Cover Image: Book of Souls

Book of Souls

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Member Reviews

Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Netgalley and Createspace Independent Publishing Platform for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.

I feel like novels about ancient Egyptian gods can be a hit or miss honestly. Which sucks because ancient Egypt is one of my favorite times in history to learn about, and I’ve always wanted to have more YA novels that do a great job talking about them. There are maybe a couple out there that I’ve read about that I ended up really liking, but again it’s rare.

This one I’m still on the fence about, which was probably why it took me a while to read and review it. I mean, I think I got approved for this novel back in 2018 when I first learned about ARCs and Netgalley, and before I took a really long hiatus, I never ended up getting to this novel. Now I have, almost two years later, and I wish that I could say a lot more about it than I’m about to.

I think that Nightingale had a valiant effort trying to combine the past and the present in this novel and give the proper respect due. Meaning that I feel like she did her research to make sure that this was as accurate as it could be, but I still felt like it fell short. Not too much to completely have me write it off or anything, but I feel like some parts were missing.

I’m not sure if I would read the second one, but I hope that the second one got better.
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Nadine Nightingale did a wonderful job with the plot for Book of Souls!

First thought - thank you so much to Netgalley for providing me a copy of this book in return for an honest review. 

Really, I feel like authors are on to me lately. I love a good story involving mythology and especially Egyptian. I wholeheartedly blame "The Mummy" movie from the 90's for this addiction and I have zero regrets. Give me all the history and myth! 

ON TO THE THE ~no spoilers~ REVIEWING! :) haha 

“I’d have more faith in Ramsay Bolton.” And that counts for something, considering he’s the most deceiving, mass-murdering Game of Thrones character ever."  - Nadine Nightingale, Book of Souls

I'm going to be a bit more streamlined this time with my review and break it down per my ratings. So let's talk plot and story. The plot was fantastic! The story follows a woman named Nisha Blake. Nisha sees death. Not your traditional grim reaper of death but Anubis the Egyptian God of Death. She's spent her life attempting to block out this gift but her cozy Shepherdstown locals won't let her forget and make her a legend. THEN enter's a new player, whose name is Blaze. He doesn't care for the legend and instead cares for the woman. 

Nadine Nightingale did a fantastic job with all her characters. Blaze was a fantastic side lead. A little hard headed but overall sincere and you root for him a lot. Nisha would sometimes frustrate me with her denial but I understand why she wants to block things out. I also really loved the side characters in this book. Her cousin and school friends really rounded out the novel and made it for me. 

Dialogue was excellent. I enjoy good banter and also sassy friends. This book has both! hahaha In my opinion, when characters show lots of fight or angsty - it adds a bit more to the book to me. This didn't disappoint~ ALSO! The references to pop culture are frequent and fantastic. I loved it. 
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Book of Souls by Nadine Nightingale is a pretty intense read for a few reasons.  I'm pretty picky about books that modernize the stories of ancient civilizations and gods.  This doesn't stop me from hoping that the next one I pick up will be awesome.  I'm glad that I don't stop hoping, though, because Book of Souls was seriously good.

First, the intensity.  Strangely enough, Nightingale lets the reader know exactly who her characters are long before they figure it out...but it doesn't seem to take away from the story at all, because the story isn't the characters' history.  Nightingale takes the story of the Egyptian gods and she builds on it.  What if Romeo and Juliet got another life, another chance?  What if Mercutio loved Juliet, too?

Paranormal aspects aside, Nightingale delves deep into the horrors that is being an outcast in high school.  She touches on suicide, depression, and questioning reality through the role of Nisha, the FMC.  The pain that Nisha is in from everything going on in her life as well as the bullying at school bleeds through the pages and into the reader.  Her emotions and lack of self-esteem aren't ignored and glossed over, as you can find in many books that claim to address these issues.  Nightingale doesn't romanticize suicidal ideations, but she doesn't ostracize them, either.  They are simply presented as a part of the reaction of Nisha to life.  There is no judgment.  It's a refreshing look at mental health, PTSD, and depression because it is truly something many writers seem to struggle with.

As Nisha grows and her ancient past starts to overlap and influence her present, she becomes more vibrant of a character.  While all this really delicious paranormal stuff is going on, we still get a taste of the young adult angst that makes the genre so appealing.  Nisha is a complex character of strength and vulnerability, confidence and self-loathing.  Surrounded by a cast of villains and allies, Nightingale allows Nisha to grow as a character without having her outstrip her counterparts.  She is still the awkward victim of bullying who barely makes it through the day and clings to the reassurances she gets from her friends and family.

