My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due

Rating: 3.5 of 5

Synopsis: “When Jessica marries David, he is everything she wants in a family man: brilliant, attentive, ever youthful. Yet she still feels something about him is just out of reach. Soon, as people close to Jessica begin to meet violent, mysterious deaths, David makes an unimaginable confession…” (source)

My thoughts: My Soul to Keep is the second book I’ve read by Tananarive Due, and now I can confidentially say two things: 1) Due writes in a way that I’m instantly drawn into the story; her characters, all of them, come alive from page one; and, 2) She breathes new life into old ideas/ seemingly overdone, overused fantasy tropes.

I loved the premise of My Soul to Keep especially where the Living Blood originated. It was interesting to look at how the immortals viewed humans, excluded females, dealt with threats to their anonymity. And while I was slightly teary-eyed at the ending, I loved Jessica’s transformation. To me that’s the true strength of a woman. I won’t say more because spoilers!

The only problem I had with this story, and why I had to set it aside a few times, was that I did not like Dawitt at all. Yes, I understand that the centuries and the traumas have changed him. That maybe it’s unfair to hold him accountable to human standards because he’s immortal. I sympathized with him, but he went too far, over and over again. His love was unhealthy.

Jessica, I liked; she was smart, sensitive and strong. Though, she doubted herself way too much. I guess she’s meant to be all the women who are like her in real life. It makes me sad to think of the women who settle for “the perfect guy” because they think that’s what they’re supposed to do. How they’ll consciously overlook warning signs and red flags just to avoid rocking the boat. But, like I mentioned above, Jessica gradually opened her eyes and tried her best to rectify the mistakes.

Recommended to anyone looking for dark fantasy with a strong mythic vibe.

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(Review cross-posted on LibraryThing and Goodreads.)

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