Souled Out (Volume #1) by Blakely Chorpenning
SOULED OUT (released July 2012) by Blakely Chorpenning
Ell Clyne is a cypher: a twin: and without a soul. At twenty, she has been a cypher for the Members for 4 years. The Members are the vampire-elite-the political and legal structure for the vampires. With her ability to ‘decipher’ or read souls, she is called upon nightly to reveal the future. But Ell has a secret that she keeps deeply buried-only now it appears that the Members and the Mass have found out the truth.
Working as a cypher for the vampires has a few benefits. A longer life and more money then she knows what to do with. But it ends there. At 16, Ellenore was chosen as the next cypher, but with it came the headaches and the lost connection to her friends, her parents and recently, the connection with her twin sister Myranda. With a deepening depression, Ell continues to pull away from the reality of life and is determined to withdraw from everything. Yet each night, Gabriel continues to bring a parade of people and vampires that the Members need to be read.
Gabriel is a vampire. Working for the Members, Gabriel is charged with bringing anyone the Members considered important to their future. Reading souls was taking a toll on Ell, and Gabriel was one of the few who knew the reason. Gabriel too, had a past he keeps hidden. But there was more to their relationship than professional courtesy-the continuous battle of wills between Gabriel and Ell was cracking the façade that Ell wrapped tightly around herself-only Gabriel was aware of what drove Ell and he was hoping for something more.
Seth is another vampire who has crossed paths with Ell on a couple of occasions, but Seth is looking for something more as well. And when Ell suddenly finds the Mass (vigilante vampires) waiting for her return, it will be Seth and Gabriel who take it upon themselves to be bodyguard and guardian-only neither has the ability to stop the Mass from attacking their intended victim. And Ell will find herself beaten, near death and buried alive with no hope for rescue. But sometimes friends will reveal themselves at the strangest places and times.
When Ell is brought before the Members, it is Gabriel who will stand by her side. But when the truth is finally revealed, 2 sets of twins-one set once thought to be close-and the other set- still farther apart-will be pulled into a melee of betrayal and conspiracy of a jealous sibling. No one had ever said family was easy.
The character of Ell is in a world of hurt. Perceived rejection by her parents and her sister, as well as the continuous strain of the cypher, will pull Ell into a deepening spiral of self-loathing, self-doubt and anxiety befitting every psychiatrists nightmare. And it will take 2 strong vampires to show her that life doesn’t end, when your family calls it quits.
SOULED OUT is a fascinating look at the vampire storyline. Not your typical vampire genre, Souled Out is a mix of the paranormal and urban fantasy. A story replete with the powers of an aging witch, Souled Out is a dark tale of betrayal at the deepest level. Another unique and interesting vampire novel and a couple of vampire myths –shot all to hell. An excellent read.
Copy supplied by the author.
Reviewed by Sandy