Friday, September 13, 2013

Review: Soul in Present Condition

Title: Soul in Present Condition

Author: Mary E. Merrell

Date of Publication: August 17, 2013

Formats Available: E-book

Buy This BookAmazon

Synopsis: Divorced. Check.

Ghost whisperer. Check.

Human servant. Check.

Great. Check.

Rosemary Fernandes never planned on being divorced. She never expected to be able to communicate with ghosts nor be the human servant to a vampire either. But she is all these things. Rosemary has had to get tough to compete in the cutthroat world of real estate and even tougher to face her fears of the supernatural as her paranormal escapades heat up.

Marcus Lyons is a vampire and Rosemary’s master. He forbids her to get involved with any more ghosts, and maintains the secrets they hold will be her death. Rosemary knows helping lost souls is what she’s meant to do, no matter how dangerous. When Rosemary connects with an angry young spirit, Marcus puts a price on her desires. What is she willing to give to help this specter? And will Rosemary’s bargain with the vampire be the end of her relationship with sexy tattoo artist Frank Perez.

Benny Cruz talks all gangsta and sarcastic. His energy is static, and he claims he knows what Rosemary is. Benny believes Rosemary controls the dead, and leads them around on a leash. Rosemary agrees to help the lost soul and prove she can't make the dead do anything, but is someone who helps lost souls move on. Something feels off with this spirit, and Rosemary is sure Benny knows more than he’s telling.

Benny is intent on completing the task he didn't finish. Rosemary must convince the spirit that closure with his family is what’s keeping him here. What’s not done is done. When Benny’s secret risks Rosemary’s life, she must somehow save herself and help the ghost find peace. Can she afford Marcus’ price of flesh and blood and prove to the vampire he is more man than monster? And what happens when Rosemary finds herself falling for two very different men? Even though one may be a killer.

My Review: 

When I was asked to do this blog tour I was told that Soul in Present Condition was the third in a series, but could also stand alone. Unfortunately, it quickly became apparent that this novel definitely wasn't a standalone novel, there was a huge amount of plot development and character relationships that must have happened in previous novels and I didn't understand Rosemary's relationship with Marcus or some of the other characters.

Not only was I confused by some of the ongoing plot lines but frankly, I was just bored. Maybe it was because I hadn't read the previous novels, but I just couldn't get myself into the story. Even though the premise is interesting enough I just didn't feel drawn into the story or find myself interested in what was happening. I was especially bored by the mystery, Benny wasn't a very interesting ghost and I felt like the majority of the novel was spent talking about Rosemary's dealings in real estate rather than the mystery and the paranormal elements of the story; the two things that would have made the novel much more interesting.

Likewise I didn't understand the character relationships, from what I could gather Marcus, the vampire, was Rosemary's "master" of sorts but I couldn't really figure out how that relationship came to be. I also couldn't figure out the relationship between Rosemary and Marcus's maker, Lucila, the entire novel I was wondering if Rosemary liked her or didn't like her and what their relationship was. The most interesting characters in the novel were Esteban and Vivianna, to be honest I was more interested in their story than Rosemary's.

Despite it all Soul in Present Condition was a fairly well written novel with only a few typos and with a little more polish could be a wonderfully written story.  Maybe if I had read the first two novels in the series I would have liked this one better because Merrell did a great job creating an original story line and giving the characters unique personalities. However, because I was coming into the series with the third book I have a feeling my confusion may have impacted how I felt about the novel.

Fans of the series will probably find no problem with this novel, however it just wasn't my cup of tea since I hadn't read the first two. Those looking for a interesting paranormal mystery might want to check this one out but make sure to start with the first one!


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  1. No matter how well written, it's difficult to start in the middle of a series without missing much of the important back story. While an author can try to give a synopsis in each book of what has gone on before, providing a detailed one tends to drag down the existing novel.

    Do you plan on going back to book one to see how it all started?

    Nice review!

  2. I'm not sure if I'll go back and read the first two.. maybe sometime in the future but I have so many books on my TBR list it will definitely be awhile!