Marley had no idea what had happened. It was the first anniversary of her father’s death, and life was starting to feel almost normal again. Then she was accused of trying to kill herself. She had no memories of that day, but she knew with certainty this could not be true. She would never try to take her own life. The wounds, the evidence, all seemed to point to the contrary. To add insult to injury, when she was placed in the ‘mental hospital’ to recover she started to go insane. She kept hearing a voice. A boy called Gavin begged for her help. In seven days his life would end, permanently. He was already dead, but she could help bring him back. His death had has been special, executed by a Limbonian. If she could find the five items needed their special bond would allow him to return. He is a piggybacker, able to live off her soul for seven days, but if this time elapses he has no hope of return. The closer Marley gets the more questions she has, what will happen if she fails to meet the deadline, what happened on that day, and why does someone seem intent to stop her succeeding.
Piggybacker is book one in Mikki Noble’s Vessel of Lost Souls series, and it is a series I look forward to following. Marley is an excellent character, with great detail and effort placed into adding depth to her personality, life, and character. She is strong and vulnerable at the same time. Her journey is a difficult one, made harder by the complicated and strained relationships following her attempt in her life. The supporting cast of characters, from the mysterious Circe to Marley’s closest friend Kimmy, are all nicely developed with their own personalities and backstories. Piggybacker is written in a steady, engaging pace in a first-person narrative. I loved the ideas, and execution of links and magic. Vivid characters, a ticking clock, magic, mystery, and uncertainty come together to create this riveting and compelling tale, and I was thrilled to see it was only the first book in what promises to be a gripping series.
Review by K.J. Simmill, award-winning fantasy author.