Souljacker is the first novel that I’ve read from author Yasmine Galenorn, though she has been on my scope for years and years, and I wanted to read it the moment I saw the cover and read the synopsis.
Lily is a centuries old succubus whose life changes in one night. Her client is murdered in her salon by a vampire, and to make matters worse, the client in question is married. His wife doesn’t take his getting a bit on the side kindly and in a flash ruins Lily’s reputation.
The murdered turns out to be a crazed vampire, who years earlier tattooed Lily and her friends. Charlie, or Souljacker, had the ability to see into his clients and create a unique tattoo for each of them; a tattoo that became a part of that person as soon as it was etched on their skin.
But as soon as he was turned into a vampire, he went mad and was locked up. Now he’s escaped and collecting all the tattoos he made, in the process killing the people. The Souljacker believes that the tattoos hold the magic behind his talent and he needs them in order to regain the ability to see into people’s souls and to be able to create again.
Lily, with the help of her friends – Nate, a human, and Dani, a witch – and a chaos demon/PI who they hire to help them tracking down the Souljacker, and who becomes Lily’s lover, Archer, take on the task of stopping the killing.
Sounds good so far, right? Yeah, it did to me too.
But… I was expecting a strong female lead, someone a little cocky and a lot ballsy – she’s a centuries old succubus! – someone wielding their supernatural power and utilizing their succubus-ness. And I was expecting a lot of action, steam between the sheets – again, she’s a succubus and he’s a chaos demon!
Not so much any of the above. The characters all come off as very humanlike, even Lily and Archer, and there are very few displays of any kind of power, apart from a few side characters.
Everything in the story is very sedate and mild. There’s a lot of hanging out at Lily’s house, talking and planning and explaining, and getting drunk. Lily and Archer’s relationship may be a lot of things but steamy or explosive it is not. It begins from out of necessity (Lily needs the chi, or life force, of others to stay strong) and from there on just… is. It’s too easy, too simple, too convenient.
To me that really describes the whole story perfectly: easy, simple, and convenient.
Parts of it left me questioning and wondering if the series is a spin-off to a previous series. Especially at the beginning of the story there are parts that weren’t opened up enough. There isn’t enough world building and explaining the background to what kind of a place the story is set in and where these characters come from, which is an integral part of who they are.
I can’t say Souljacker is not a good story, it is. The writing is excellent and I certainly wanted to keep reading to see how it ends. But it could have been better. Still, despite the little sluggish start, I’m intrigued to read more of Lily and see how she handles her new life.
I’ll give Souljacker three charms.
Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions above are my own and have not been influenced by anything other than my reading experience.