Original Books

Original Books is the blog where you will find the best of Christian fiction reviews. We hope you enjoy this blog and that you keep up with us as we continue to post reviews. Make sure you check the Elite List, the list of books we have rated 4 stars and above and the coming soon list to see what will soon be posted. If you feel we have forgotten about an author or a book or have any questions please email us at originalbooks200@gmail.com. Thanks for reading!

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Soul to Keep by Melanie Wells

When the young son of one of Dylan's closest friends is kidnapped in plain daylight by someone who wants to "keep him safe", all they have to rely on is the random scribblings of a girl labeled as mentally challenged. On top of this, Dylan battles her past with a disgruntled prisoner with a demon in his head and a boyfriend she broke up with. Dylan, a psychologist, decides to play the detective and search for her own clues since she does not believe the police to be trying. But her everyday life and dead ends keep getting in the way of a real answer. On top of this, Peter Terry, her demonic acquaintance, has returned to torment her every waking thought.

While I did not believe at first that a plot marketed as a supernatural mystery could be handled in a normal fashion, I have apparently been proven wrong. Melanie Wells has proven that there is a good and right way to deal with demons without sensational confrontations. This combined with good characters and a realistic mystery makes for a surprisingly good read.

Dylan is an especially complex character complete with a personality and imperfection. She is the best character, which is the way it should be with the lead. While the other characters lack such complexities, Melanie knows how to write good character interaction, something most authors leave out of their works, event those with good characters. Their banter and dialogue are realistic and straight from everyday life. The one flaw to the character department is the stereotypical "boyfriend she broke up with in the past." Not only is he a typical plot device, but he is a perfect male lead, something female authors struggle with. But otherwise, the character department is superb for a supernatural mystery.

The case is realistic, complete with dead ends, false clues, and a realistic, plausible end that avoids a showdown altogether. In my book, that is the best mystery any author can write. The mystery portion is five stars, and is the main thing besides the characters that makes this book Elite.

Melanie's dealings with demons is the best I have ever seen an author write. Peter Terry is never actually shown. He merely talks to people in their heads, which is the way demons deal with people in real life. Seldom, if ever, does someone actually come face to face with a dramatically crafted demon like characters do so much in Christian fiction. I think authors began using this as a license to be sensational and scary, therefore demonizing (pardon the pun) and overusing the subject, causing me to believe that it should never be used. But Melanie has showed me that there is a correct way to write supernatural plots, making me wish this book could be five stars.

But I cannot abandon the standards I have laid down. She created a perfect male lead and an although somewhat realistic, still predictable end. Unfortunately this ruins her chances at a five star book. But if Melanie keeps up this good of writing, she has a five star book in her future.

4.5 stars


  1. What?? Only 4.5 stars? Okay - guilty as charged on the "perfect male lead." In my defense, I will say that David is also a perfect foil for Dylan's self-absorption and ineptitude. Who could screw up a relationship with that guy? Only Dylan. She's that self-involved...

    Hey, thanks for putting me on your All Time Book list. I will shoot for 5 stars in my next book. I was actually thinking about killing off that perfect male lead anyway. Maybe I'll just give him a disfiguring disease or a criminal past - and possibly a gambling addiction ... ;)

    Peace to you! And thanks again for the support. Keep reading!

    Melanie Wells

  2. We will keep reading and in fact have just finished When the Day of Evil Comes, look for the review soon. We didn't intend to review the series backwards but that's how they came in. Dylan is a great character who really drives the whole thing so don't change anything there. Thanks for reading!