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Publisher's Summary

Seven years ago, Jase awoke with the mystical power to heal people - and no memory of his past. The only clue to his identity is the number 40 tattooed on his arm. Driven by a mission he doesn't understand, Jase follows his visions to those he's meant to save. He is convinced that the 40th person he's drawn to - a little girl named Macy Pearl - is the key to finally learning the truth.…

Social worker Lucas Jacobson has made a promise to protect Macy, orphaned when her parents were brutally murdered. So when Jase shows up in Naples claiming he's there to heal the child, Lucas is wary, despite his attraction to the enigmatic stranger.

Then Macy is abducted, and Lucas has no choice but to trust in Jase. Scouring the city from its glitzy resorts to its seedy underbelly only deepens the mystery - and draws the two men closer. But Jase is certain of one thing: If Macy dies, a dark fate awaits them all.

©2012 Libby Drew (P)2012 Audible, Inc

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    49
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Performance

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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This One Surprised Me

This one surprised me. I didn't know what to expect from Libby Drew's 40 Souls to Keep and I've never heard of the author. Moreover the basis of the plot was unique to my experience: A man wakes up on a park bench with no memory of who he is, where he is, or how he got there. All he has to go by is the number 40 tattooed on his arm. He discovers that the tattoo represents the number of people he needs to heal—not just random sick people, but the 40 specific people he's intended for.

Not expecting much, I started listening. As with many books, it started out a bit slow, but not too slow to keep me interested. Turns out, 40 Souls is one quarter fantasy, one third mystery, and one half romance—which all adds up to a 5 stars Once it got underway, it moved quickly. The characters were well developed and likable. The hook at the end was not only unexpected, but came to light in the most interesting way and at the best possible point in the novel.

For quite a stretch, most books I'd read were mediocre, but several lately have gotten top ratings. For this reason, I nearly gave this one four stars, simply because it's not very artsy and isn't a Times best-seller. But, considering I was as intrigued and entertained by 40 Souls as I'd been by anything in quite a while, I had to be honest and admit that it deserved 5 stars.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Decent but not quite fulfilling supernatural-wise

This book was decently writtem, and decently narrated. It may turn some people's cranks more than it did mine. So the 3 stars are not an indictment, just that I found it average, perhaps I would have granted a half-star more if Audible let me. :-)

If it helps others, I will flag the two things that held me back some. First, the supernatural angle. The premise (which I won't describe in details so as not to spoil) is intriguing...but it does not really grow, which is frustrating because the author drops little hints here and there that suggest that either it will later on (and it doesn't) or that she at least has envisioned a richer world (which she doesn't share with us listeners). I was convinced there was a well-imagined coherent world somewhere...I just did not see it within the pages. Second, I found the lead protagonist hard to believe as a male voice. This is one of those books I wouldn't be surprised was written as a male/female romance, but got switched late in the game to fill a niche. The writing is not offensive, or irritating...the characterization just did not gel for me.

So overall, an average rating but, again, it is of decent quality and different listeners may find it more to their taste.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jane
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 12-11-12

Good mystery. Kept my interest.

But weak spots in the plot, the paranormal rules, and unanswered questions at the end.

STORY BRIEF:
In 2005 Jase awoke with amnesia and the tattoo 40 on his arm. Instinctively he knows his purpose is to heal people. He has visions of one person and finds that person with a sort-of-built-in-GPS-system - the way metal is drawn to a magnet. He heals that person and then wanders until he has visions of the next person to heal.

Most of the story is 2012. Jase is still wandering. He has healed many people. He is now drawn to 7-year-old Macy Pearl. Her parents have been murdered. Lucas is with Child Protective Services. Lucas arrives at the murder scene to take care of Macy. Lucas is suspicious when Jase arrives with an interest in Macy. Soon after, someone kidnaps Macy. Jase and Lucas search for her.

OPINION:
This is primarily mystery suspense. Bad guys do bad things and want Macy for an unknown reason. A few times I was annoyed with the lack of logical curiosity. Jase or Lucas should have asked questions or done something when they had a chance, but they didn’t. For example the doctor said Macy mentioned a man, but the guys didn’t ask the doctor more about that. It wasn’t realistic. It was an artificial way to prolong the mystery.

