There are no good monsters.
How do I even begin to talk about this book? It was so good, it was heartbreaking and it left me emotionally drained. I initially thought My Soul To Keep was a straight up vampire book, but I was wrong. David, (who also goes by Dawit) one of the main characters is an immortal and while that means he will live forever, living as an immortal doesn’t involve drinking blood to survive, doesn’t give him any super strength or any magical abilities.
In the world Tananarive Due created, immortals were created with the blood of a very famous biblical figure and the gift of immortality is shared with a select few on a quest for knowledge. Settling down and creating long lasting relationships are frowned upon, because of the potential of someone noticing that you don’t age, can’t get hurt and of course you may expose the rest of the immortals to the world. If you do decide to make a “human” life for yourself, a member of the immortals will find you, correct your mistake and force you leave the life you knew behind.
In My Soul To Keep, David is married to Jessica, an ambitious reporter. While she works, David stays home with their young daughter Kira. Although it is obvious that the couple loves each other, they are worlds apart in terms of life goals. Jessica wants to accomplish everything she can in her journalistic career while David wants to be at home with his family, and at times he seems very over bearing and emotional.
David is a complicated character, he loves Jessica and his daughter, but he’s cold towards everyone else. Centuries of living has altered his humanity and the value he places on human life. In the earlier chapters of the books I really didn’t like him, especially his apathy to past relationships, his ability to kill so easily and the fact that he fathered children throughout life he doesn’t seem to care for.
But there were also his experiences to take into account. Davis is black and since he has been alive for as long as he has, of course he went through the slave trade. Although this is a work of fiction reading about slavery is always gut wrenching and the experiences he went through were beyond dehumanizing.
When David becomes to comfortable in his human life with Jessica, he knows it wont be long before someone is sent to tell him its time to move on, but for the first time in his life he wants to hold onto his family. This ends up putting them all in danger and Jessica finally sees who her husband really is for the first time in their relationship.
I’m always looking for books in the paranormal/sci-fi genre with characters that are POC and I was so happy to find this book with the main characters being a black family. I definitely plan to read more from this author. The characters where well written, the story was engaging and it just became impossible to put down especially towards the end. Is it a weird thing to say that it was so good, but I never want to read it again? It just left me feeling so sad. It’s one of those books you think about for days after you read it; I’m sure fellow bibliophiles will understand. Either way, great book, definitely give it a read if it sounds like something you’d be interested in.
*Also if anyone has read the rest of the series, and knows what happens with Jessica and David’s relationship please let me know! I usually hate spoilers but I must know! *
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