The ending is definitely  well-written and not wholly unexpected.  There is a bit of a cliffhanger (you know...if Angel Falls is a tiny stream).  But no worries!  Book 2 is out, now.  I am excited to see more growth in Nisha as she accepts her ancient past, but also to see how Blaze and the others deal with the revelations while Nisha isn't around.  There are a few areas that should come with a warning (suicidal ideation, bullying, assault), but they aren't a major part of the story and move by pretty quickly.  Grab your copy of this amazing reincarnation of Egyptian gods, goddesses, and their loyal followers.

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon AU
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The author did a great job creating a very detailed and robust plot. It is clear she did her research and I appreciated the fine details which created an intriguing story line. I would however, have preferred if the characters were adults and not teens as I had a hard time connecting with them.
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This book was...pretty bad. I enjoy mythology based books. I enjoy fresh spins on old things, however this book felt like it dragged on because I found it to be rather boring...

The world-building was a bit sparse and the infused mythology parts not well explained.  Like the synopsis says, Nisha is the outcast of her town. Minus her friends who stick beside her despite the fact she has the nickname of Angel of Death because of all the things that seem to happen around her. Having hallucinations definitely doesn't help her cause.

As a result Nisha has adopted the negative, moping MC persona. The support characters weren't all well fleshed out. Most have no back story or additional parts short of supporting the plot and main character. This leads them and Nisha to have an almost one dimensional feel.

The romance...insta-love is one of my pet peeves and this was no exception. Nisha may 'try' (if you want to call it that) to avoid it, but fails rapidly. I'm fine with the bad boy image, when it is decently well done. Blaze was...meh.

This book honestly felt like something written originally as a fanfiction or something. It didn't have the depth or sophistication of a book written by an experienced author. It didn't feel like there was a lot of research put in behind it. The characters weren't fleshed out much. The plot was near non-existent. 

The dialogues were sometimes awkward. All in all, I was disappointed.
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I have conflicting feelings about this book. Any time I wasn't reading it, I really wasn't all that excited to jump back in. But once I did, I enjoyed it. Some parts were really interesting and good, while others really annoyed the heck out of me.

What I liked:
- BLAZE. I loved that boy. Despite his appearance (which was no doubt quite the tattooed hotness) he was such a good guy. He was sweet, loyal, and stood up for those he thinks are wronged. And then those kittens? Be still my heart.
- The Egyptian mythology going on here. This was a new subject for me. Most of my knowledge about the Egyptian gods and goddesses comes from watching Stargate, so it's pretty sketchy at best. I really liked learning about some of these myths and people, and can only assume it's legit.
- The whole idea of what's going down here definitely got me into the story. Reincarnation, powerful books, banished gods trying to come back, and Anubis collecting souls? I'm game.

What I didn't like:
- The word "GEE". For the love of anything , please stop having Nisha think that word before practically every time she thought something in her head. It was incredibly annoying, and half the time didn't even make sense!
- 90's music is not old. The girl is 17. Saying that music from the 90's is "old people music" is absurd because that would mean people who are only in their 20's are old. And that's stupidly inaccurate.
- The amount of YA/cultural references made, from books to movies, was obscene in it's overkill. Let's disregard the fact that I got most of them. I don't read one author's books to read about another's work over and over. I can maybe see once or twice, but the amount here was ridiculous.
- I find it near impossible to believe that the most popular boy and girl (who've been a couple since before first grade, by the way {roll eyes here}) in the school are also saints. Popular kids are never as nice and caring and all that jazz as these two were.

Nisha killed me. At first I liked her character because she was really believable and, for many people, I'm sure easy to relate to. But then she slowly started to really tick me off more and more because she would ALWAYS cower when confronted and would accept the abuse heaped onto her as if she deserved it. I get that she really does blame herself or whatever, but it was so frustratingly annoying. Then we get closer to the end and she starts making the most absolutely stupidest decisions. I just wanted to bash her in the head at this point.

Ever since Nisha walked into her father and mother being murdered, she has believed that she's losing her mind. Worse, she's been labeled the angel of death in the town because of the numerous times people have died when near her. She hates it, but what can she do? She believes it herself. She knows when it's coming too because every time she sees Anubis there to collect the soul. Lately, her mind has been starting to crack more and more. She has such vivid hallucinations that sometimes she can no longer tell reality from not. When Blaze transfers to her school and tries to befriend her, she does her damnedest to push him away. But Blaze is a much better person than she expected and he refuses to let her. It's a moot attempt anyway because the draw between the two of them is too strong for either to walk away from.

