Soul Weaver by Hailey Edwards
Grand Central Publishing (Aug. 7, 2012)
Favorite Lines: “Sudden warmth ignited in his chest. “Do you feel that?” Love rushed through their bond until his head swam with the images she projected. “That’s me, loving you with everything I’ve got. I told you, we’re forever.”” (p. 237, e-galley)
Since the accident that nearly took her life, Chloe suffers from acute agoraphobia. Living alone above her family’s bookstore, she spends restless nights terrified by strange visions . . . until a mysterious stranger appears and offers her salvation. Chloe is drawn to the ethereal, gorgeous Nathaniel-but her haunted soul warns her there is more to him than meets the eye.
An archangel who roams Earth collecting souls of the newly departed, Nathanial is the sole witness to the accident that should have taken Chloe’s life. Seduced by the purity of her soul, he defies Providence by saving her life. But his attempt at kindness marks Chloe for damnation, and makes her an unwitting pawn in a game of unholy ambition. Now together they must fight the demons of Hell itself-for a love that defies the boundaries of Heaven and Earth.
Soul Weaver is the newest addition to the angel/demon section of paranormal romance books. It’s also book one in Hailey Edwards’ Wicked Kin series.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I read the heroine was agoraphobic. It’s kind of hard to accept that by the end of the story she will have a Happily Ever After. There just doesn’t seem to be enough pages for her to overcome her mental illness, find love and defeat any other obstacles in her way. I also wondered about the world building. Would there be any since the heroine couldn’t leave her home?
What I found was a mixed bag of answers. The world building came from the villain and hero. We learn the paranormal mythology as we watch them interact with their superiors and “co-workers.” By watching them we see parallel worlds as rifts are slit in reality. We learn about angels, pits in hell and the fight for heaven, or as it’s known in the series Aeristitia.
Nathaniel, the book’s hero, is a soul harvester and a soul weaver. Soul harvesters are fallen angels who collect souls for the pits in hell. Those souls which are placed in the pits cannot be reborn. Nathaniel is no “regular” harvester. He fell after telling a lie while trying to protect his brother Saul. Nathaniel has a special position among the harvesters as weaver. When the angels fall they are stripped of their wings. Nathaniel uses collected souls to create a soul material to cover the bare bones which used to be wings. Nathaniel loves his nephilim nephew, as if the man were his own child.
The details about the hero show him to be a better human than paranormal creature. The very things that are acceptable and wanted in humans place Nathaniel in dangerous territory as a soul harvester. He is family oriented and looks to protect rather than maintain the big picture as an angel or soul harvester should.
The heroine, Chloe, was pretty uninspiring. I never really cared for her because she didn’t do anything. I realize she has a mental illness, but it makes for pretty boring reading when the heroine stays in her bookstore or her apartment above the bookstore for 80 percent of the book. Chloe wants more, but is incapable of grabbing it because she is very aware of her limitations. To be honest, I was more interested in Chloe’s new employee, Neve.
Neve is obviously in need. Her situation is danced around for a good portion of the story. Once more information about her is told I expected her story line to move. I just wanted it to do something. Instead it kind of fizzled out and there was no more about her. I’m hoping this is because she’ll be a main character in a following book, but it drew attention to another female character who was introduced and shown as a jealous woman then forgotten.
Soul Weaver was a slow-moving horse until it broke into a sprint during the last 20 percent of the story. The agoraphobic heroine becomes capable of a HEA with her fallen angel. I’m not sure if the love was based on personalities falling in love or souls which were connected. I guess in the end I don’t really care. I’m happy that two people found love, but I, myself, never fell in love with the story. It was okay, but not one that I’ll read again. I’ll definitely pick up the next book if it is about Neve or Nathaniel’s nephew. Otherwise, I don’t see myself doing more than checking the library for a copy if I’ve nothing else to read.
(BTW: Hailey Edwards is the author of a book called A Hint of Frost, which I enjoyed because it featured people with spider-like abilities.)