Friday, September 27, 2013

Becky's View: The Weight of Souls by Bryony Pearce

The Weight of Souls by Bryony Pearce
♦publisher: Strange Chemistry
♦release date: August 6th, 2013
♦hardcover, 288 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series (possibly)
♦source: from publisher for honest review
Sixteen-year-old Taylor Oh is cursed: if she is touched by the ghost of a murder victim then they pass a mark beneath her skin. She has three weeks to find their murderer and pass the mark to them - letting justice take place and sending them into the Darkness. And if she doesn't make it in time? The Darkness will come for her... She spends her life trying to avoid ghosts, make it through school where she's bullied by popular Justin and his cronies, keep her one remaining friend, and persuade her father that this is real and that she's not going crazy.

And then Justin is murdered and everything gets a whole lot worse. Justin doesn't know who killed him, so there's no obvious person for Taylor to go after. The clues she has lead her to the V Club, a vicious secret-society at her school where no one is allowed to leave... And where Justin was dared to do the stunt which led to his death. Can she find out who was responsible for his murder before the Darkness comes for her? Can she put aside her hatred for her former bully to truly help him? And what happens if she starts to fall for him?

Review:  Jumping right into the action, The Weight of Souls starts off by showing you exactly what Taylor's curse is.  She is touched by ghosts, given a mark that she must pass on to the ghost's killer.  She has a few weeks to do this---the Darkness will come for whoever bears the Mark, whether it's the killer or Taylor herself.  It's a dangerous life for a teenage girl, going after these murderer's, but her mother trained her well.  

While it took a while to really connect with Taylor, I felt for her harsh life.  Not only does she have to live with this curse, but her father doesn't believe in it and insists it's a disease he can find the cure to.  Her best friend is fed up because Taylor always has to cancel on her to chase after killers---she doesn't know about the curse and Taylor is too afraid to tell her.  She is also constantly bullied at school---cruelly, physically, and racially bullied by a seemingly unstoppable group of popular kids. It was hard to watch her weather so much alone.

Everything changes when the head of the popular kids winds up dead and he unintentionally marks Taylor.  She can't begin to find his killer until she can convince him first that he is dead, and second that he was actually murdered.  As they are forced into being together, I loved that they didn't immediately connect, that she didn't forgive him right away for the horrible way he treated her.  Their closeness grows slowly and their relationship evolves as he works to gain her trust and a few secrets and vulnerabilities are revealed. 

The story is interwoven with Egyptian mythology and the history of how the curse was formed, and it circles around to the climax of Taylor's story.  As much as this information was necessary, I did feel the journal-entry way it was presented made the pacing of the story a bit choppy in parts.  Still, there were some really heart-pounding scenes, a few good romantic moments, and great emotion flowing through the whole story.

 As far as I can tell, there's nothing in the works yet, but The Weight of Souls ends with some definite series potential.  Nothing cliffhanger-y, but the twist at the end and the very last chapter gives the reader an inkling that Taylor and Justin's story might not be finished just yet.  I did love the way it ended with Taylor finally finding a bit of well-deserved peace and happiness, but the story could continue with something even more mythologically epic!
Find Bryony Pearce online: Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

Purchase The Weight of Souls: Amazon  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound


  1. Thnx for the review.I think I'll wait for the paperback

  2. Great review Becky! I really like the sound of this book, love ghost stories and you said Egyptian mythology? Yup, sold!

  3. this sounds awesome!!! Thanks for the great review :)

  4. Egyptian mythology, I know enough! I also love the concept of being touched and bearing a mark.