Things really pick up toward the end and we push the highschool drama aside for a bit. Secret societies are out to get Nisha, one to use her and one to help her. Her ancient past is coming back to her in fragmented memories and terrifying powers. A past that Blaze has no idea about but is tightly connected to. And Nisha makes one dumb decision after another all culminating to possibility of chaos being unleashed upon the world because of her actions.

It's so hard for me to say whether or not I'd want to read the next book given the chance. I liked this book more than I didn't but with how things ended I'm just not sure how excited I am to continue. I guess we'll see.
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Unfortunately I wasn’t a fan of this one. 

The synopsis of the book was more interesting than the book itself. Lacks world building, and the main character was pretty flat. I found myself unable to connect with her. 

My other issue was with the writing style itself. It felt a little amateur to me. This is the first book I have read of this author, and will give her another shot with a different title. This one just wasn’t for me. 

Thank you for the opportunity to to review this book! I hope another reader enjoys this story.
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Awesome read, well written with a great plot and characters. I was engrossed from start to finish. I couldn't put it down. I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from Netgalley.
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This novel had so much potential, that opening chapter was amazing, and then it seemed o keep spiraling down the drain after that. There was also wayyyy to many pop culture references, I counted around 7 in one chapter alone, which speaks to the longevity of this book. 10 years from now no one will want to pick up this novel because they either wont understand all the references, or wont be able to connect to the book due to its already outdatedness.
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Really good story line , characters were ok. I like that this YA story did not focus on any one giving up their V card.
I would read the next one.
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I had taken a break from blogging due to a busy personal life, but I am back and I bring with you a book review! I wanted to like this book so much! The synopsis seemed so interesting, but I felt like I was just waiting for something to happen. I know the author wanted to set up the story but I was a bit bored. Nisha is a good character but the way people treat her is just despicable and I was so sad that she believed everything they through at her. The entire time I was screaming at her to grow a backbone. I really liked Blaze but he seemed almost too perfect and the almost instalove between Nisha and Blaze was too much. I will say the Mythology was great, Nightingale obviously did her homework but it just wasn't enough.
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Sorry but I couldn't get into the book at all. I tried though, I'm so sorry for my ADD brain.
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I received an free ARC copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

No, I am sorry but I did not like this book. 
- The characters were dull and annoying
- the plot was boring. I mean the setting was even clearly stated
- Too much reference to modern shows, I mean one reference on one page is okay. More than 5? Not okay. Its trying too hard for my liking. 
- I just could not connect with it at all.
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I was blown away by this book. I cant wait to see where book 2 takes us. It's a must read.
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Where do I even begin with this book? For starters, I would say the blurb was way more interesting than the actual novel. Everything was just bad. I can't even find one redeeming quality about it. When I started reading, I was pretty excited to get into the story. I love YA fantasy novels and especially mythology inspired ones. Plus, the fact that it was about Egypt had me even more psyched. However, what I got was a book that was just dull and boring with absolutely irritating characters.

Firstly, this novel has no worldbuilding or plot. All we know is that it takes place in a town somewhere in America. There were no fantastical descriptions of otherworldly realms or dreams. The mythological background was a mess and utterly confusing. All we get is a story about a girl who is an outcast in her town, with a bunch of friends and she apparently is considered the "Angel of Death" as accidents happen around her. Plus, she has hallucinations which make her appear crazier. The story revolves more around high school incidents. Not once do we actually get to what the story is about which is "The Book of Souls". I would have preferred if the fantasy aspect was more integrated into the novel because that was a major plotline.

Secondly, the MC Nisha is so infuriating. When she is not moping around with "her woe is me" act. She is constantly describing how hot Blaze is and how he would never fall for her. Moreover, she is constantly saying how loved up her cousin Izzy is. To top this all off, the number of pop culture references just did my head in. Also, the minor characters weren't fleshed out well enough either, there are no backstories or other interactions. There's no raw emotion, motives, conflict, drama - nothing. Everyone was so one dimensional and Nisha especially behaves like a zombie. She makes the silliest decisions ever and when she does get her act together in the later chapters, her character still falls flat. 

Thirdly, the romance was just awful. It was all insta-love and so cliched. The bad boy image given to Blaze wasn't at all endearing. Plus, their relationship lacks conflict and tension. Everything is just accepted so easily. Even though Nisha does try to put some distance between them initially, she caves just too easily. I guess I am a fan of more realistic relationships and this one was even worse than Twilight which was also alluded to a lot in this book.

