Review: Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey

Title: Shattered Souls
Author: Mary Lindsey
Publisher: Philomel
Publication Date: December 8, 2011
Links: Amazon | Goodreads
Source: ARC Tour
Lenzi hears voices.  She also sees visions--gravestones, floods, a gorgeous guy with steel gray eyes.  She knows she must be going crazy, just like her dad did.  Her boyfriend, Zak, can't do anything to help, and the voices just keep getting louder, the visions more intense.  But when Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, everything makes sense.

Sort of.

He tells Lenzi that she's a reincarnated Speaker--someone who can talk to lost souls and help them move on--and that he has been her Protector for centuries.  But instead of embracing her abilities, Lenzi struggles between her life as the girlfriend of a sexy musician and the life she is destined to lead with Alden.  Yet time is running out; a malevolent spirit has been trying to destroy Lenzi for ages, and he will surely kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon.

Her choices are clear:  Destiny or normalcy.  Alden or Zak.  Life or death.
Lenzi is terrified that she's going mad. She hears voices and sees things. Her father went mad. Madness and the fear of madness is something that I love in books, so thumbs up for the girl who sees things and starts thinking she's suffering from schizophrenia rather than immediately jumping to paranormal conclusions. Alden shows up to try to help her, and she thinks he's some creeper who is stalking her. I like Alden. He's Lenzi's protector, but he's also her subordinate. It worries him that she doesn't remember her past lives. Alden's memories provide depth for his character and give Lenzi a sense of herself as she was in her past lives.

So there have been several of these reincarnation stories in the past few years. I thought that I knew pretty much what I would be getting with this one as far as the love story goes - insta-love, heroine drawn to hero by forces unseen, eye rolling, etc. But I was very pleasantly surprised to see the romance part of this book unfold. Mary Lindsey does the reincarnation romance thing better than other novels with a similar premise. She avoids the insta-love, and Lenzi's feelings develop as her memories of Alden do. It actually feels believable and honest, which is not only sweet but also a great relief.

I like a good ghost story, so I find the concept of the Speaker and ushering lost souls to be really interesting. Some souls just need a little help from Lenzi to move on, but others are malevolent and hostile which is why she needs a Protector like Alden. There is a bit of history of the Galveston area included, such as the great hurricane that hit in 1900 and a local ghost legend. These things add an interesting element to the story and give it further background and depth. The story has a great climax and resolution. Questions are answered (yay!). I'd recommend it to fans of ghost stories, reincarnation stories, and to people who maybe haven't really liked past reincarnation stories and are still looking for one that doesn't go the insta-love route.


  1. I've been seeing this book around the blogosphere, and it's one of those books that immediately intrigued me. Supernatural powers? Check. Reincarnation? Check. And now that you've pretty much assuaged my fears about the insta-love? Definitely want to read it soon!

  2. I have this book on hold at the library, and I'm really looking forward to finally getting my hands on it. It sounds awesome! Glad to hear there's no instalove! lol!

  3. I just got this one. Now I'm even more excited to read it. Yay for avoiding the insta-love and double-yay for ghosts! Can't wait to read it now!

  4. I really want to read this one! It seems like I've been seeing a lot of 3 or 3.5 star reviews so I know it's not perfect but it just sounds so amazing! Plus I love the cover!


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