative of the Big Boss. Lucifer told Gaius that the prize was his gift for all his hard work, that the apple would imbue him with ultimate knowledge. Gaius was so blinded by his pride and arrogance, he didn’t hesitate for a moment to believe it was no more than what was due him, and took of the fruit. He was under Satan’s command before he even swallowed.”

Riona felt a chill of foreboding go up her spine. “He was condemned?”

“Worse.” Ramiel set his tea on the table. “Any hell-bound soul can be reincarnated one time on Earth. But Pure Souls? Their abilities and powers as a demon are second only to fallen angels. If our kind become generals in Hell, your kind become its colonels. And Gaius, with all his knowledge gathered from all reaches of Earth, remains one of the most sinfully successful demons of all time. The only reason he hasn’t caused more damage is because he leans toward fits of uprising. Once in a while, his better nature rears its holy head and he gives his master a little bit of a headache.”

“I don’t get it,” Riona shrugged. “If that’s true, and that was so long ago, how is he still around? Why hasn’t another Pure Soul taken him out?”

“Oh, they have,” Ramiel assured with a smile that tried, unsuccessfully, to belie lack of a deeper meaning. “His earthly days have come and gone, even as a demon. But no matter what tricks and trades old Lucifer picks up, only the Big Boss can actually destroy a soul. Between you and me, I think He still holds out hope that one of Gaius’s insurgencies could pay off. He might find a way to break his bonds of demonhood. Gaius was… is a smart prick. He sees an opportunity, some loophole he can exploit, he’ll take it. Might even overthrow the devil someday, if the circumstances are right. It’s happened before, after all. Lucifer’s only had the job for about four thousand years. Before that, he was just a minion like any other. No doubt Gaius has the knowhow, he just needs the moment and the right circumstances to materialize. It’s probably the reason the Big Boss hasn’t blown his traitor-ass soul to bacon bits.”

Her eyes went lazy as she mulled over Ramiel’s story. “So, if either Marc or I betray our moral code, we’re doomed. Therefore, if Marc and I…. If we were to ever…”

Ramiel’s eyes narrowed like they were knives he meant to throw at her. “You screw Marc, you screw us all.”

“That’s putting it bluntly.”

“It is, isn’t it?”

About the author:

Killian McRae would tell you that she is a rather boring lass, an authoress whose characters’ lives are so much more exciting than her own. She would be right. Sadly, this sarcastic lexophile leads a rather mundane existence in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

She once dreamed of being the female Indiana Jones, and to that end she earned a degree in Middle Eastern History from the University of Michigan. However, when she learned that real archaeologist spend more time lovingly removing dust with toothbrushes from shards of pottery than outrunning intriguing villains with exotic accents, she decided to become a writer instead. 

She writes across many genres, including science fiction, fantasy, romance, and historical fiction.


Deathnote said...

The title seems okay, but the cover is awful =.=''

iobanicu said...

Intersanta recenie, o astept sa apara si la noi...

Unknown said...

abia astept sa apara si la noi.imi place recenzia

Andreea Ilie said...

Multumim pentru recenzie!! Mi-ar placea sa citesc cartea. :D

Eddie said...

Foarte fain! Dacă aș avea ocazia să o citesc, aș face-o cu drag. :D

alexa ioana said...

n-am mai auzit de cartea asta pana acum, dar mi-as dori sa o citesc. imi place foarte mult recenzia, iar personajele cartii mi se par super interesante