Wow I this was so much better than I had imagined, but the ending had something to be desired I honestly wished it ended in a different way, but now I m curious about the next book Ms Due sure know how to tell a story with such rich characters and a very intriguing plot The beginning was kind of confusing and somewhat slow, but I feel that it all straightened itself out once you figured out who David is But all the characters were so engaging and you couldn t help but feel invested in their wellbeing And even the characters that were designed to be the villains had clear motivation and were fleshed out I loved the whole African background and the story of how it s roots where so fermented in Ethiopian lore It s mystery and the knowledge about the Living Blood Being that this in the first in a series, I know the other questions that I have should be answered in the next books It wasn t a vampire story which I was happy to see, but a great SFF story that should be read But wow. 10 JULY 2019 99 yes, NINETY NINE CENTS for a book that should be in any serious reader of horror supernatural speculative fiction s head. I ve been hearing the name Tananarive Due for several years, but I hadn t given her stuff a shot until this book Man, have I been missing out Here s the thing about Tananarive s writing From the very first chapter until the very end of the book, you sense this marvelous combination of total authorial control and utter narrative abandon The former sensation stems from Ms Due s elegant, evocative prose the latter arises from the jaw dropping unpredictability of the plot The writing is so strong that you settle in, sure that you re in good hands, and while Ms Due s hands are certainly sure, they re anything but predictable You remember the first time Harry Potter rode the Knight Bus That s how I felt reading this book At times I went scooting along, smiling and enjoying the ride At others I was careening out of control with no idea how or when events would stabilize And safety Forget about it This book is anything but safe One twist near the end left my emotions reeling That s what great writing can do So to summarize, if you re in the mood for a beautifully written, deeply shocking, emotionally affecting novel, this is the one for you If you re looking for a nice, safe story, you better look elsewhere. The things we do for love, right Dawit is a five hundred year old immortal who has loved and lost three wives one in Ethiopia hundreds of years ago, one who was killed in slavery times, and one he was forced to abandon by his brethren in the 1920s But never had he loved a wife the way Dawit loved Jessica One could say he was obsessed with her.Young, brash, and professional, Jessica considered Dawit almost a gift from God, and could never fathom just what this wise older professor saw in her Jessica s family, however, was concerned by Dawit s monopolization of her time, and especially by his insistence that Jessica quit her job and just stay at home with him There was something off about Dawit, but they couldn t put a finger on it In the way of his people the other immortals, it was unwise to become so attached to mere mortals, and absolutely forbidden to reveal the secrets of their brotherhood But at what cost Faced with the directive to leave Jessica and their daughter Kira, and to come home at once, Dawit faces the emotional dilemma of his extremely long life Can he leave this woman he loves almost than life itself If not, what s the alternative And how far will Dawit go to keep the truth about him and his immortal brethren a secret I rarely do this in a review, but in the interest of Truth and Fairness, I ll have to semi answer one of the above questions How far will Dawit go Too danged far, that s for sure Dawit committed an act so atrocious to me that I actually put this book down for almost a year I mean I HATED this guy, I really did And I was mad at my daughter for telling me this was a Good Book If I hadn t committed to giving every book I sat aside another chance this one would still be sitting on my end table collecting dust I m very glad I did By delving further into My Soul to Keep, Dawit s motivation became and clear He, and to a lesser extent Jessica, are such richly drawn, richly layered characters that you have to read the entire book to understand them fully Black fantasy sci fi paranormal tales are as rare as a Tea Party Republican that wants to raise taxes, so to read a book in a genre I love that actually reflects Me is a Treat At the end I let out a deep breath, and a faintly whispered Wow And looked forward to the next installment in this series. I was going to read and finish this for Halloween Bingo 2016, but since this is a DNF, it doesn t count towards the bingo I finally just gave up reading this after I realized that I didn t like either main characters, and the book pace was so slow, it was positively glacial.We find a man or is he visiting an old woman in a retirement home The man is sad to see that the woman has grown old by the way this is really stupid when the reveal shows who he is, shocker dude, people get old and then kills her to put her out of her and his misery.We then switch to a woman named Jessica who is awoken when she finds her husband is in a panic because their dog seems to be in distress We find out a lot about Jessica pretty early on, she is selfish as the day is long Instead of really seeming upset about the dog, she is upset that she was the one who put her husband off of calling the vet when he thought something was going on with their dog She s upset because her daughter is going to get upset and she doesn t know what she will do about that And she s upset because she s going to have to get up and go to the work in the morning on very little sleep.Then the book switches to the man in the beginning called Dawit you would have to not be paying attention at all to realize who Dawit is and we get his struggle to be in the world with mere humans The book goes back and forth between Jessica and Dawit and you start to see a very sad pattern of both of them being selfish, neither one of them wanting to deal with other people and their problems really There is a random murder thrown in and it didn t make any sense to me and all it did was make me dislike the character of Dawit a lot.The writing seemed okay, I think the issue for me is that I didn t get a sense of these two characters at all They were very flat Even the secondary characters Jessica s mother and sister don t come alive Though we