Review: Tortured Souls (The Orion Circle #1) by Kimber Leigh Wheaton

Tortured Souls by Kimber Leigh Wheaton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: July 28th 2014
Publisher: Sea Dragon Press
Pacing: fast
POV: 1st person & female
Genres & Themes: YA, Paranormal, Romance, Mystery, Ghosts, Friendship.


Sometimes Rest in Peace isn’t an option…

Kacie Ramsey sees ghosts—and it’s ruining her life. Her mother left, her father blames her, and no matter how hard she tries, she can’t keep the ghosts away. Now a new power has emerged. Nightly visions of grisly murders and a relentless predator draw her to the brink of insanity.

When the phantom appears at a party, Kacie’s longtime crush, Logan, saves her. He invites her to join the Orion Circle, a group of supernatural hunters with chapters in schools all over the country. Through the Circle, Kacie learns to embrace her spiritual powers, and for the first time in her life she feels in control rather than a victim.

But the Foxblood Demon will not give up so easily. A demented serial killer in life who trapped the souls of the thirteen children he murdered, imprisoning them within the walls of his mansion. Now in death, he plots his return while drawing power from the pure souls of the children. He recognizes something in Kacie he’s never seen before—a medium powerful enough to provide a vessel for his tainted soul.

Kacie can’t ignore the tortured souls of the children crying out to her every night. With Logan at her side, she will fight the Foxblood Demon. But can they banish this powerful phantom, or will Kacie lose not only her body, but her eternal soul to the monster.


How old do you prefer your YA main characters to be? Personally, I think sixteen years old is the most popular age for this genre but I like when they’re seventeen for they usually are more mature.

See, the main character in this book is fifteen. Fifteen. I remember that, when I was fifteen years old, I was very mature, unlike our lovely Kacie. (But I might be biased since sometimes I feel like I’m acting like a 25 year-old-person. Actually, Friday, my friends told me, after I asked them if I’m funny or at least fun in my personality—what? I was curious!—that I’m not and that I’m way too serious. Now I’m not sure if I agree with their answer but, the point is that I NEED mature main characters in my YA reads so I can actually connect with them.)

Now I’m not meaning to say that Kacie is a girly obsessed with boys and clothes kind of girl. It’s just that I thought this was going to be a more serious story. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed reading it because it was entertaining, fast-paced and not quite predictable. BUT, whenever there was a deep and tense situation, there were, most of the time, some character saying something stupid or unnecessary for that moment of seriousness to fall apart. Let’s just say that the atmosphere isn’t heavy at all.

Kacie (left) and her friends when they were in a ghost/creepy situation:


What I liked the most about this book was the writing. I LOVED IT. There was something about it that made me want to continue my reading and know more about every character, whatever my first impressions of each one of them were when they were presented.

There wasn’t much of a world-building, sadly. I thought the Orion Circle concept was very interesting but it needs to be deepened in the sequels. Apparently it’s all over the country so why not take the characters to visit another team in that circle? But then there’s high school since, like I said, she’s fifteen years old and some of the secondary characters go to school as well.

It was nice to see our Kacie reconcile with her father, who ignored her for most of her childhood but it was also very, as in very very very unrealistic. It took what? Less than a chapter for him to believe her that she does have special abilities, with the help of Logan? It did, even if her father took a bit of a time to think about all of that. And let’s not start talking about the mother who abandoned her children—most specifically Kacie—because she has a gift.

The romance was light and mostly in the second plan of the plot which equals perfection. I don’t know how you like your romance in paranormal YA stories, but I think that, as the genre says, we have to decipher that it is a paranormal book first and after, perhaps, a romance one.

Basically, this is fun, light, mystery-filled and especially fast-paced, which will keep you tied up to the story until the very last page.

Would you consider voting for this review on Goodreads, if it were helpful? ^_^

48 thoughts on “Review: Tortured Souls (The Orion Circle #1) by Kimber Leigh Wheaton

  1. The summary even seems serious, so I guess it’s a bit deceiving if the acual book was kind of silly at times. I sometimes like humor or silliness every now and then in serious situations to lighten the mood, but not so much that it takes away from treating a serious situation… well, seriously. I feel like I made no sense at all with that, but basically I like serious situations to be silly AND serious.

