Review: The Weight of Souls by Bryony Pearce

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Weight of Souls
Title: The Weight of Souls
Author: Bryony Pearce
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Date of Publication: August 6, 2013

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.

But 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?

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My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Thank you to Caroline of Strange Chemistry for the review copy! This in no way affected my views of the novel.


1. Kickass cover. The first thing that got my attention with The Weight of Souls was its cover. An Asian girl, who seems like a goth, with black markings on her skin and flame/magic juju on her palms surrounded by hieroglyphics. Cool, right? Then I read the novel and it was just the perfect cover. I love covers that are related to the novel and in here, it's not only related but it completely gives us a look into the story. And using graphics instead of a stock photo? I. APPROVE.

2. Genre mishmash. The Weight of Souls takes the cake in mixing genres and jamming issues like it invented it. You got paranormal in ghosts, supernatural in powers, Egyptian mythology, secret societies, bullying, racism, death, friendship, high school, curse, WOW, see? That's not even all and I wouldn't want to tell you everything. Discover it yourself.

3. Uniqueness. Ghosts + Egyptian mythology? Holy freakin' hell, such an extraordinary world building. I was afraid at first if everything will pan out seamlessly but I shouldn't have worried. Mixing such different concepts made The Weight of Souls a one-of-a-kind read. Egyptian mythology isn't common in YA and by making it even more unusual by putting in paranormal elements, contemporary issues and romance, I think I can say confidently that The Weight of Souls isn't like anything you've read before.

4. Secret society! I am a sucker for secret societies. Just love the idea of people doing some very sekrit stuff and meeting and having so much power. Then the V scenes really got my blood pumping and the action-loving part of me definitely got revved up!

5. Ghosts! I'm such a scaredy cat but I love ghost stories! #masochist

6. Asians represent! Taylor is an Asian in London! <3

Things That I Didn't Like As Much About THE WEIGHT OF SOULS

1. Justin. I didn't love Justin. He was mean to Taylor and I am fiercely protective of Asians because I'm Asian. Then he was so hard to deal with at first and I just want Taylor to ditch his sorry ass but then she can't really do it because he marked her. But then, he did redeem himself in the end by being kind, helping her and even saving her.

2. Romance. Because I didn't love Justin, it was hard for me to buy into the romance. It appeared kind of left-field for me. I think I would have liked it more if there was no romance. However, since I'm such a girl, I actually felt myself still blush with some sweet scenes. Ha! My hormones are betraying me!

3. Transitions. Lastly, I wish the transitions were smoother. The narrative suddenly shifts in perspective by inserting long passages of The Tale of Oh-Fa and it veers off near to being an info dump. I love reading about the account of how the curse came to be from the actual diary as epistolary novels rock but still, the change must not be abrupt.

So I didn't like the romance aspect of this novel that much but the world building and plot really trumped that issue so I'm still giving it four stars. As of now, The Weight of Souls is a standalone but I urge you to buy it and rave about it and support it because I NEED A SEQUEL. It was fine being a standalone UNTIL THAT ENDING. Which threw me out to the gutter and had my mind in a state of intense need for thy next book. I can't freakin' wait for the sequel and my heart will wither if there's none! Overall, The Weight of Souls is a remarkably original novel featuring Egyptian mythology, ghosts, a curse and a secret society written in an engaging fashion you'll read it in one sitting. I did!

About Bryony Pearce

Bryony Pearce (formerly McCarthy) lives with her husband and two children in a village on the edge of the Peak District. She completed an English Literature degree at Corpus Christi College Cambridge in 1998 and afterward worked in the business-to-business market research sector. She went freelance in 2004 so she could devote more time to writing. Bryony was a winner of the 2008 Undiscovered Voices competition with her MG novel Windrunner's Daughter. Her first YA novel, Angel's Fury, was published on 4th July 2011 by Egmont.

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  1. Great review. I really want to read this.

    1. Thank you so much, Sophie! Blushing in here with the compliment!

  2. I love the cover too! :) And the secret society thing, I love novels like that too. Hell, I've always loved spy stories. :))

    1. You and me both! Thanks for dropping by, Rach!

  3. This book has basically every type of genre that I enjoy, and like you said it has a kick butt cover that is most definitely eye-catching. I am looking forward to checkin this one out, after your wonderful review!

    1. It makes me so happy when people check out books I brought into their attention. Warms my heart, really. Thanks, Jaime!


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