A guest review by Jenre
The Pembroke Eve Chronicles series just gets better and better with a book which is more serious in tone but definitely my favourite of the series so far.
Time of the Soul continues the adventure a month after the events of Light of the Body.
This time the townsfolk are celebrating the Spring Dance. An event that will hopefully kick away the worries of past incidents in the town. Although, even an occasion such as the Spring Dance can’t remain uneventful for long, especially because this is Pembroke Eve, after all.
Unfortunately, for Jacob things are about to get really weird as a pan-dimensional being whisks him away just as Corey Harrington decides to make a scene at the dance and start throwing punches. The being, who also happens to fall in love with Jacob, shows him a different past, a possible present and a future he must choose. But the consequences of the being’s love is more than Jacob can handle or allow to happen. He will lose all of his friends and a life he thought he had if he accepts the being.
Something he knows cannot possibly happen.
Jacob is alone, without Callum or Zane or Suzy this time. Even Mr. Barnaby and his strange friend can’t really help in the alternate reality the being has created to woo Jacob into his web. In the end, Jacob must resort to making a deal with the devil–his arch enemy Corey Harrington–and use all of his wits to make sure his life is as it should be before the being discovers his plan and decides that Jacob no longer deserves his affection…or his life.
Pembroke Eve Chronicles
The third in the Pembroke Eve Chronicles turned out to be a different kettle of fish to the previous two books. Yes, it’s still narrated by our hormone soaked teen, Jacob, and yes, he’s still led about mostly by his dick, but the tone was much more sombre in this book and also Jacob, rather than relying on his friends to help save the day, is very much alone and reliant on his own thinking to save himself and his friends.
The story begins shortly after the end of the previous book – Light of the Body. Jacob is at the spring dance with the love of his life, Callum and their current shared bedmate, Zane. Things are going well until arch-enemy Corey starts a fight. In the ensuing chaos, Jacob blacks out only to awaken and find himself at a point in his past, but not the past as he remembers it. A boy that Jacob only admired from afar, Thomas, is now his boyfriend. Confused, Jacob muddles along trying to work out what’s happening to him, until he discovers that he’s been taken by a Being who can manipulate time in order to capture and keep a human for his own sustenance and Jacob is his current prey.
As a said at the beginning, this book has a much more serious, sombre tone to the writing than the previous books – a tone which in some ways reflects Jacob’s growing maturity. He’s still obsessed with sex, and easily seduced, both by the Being, Thomas, and by another character later in the book, but he’s also recognising the distinction between the love he feels for Callum, and the sexual lust he feels at other times. I liked the slight change in Jacob and also liked that he’s forced to work things out for himself in this book. He doesn’t have Zane or Mr Barnaby to lend a hand this time – although Mr Barnaby’s ‘friend’ Aloysius does point him in the right direction – instead Jacob has to first work out what’s happening and then manipulate things to his advantage, rather than to the advantage of the Being. I found myself admiring Jacob for his resourcefulness in this book, unlike the other books where he had someone else to do the thinking for him.
Another part I liked about the book was the underlying message that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, rather than the external appearance. Therefore the handsome and desirable Thomas is a shell for the Being to use in its quest for sustenance; the bullying Corey has a hidden softness and a noble nature; and the fat, shy Brad (a new character to the series) is loyal and willing to stand up for Jacob. Alongside this theme, and the plot, we get glimpses into Jacob’s difficult school life as a young gay teen and I really felt for Jacob when he tells the reader: “Yep. High school was a zoo I had spent the last four years trying to forget. Great.”.
Even though the tone of the book is more serious, it still contained a number of things I liked about the other books in the series such as chases, outwitting the bad guy and a generally creepy atmosphere – especially once Jacob figures out what’s going on. The teenage angst is still there, but not so heavy and obvious as the previous books.
Any problems I had with the book are basically those I’ve had with the series as a whole, mainly Jacob’s inability to keep his dick in his pants, and a teenage obsession with bodily fluids (although I have to admit that this book wasn’t as bad for the bodily fluids thing). There were also a few more editing mistakes in this book than in the previous book, which jarred me out of the story a few times.
Despite those problems, I liked this book, liked it the best out of the series so far. I find that with each book, I’m warming more to Jacob as a narrator and character, which can only be a good thing. I’m looking forward to seeing how he continues to develop in the last two books of the series. If you’ve read and enjoyed the other books in the series, then Time of the Soul will be a treat for you. For those of you who haven’t started the series yet, then you’ll have this book to look forward to!