    Anyway, I’m glad you liked the writing! Sometimes good writing can make up a bit for other lacking parts of a book. Lovely review! 😀

    Oh, and I always see you mentioning the voting on goodreads, and I’ve clicked the link a few times, but I have no idea how to vote on reviews. I barely know how to use half of the functions on goodreads (all I do is add shelves and post reviews, and I just realized that you could add the same book to more than one shelf…).


    • Well then I guess it won’t bother you since yeah there’s a mix of seriousness and sillyness. ^_^

      Thanks! 😀 I think so too. Really a nice writing.

      Oh lol, it’S at the botton of the review and you click ”like” but I call it ”vote” because it’s a vote LOL because I prefer that term. 😛 Yes, you can create your own shelves! You’ll get around. 😉


  2. I agree that I usually expect YA characters to be at least 16. If a character is less than that I wonder if the story is actually middle grade (which I don’t enjoy much) and often just read/buy a different book. However, this series sounds really unique so I might try it anyway.


  3. Glad you enjoyed this one! And as for me I don’t mind ages 15 and up but they NEED to be mature, there are some books where 15 or 16 year olds are so naïve they seem more, well, 10!


  4. I am very mature, too! At least, I think I am. Lol!

    I prefer mature main characters as well, I think we already established that when the main character annoys you, you won’t enjoy the book.. right? So I really prefer the mature ones. Though, I’ve met younger MC’s that are noy that annoying and very smart. They are kind of rare, though 😛

    Great review, Lola! I’m glad you enjoyed it. You’ve been reading bad books lately, you deserve a good one 😀


  5. Awesome review Lola. Look at that cover and that blurb! Seems to be a really serious piece but then I read your review and I suddenly remembered the Korean TV series Master’s Sun which has an amazing transition of mood from Drama to Comedy to Horror and vice versa. I hope this book has that kind of transition.


  6. Totally get what you mean, I was more mature for my age, and I do need that with my characters too, even though some say they sound too old for the age their supposed to be, but some people just are. Ugh, world-building, shame.
    😦 Okay, forget that it’s unrealistic that he believed her that quickly, as someone who grew up without a father, and the only thing I know about him is his name, I find the fact that they reconciled that quickly unrealistic. But hey, pretty cover, right? :/


    • And at the same time, it’s realistic for the characters to be mature in YA since they deal with things we don’t and it’s more serious–in fantasy/paranormal I mean. But here there wasn’t much of that. Yeah, it didn’t make much sense. It felt forced! Yeah, very pretty cover (as most ebooks ».») They can be so tricky.


  7. I have to be honest with you, I am a late bloomer so when I was 15 (that’s 14 years ago), I was really wild and sometimes, self-absorbed and well, just plain immature. If I had been a book character at that time, I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people will curse me to death. Hahahahaha. Kidding aside, I am not really particular about the exact age of young adults as long as they act they’re age. And it should be natural.

    But I don’t think I would act like a fool if I am being chased by a killer. I would definitely make sure to put as much as distance between me and the killer and find a way to survive the situation.

    Shame to the world building. At least, you were still able to give this a 3 star rating, Lola. Lovely review!


    • Hhahahahahaha! Lool, that’s fine…just happy you weren’t in one of my reads. ha True, they should act their age (or be super mature wouldn’t be a problem for me haha)

      Yes, of course. But what do they do? They shop for dresses and do their hair–because dance!

      Sure, it had a writing that I fell in love with and the story was entertaining. Thanks! 😀


  8. I didn’t know this one but you know what? I’m so in love witht he cover! It sounds ok but it”s true that 15 years old is young, we don’t have a lot of persons of that age in books. Thanks for the discovery!


  9. The amount of photoshop on that girl’s face is too high. It’s like plastic. Alas I was never boy and cloths kind of girl so I totally understand you here girl. While reading YA books I sometimes wonder if I’m crazy of just too mature. I mean do like to goof around and everything but I guess I set my priories in life long time ago. So yeah I’d have troubles with this character as well. Great review, Lola 🙂


    • I must agree with you, she looks like a doll (but I still think it’s pretty hehe) I guess we just have other priorities. Like, prom is coming at the end of the year and I’m not even excited. I mean I try to since my friends are but my heart is not really there. 😛 Thanks Tanja!