do get Jessica judging her sister for not having a man in her life so she thinks her sister is just upset that Jessica has a husband and daughter The flow wasn t great We jump back and forth between Jessica and Dawit and we find out how Dawit came to become immortal Just take Jesus Christ, blood, and stir the plot.I was disappointed because this series has been recommended to me for a long time and I really hope to read this and finish it off since there are three books Sadly, I am going to pass on finishing this and starting any of the other books. If your mass murdering immortal husband gives you sleeping pills don t take them Rtc It took me a long time to get into this book Partly because not a lot happens in the first two thirds of the story and partly because i found the female protagonist intensely annoying and worse, boring Perhaps it is partly my fault Jessica subscribes to the type of Christianity that sees god as a big Santa that will give her everything she asks for including miracles if she is good enough or prays hard enough and I find that a huge turn off in anyone Plus, for an investigative reporter, she seems remarkably passive for much of the narrative What I did like was the whole concept of the Life Brothers, immortals from Ethiopia, one of whom was the male protagonist I found his story much compelling and would have loved detail on his life He was not all that likable but he was interesting and if the book had focused on him and his fellow immortals, I think i would have been much engaged The snippets of his life that were described were my favourite parts of the book.Once the story got going, it did so at a decent pace but this felt like a book that could have been so much better with a bit of editing and a lively heroine. What do you do when you discover the truth of your husband Depends on what that truth is, doesn t it Due s book is an examination of a relationship that is tested because the man, the husband, is an immortal That is the main conflict of the story what happens when the truth is revealed Jessica is a woman with problems She is too dependent on her husband, too worried about what he thinks She fears and worried that she wouldn t get married, so perhaps she settled At least, this is some of what her sister and mother think In some ways, Jessica ties into the question of what makes a complete life, should a women feel that she needs a man to complete her This is one current that runs thought the relationship This is made complicated by the fact that David, her husband is hiding than the fact that David is not is real name He s older than what he owns to, by far He s like Wolverine in some ways without the claws. More of a 2.5 really but you can t give half stars here soI want to begin by saying that this is a very well written piece of urban fantasy Considering all the urban fantasy out there that sucks, and all the lame and awful vampire werewolf ghost witch in modern times books out there this one is definitely a winner It has a broad scope and the story effectively wanders through time from ancient history to modern times well semi modern like the 90 s so there is a bit of a disconnect there The plot is interesting and it is always nice to see these type of stories told authentically about African American people and their lives, worlds, and experiences The story involves Jessica a young journalist and her husband Dawit who was a successful professor, linguist, and music historian before setting aside his career to take care of their daughter and focus on their family This novel has been compared to Interview With the Vampires which may make some people think that it has vampires in it There are no vampires here, instead the supernatural element of this novel comes from ancient Ethiopian men who found a way to attain immortality The comparison to Interview With the Vampires I think has to do with the span of history that is covered in telling the story, and witnessing the lives of these ancient men and their deeds The comparison also comes from experiencing how having such long lives and being able to witness history unfolding may change a person and give them a skewed morality and sense of justice.My problem with this book is that I cannot find myself remotely interested in the characters, their lives, or their internal situations The story is interesting but they are not, and since I have to experience the story through them I really had trouble making myself read this book and finish it Partially this had to do with the fact that both main characters are not very sympathetic to me Dawit is selfish and divorced from any type of love for the world beyond his own little circle Despite this, he is not really strong or convincing enough to be a villain either His wife Jessica, on the other had, is kind of wishy washy and flat She is a young, fresh, and intelligent lady with her whole life ahead of her and lots of great opportunities coming her way in her career Despite all of this she has a vague sense of dissatisfaction from the beginning but is never really strong enough to commit to a course of action without one of the people in her life pushing her to do something As I stated at the beginning of this review, the book is good and the premise and plot are interesting The characters are what made it difficult for me to like this book much and in the end caused me to give it the low rating I did I did like the authors writing style so while I know I will never revisit this series again, I may read some of her other works in the future review also posted at worldswithoutend.com When Jessica marries David, he is everything she wants in a family man brilliant, attentive, ever youthful Yet she still feels something about him is just out of reach Soon, as people close to Jessica begin to meet violent, mysterious deaths, David makes an unimaginable confession More than 400 years ago, he and other members of an Ethiopian sect traded their humanity so they would never die, a secret he must protect at any cost Now, his immortal brethren have decided David must return and leave his family in Miami Instead, David vows to invoke a forbidden ritual to keep Jessica and his daughter with him forever Harrowing, engrossing and skillfully rendered, My Soul to Keep traps Jessica between the desperation of immortals who want to rob her of her life and a husband who wants to rob her of her soul With deft plotting and an unforgettable climax, this tour de force reminiscent of early Anne Rice will win Due a new legion of fans.