Fourth but not the least, the writing style was just too amateurish for me. I didn't feel as though the author was making enough of an effort to actually weave a story. It was clunky and lacking detail. There was no context and research done in Ancient Egypt to make for an authentic story. The characters need a lot more work and there was no development. In addition, the dialogues felt forced and the scenarios were very unrealistic. There were no plot devices or if there were, they were placed haphazardly. I think the story was just drawn out. I would have also liked to have seen more plot reveals. That might have made the book more interesting. I don't think I will be reading the sequel. I am neither invested in the characters nor the storyline. I would suggest giving this book a miss. If you are into YA mythological fantasies, there are way better options out there.
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This book had a lot of potential but unfortunately fell flat. The story really had nothing to it, chapter after chapter it was just question after question and not in a good way. The author didn't give us substance or creativity to create our own questions because the writing just wasn't there and really, the MC asked the same questions every page I felt like I just zombie walked through the whole book. I didn't feel a thing for this book the author drew out everything and sucked it dry for the readers. The author really drew out everything so the reader really couldn't express anything for themselves. It was just spread so thin with little to no plot and the weird references and the names were a bit much. I'm actually really disappointed. I feel like if you stripped out the references, the insta-love, the unnecessary side stories and dug more into the Egyptian side and answered one or two questions and let us feel our way through the characters and story it could've been extremely good.
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Once upon a time, I was obsessed with all things Egypt. Even now, ten years later, there are a few things I still find fascinating and this book pinged a few of them. If you love Egypt, especially the mythology, read this book now. Nadine has done a wonderful job of weaving the actual mythology into the story for a beautiful overall picture. I can't wait to see what book 2 brings and who we'll meet. 

My only issue with this book was the pacing was sometimes slow, but I loved the story and characters enough that I needed to read through.
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I honestly didn't have any high expectations for this book, but I also didn't expect to dislike it this much.

OH MY GOD THIS BOOK IS SUCH A MESS

The writing is not the best, the main character is childish and annoying, all the names in the book are probably meant to sound cool and exotic but they're just weird? (there are two characters called Shaggy and Scooby. that's all I'm gonna say about this matter), the romance is insta-love but on like, another level, IT'S WORSE THAN TWILIGHT. To be honest the number of twilight and fifty shades references is unhealthy. Also, what's up with the British dude blaming the dumbest things on the fact that he has 4 sisters? the MC is late and he'll be like it's okay, I have 4 sisters. ok???? what does that mean???? 

DON'T GET ME STARTED ON THE BRITISH GUY. Apparently, he's too hot that the MC, Nisha, couldn't stop mentioning how hot he was every 3 lines? there are seriously so many ridiculous things about this book that I could go on for ages and still wouldn't have covered them all.

MOVING ON FROM THE CHARACTERS. The myths. what? 

I know that there are various versions of all the myths ok, I KNOW THAT, but usually, when you're referencing mythologies, you stick to one version of it. The history was so inconsistent and the author used more than one version of the same myth that I actually felt my Egyptian ancestors shaming me for reading such an offensive book.

Literally, the only good thing that came out of this book was that one paragraph about the Islamophobia that she faced due to her mother's religion. That's it. 

I've honestly read fanfiction better than this.
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Book of Souls is a refreshing take on the intermingling of Egyptian myths and modern day society after Rick Riordan's Kane Chronicles. It is fortunately aimed at an older demographic and you can tell that Nightingale really did extensive research to keep the mythology as accurate as possible. One of the best parts of this book is that it had two of my favorite things: the supernatural and romance. And what a romance it was, spanning several centuries and lifetimes. However, while still peddling the Egyptian elements to the story, you can still easily follow the average life of the main character as she experiences high school, crushes, and bullying. Book of Souls also had a great cliff hanger ending that makes me wish I already had the second book in my hand right now!
The reason why I gave this book three star stars is because of the constant pop culture references. I know about 90% of them, especially the Game of Throne ones, but there were many I didn't which ended up confusing me. Also, the main character has no backbone. Unless someone steps in to defend her, she takes the bullying on the chin and cries like a 2 year old. The insults that the "mean girls" say aren't even that mean! If it were me, I would laugh in their faces or at least not cry. This happened frequently in the book and really irritated me. Other than that, the book was great and I definitely read the sequel.
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Let me start by saying I am sucker for a new spin on an old myth or legend. Sometimes these work really well and other times, well, not so much. This mash-up of Egyptian myth and YA love triangle drama worked well. The Author did a good job and interweaving the story-lines just enough that it wasn't predictable or borning. The story itself moves at a nice pace and the MC is not completely annoying, though she does have her moments, alas that is one of the pitfalls many YA books have for those of us not YA anymore. I am pretty curious to see where this book goes in the sequel, which means there was more than enough to hook me in book 1.
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