  10. Confession time: I was not a mature 15-year old at all. It depends on how you define mature though. Yes, I’m quiet and can come off as a shy person but once you get to know me that impression would change pretty quickly. I did some pretty stupid things when I was 15 but that’s because I’m already in College that time and well, frolicking seems like a fun way to spend the time meant for studying. XD

    Annnyway, I’m not sure what to feel about this one. I don’t like Paranormal Romance either. Maybe I’ll put this on my maybe-reads shelf. Glad to know the writing was fantastic. That’s a huge plus for me. Great review, Lola!


    • Wow, you were already in college at 15? You must be so good in school. Mature would be to, you know, analyze a situation and not do stupid things and stuff. I guess but it IS difficult to answer.

      Whaaat? I love paranormal romance! I just have to FEEL the paranormal before the romanc haha Sure, it’s the kind of book you pick up when you want to read something light and stuff. 😛 Thanks Sarah!


  11. Yeah, I’ve been told I’m way mature for my age when I was in my teens too haha. I sometimes find it difficult to get into a book with a young MC though, unless it was a flashback or something and the story starts when they’re a bit older. But I agree, for a paranormal YA I think it’s more important to have the plot/paranormal aspect develop than the actual romance of it. The blurb is intriguing though, I’ll check it out. Wonderful review! 🙂


  12. I really want to read this one so I am happy that it is well written. Great review, I agree with you that I like my YA characters to be closer to 17 than any other age for the same reasons you mentioned.


  13. Thanks for reviewing Tortured Souls. The characters in my novels do tend to act immature at times, guilty as charged. I always dealt with fear and anger through comedy, and some of my characters have the same coping mechanisms.

    Reading reviews for this novel has been interesting. I consider the plot paranormal with mystery, maybe some suspense, but I tried to keep it a touch light to stay out of the horror category. I’ve received some emails from readers who were upset that it lacked a horror label. These people were losing sleep after reading the book. One angry reader told me she’s missed three nights of sleep and was removing a star from her rating due to that. I guess it takes a lot more to scare me than some people…


    • You know, I actually don’t mind comedy at all but I need to go into a story knowing there’s going to be some. 🙂 Now that I know this information though, I bet the sequel will work out better for me.

      I think so as well. I’ve read SO MANY reviews for this book that I HAD to try it out and they all said something different. Oh, well I wasn’t expecting horror at all but that may be because I’m a sucker of YA stories involving ghosts and have always loved the TV show Ghost Wisperer so not much ghost related can now scare me.

      WHAT? But it’s not scary…Three nights of sleep?? Either they were exaggerating, or they just need to read more YA paranormal books. And removing a star is just meaniningless if they DID enjoy the book nonetheless or many other elements of it.

      Thank you for your comment. I love polite feedback from authors. 😀


  14. As a general rule, I typically prefer it when YA characters are 17 too because of the maturity thing. You can’t go wrong with a fast paced plot, top notch writing, and light/fun! This book wasn’t originally on my radar, but it is now thanks to your review! I also like that you include the POV dets in your info sheet—very helpful!


  15. Nice review Lola! I’ve been meaning to read something by this author, and I might go for Tortured Souls. Though to be honest, I was not a very mature 15 year old. And now I’m not a very mature 20 year old 😛


  16. First, I really, really like this cover. Second, I don’t mind things that could not happen in real life being in my books, however, they need to make sense! There are a couple things that don’t make sense at all :P. Still want to check this out though! Nice review 🙂


  17. Hm, I have recently received this for review so I will be delving into it myself soon. It sounded like a good book and maybe it still will be in my opinion. I just read another YA called Waiting for Dusk by Nancy Pennick who had a rather immature main character and I managed that alright. Oh, and I know how you feel! I’m kind of the “mother” of my friend group and sometimes I really feel like I’m years above my age xD Maybe because I hang with adults too much xD7


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