Published April 2012 by Renaissance Romance Publishing
Read April 2012
Available: Goodreads, Amazon
You must remember throughout this review I DO NOT read romance novels. While many of the books I do read have a romantic element, they would rarely be classified fully as romance. The closest I get to a romance novel is the occasional chick lit story. I have this disclaimer because I think the problems that I had with the book has more to do with the genre than the writing.
I read the original draft that Michele was querying. At that time it felt like a sci-fi story that greatly reminded me of the Jessica Alba television show Dark Angel. I was very excited to read it because I love stories about genetic mutation (both artificial and naturally occurring) with government involvement. However, there was very little sci-fi in the storyline. It is almost completely eclipsed by lust filled sex.
I've never read a bodice ripper, but the beginning of this book had me feeling like I was about to partake in my first. And pretty much from the instant the main characters meet the story disappears into a lust filled haze. We're suppose to believe they are star struck lovers, but I never felt any true love. One character even comments that her body wants him, though her mind tells her he's the enemy. There is no mention of what the heart feels. When it is just a bodily reaction to me that's lust and not love.
Speaking of enemies, we never truly see why each side thinks the other are the bad guys. To me just being told they do bad things is not enough. I mean they have been on their designated sides for a long time, yet, when thrown together there is no conflict (except for squabbles over inconsequential things). Angelique apparently doesn't even inquire about her team until chapter 12 when we are finally told there status.
Character development on a whole seemed to be lacking. I didn't understand anyone's motivation for most of their actions. I felt like Angelique when she told Shane they didn't know one another. While we get a few tidbits from their "getting to know you", we don't actually get to be part of the conversation. The book flip flops between Shane's and Angelique's points of view. I often felt lost as to whose head I was in as they did not have distinct voices for me. At first I thought I just didn't like the switching viewpoints, but this weekend I read A Million Suns by Beth Revis and it switches between Amy and Elder and I didn't mind it as both characters are fully developed individuals.
I also didn't feel that the world Michele created was fully developed. There seemed to be inconsistencies. While I could understand that some parasouls can turn their talents on and off, what I didn't understand is if Shane could burn someone just by brushing against them (not actively flaming) then why didn't his clothes catch fire or his bed or anything else he touched?
I know I sound pretty negative about Parasouls, but like I said in the beginning I think it had to do more with it being a romance than with the story itself. When I could look past what I considered "flaws" I would find myself enjoying the story. I think if I was into romance novels then I would have enjoyed the book much more. If you want romance then get this book. If, like me, you want a sci-fi novel, then you might want to pass.
I received a free review copy of Parasouls from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.