By Michele Brouder
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: September 2015
When seventeen year-old librarian wannabe Claire Daly is dragged kicking, screaming and cursing from everything she loves—her mam, her cozy Irish village and the dreamy boy next door—to take up arms in the battle of good versus evil, she learns the hard way that sometimes you don’t get to choose your own destiny, destiny chooses you.
Claire’s life plan is simple: head off to university to get her degree in library studies, summon up the courage to tell her best friend Chas that she loves him and live happily ever after. She never once entertained the idea that she might possess divine powers, that she might be predestined to battle Hell’s demons, or, to complicate matters further, that another love of many lives past might turn up on her doorstep. But life doesn’t always go as planned, and when a co-worker is viciously attacked by a demon and her own family threatened, Claire must face the truth: she is called to a higher purpose and has no choice but to answer. Claire sets aside her dreams and begins learning how to deal with the Unholy once and for all. Armed with only a crash course in soul saving and her wits, she gears up for the ultimate show down in Hell. But will it be enough?
When a book starts out with the main character discovering their powers and they don’t consider the “I always knew I was speshul” side and instead starts hoping that their affliction isn’t terminal, I rather like them. It also doesn’t hurt that the main character’s grandmother witnesses all this and goes “we’d better get home” rather calmly without blinking an eye. This all happens in the first chapter of Claire Daly: Reluctant Soul Saver. I will now refer to the reading material in question as “the book” from now on because that is a really long title.
There were also EXPLANATIONS and familial support and a death that kicked the plot into gear that DIDN’T involve a member of Claire’s immediate family. There was also a love triangle, of sorts, that was not the main focus of the book. And, Claire’s faith in herself and God (who is referenced quite a lot in this book, if that bothers you) was not immediate nor easily won. So, really, the book should just get five stars for what it didn’t do.
Since I should have a reason for rating the book so highly other than that the plot didn’t devolve into stereotypical mush, I should mention that Claire is hilarious. Her sarcasm is delightful and she was easy to relate to, as I am a highly sarcastic creature myself. Her response to her predicament was understandable, as was her determination to choose her own fate, but her stubbornness never veered into pigheaded-ness, and I loved her all the more for it. I have to say though that I knew that I would love her the minute I found out she wanted to be a librarian and spend her life surrounded by books.
As for the love triangle, there is a typical boy next door versus the mysterious but familiar newcomer story. However, much of the book’s focus was given to Claire and her journey, not picking which boy she liked bestest. Besides, I already picked the love interest I think she should end up with, and obviously my ideas are always the best and Claire should listen to them.
This book was just the little hidden gem that I needed to pick up and I can not express how supremely disappointed I was when it ended. I really want a sequel, preferably as soon as possible.
I was born in western New York, the oldest of 5. I’ve loved reading since I was very little. From the age of 9, I’ve wanted to be a writer. In high school, I wrote a lot of angst-ridden civil war dramas ala Gone With The Wind, knowing more about the Battle of the Bull Run than a normal teenager should know. I dabbled in writing after that but didn’t get serious about it until 2006, when I decided that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
I’ve had many interesting jobs but my passion has always been writing.
I lived in Ireland from 2006-2013 with my husband and 2 boys. We moved back to the US and settled in Florida briefly (2 years) before returning back to Ireland in August 2015.
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Three (3) winners will receive a copy of Claire Daly: Reluctant Soul Saver by Michele Brouder (INT)
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