I did not like using the flashback method. The story jumps from 2005 to 2012 with two flashbacks to 2007 and 2010. I would have preferred the story done chronologically. It would not have hurt the mystery. It was jarring when it first jumped to 2012.

What I liked best was the overall idea, plot, and events.

Regarding gay male romance:
Yes the guys have sex, but it was not hot. It reminded me of doing the laundry or eating dinner. They were talking or doing something, then they pleasured each other, then they continued doing something. There was no anticipation or emotional intensity. I liked their relationship and getting to know each other, just don’t expect hot guy sex.

The narrator Charles Carr was fine.

Genre: paranormal mystery suspense with gay male romance.

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CAUTION SEMI-SPOILER:
I did not like the twist at the end. It felt like a trick on the reader. It had to do with visions telling Jase who to heal. The author’s paranormal rules were inconsistent. I was also disappointed with unanswered questions about Macy, why Lucas was immune to something, the overall source and purpose behind this, why create bad guys, and why and when mentors appear.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • carmela
  • niagara falls, ON, Canada
  • 08-14-14

Good Read

Would you listen to 40 Souls to Keep again? Why?

Im sure I will listen again. Going to check out more from this author.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Jace. Very mysterious. And of course his mission.

Have you listened to any of Charles Carr’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Dont recall listening to him before but I do enjoy his voice. Some voices, I cant listen to. His was a nice deep voice. He sounds like another reader but I cant remember his name off hand.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Is your soul next on the list?

Any additional comments?

I read in previous reviews, too much sex. It almost made me not get this book but the story line was too interesting. Im glad I didnt listen.

I have listened to books with far more sex than this. JR Ward has a book about 2 guys who get married. Their sex scenes were a lot more descriptive than in this book.

Dont let that scare you away from this book. The couple of scenes dont last very long and seriously, tame compared to other romance books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Refreshingly different

Enjoyed the concept, explained well and very entertaining.

Not a fan of the narration but it wasn't bad either. Others some awesome narrator's in this genre to live up to. I'd give narration a solid 4 stars.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Well Hello Libby Drew

Sometime when you start a new book by a new-to-you author, you have hopes and expectations that the book will be at least as good as the blurb and if you are very very lucky you find a new favorite author that writes what makes you want more. I found that in Libby Drew. I'm only on chapter three and I can't imagine how this author can mess this up.

I signed up for Audibles' Romance Package and have not regretted it. I spend my spare time learning what type of books I love to read, the character types that are my favorites, the exact genre that appeals and makes me smile. I know this is sounding like a commercial for the Romance Package, but my point is, it has opened up an easier way for me to choose what types of books I will truly enjoy and it has introduced me to many new authors and narrators to spend my credits on. I'm loving this.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tonya
  • Santee, CA, United States
  • 07-20-18

Unique plot!

This book has a unique and interesting storyline and is less romance and more paranormal. The M/M romance is interesting but not centralized. It made me hunger to see these characters as their future unfolds.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Too Much Gratuitous Sex!

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It could have been time well spent if the story focused more on the healing powers of Jas and his relationship with the 40 people he was tasked to heal.

What was most disappointing about Libby Drew’s story?

Too much gratuitous gay sex. I am not anti gay. The book could have been downsized by half or more if the excessive amount of sex (gay or straight) were omitted. The author needn't remove all the sex scenes, but what is there is excessive.

Which character – as performed by Charles Carr – was your favorite?

Actually I liked the performance of the character Lucas. I have a few gay friends and Lucas sounds nearly identical to one of them.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No.

Any additional comments?

Nothing was mentioned in the publisher's summary about this book being full of sex. I thought it was a book about a person with the power to heal and the 40 people that he was tasked to heal. There were only three healings, two were very brief.

Don't mind me. I went to see the movie "The Piano" years ago. When the movie ended I was dumbfounded. I couldn't understand what the movie had to do with a piano.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful