I loved Shattered Souls' concept of Speakers/Protectors! Soul-bound, they find each other with each reincarnation and set out to resolve restless souls. Protectors are given an education with each reincarnation, in order to keep up with technological advances, while the Speakers' abilities can only grow with experience. I did find Alden's whole "pain/fear turns me on" thing to be quite off-putting - especially when you consider that in this lifetime, Lenzi is as much a minor as any other seventeen-year-old as she doesn't remember her past lives - because I couldn't understand the reasoning behind it. What point does the pain/fear of his Speaker acting as an aphrodisiac serve in his role as Protector? It just didn't make sense to me, and it wasn't really explained. I was also hoping for more explanation about the Council's role and their history, but found it to be lacking.
I couldn't stand Lenzi. At first, I could relate to her fear of having a mental illness like her father, and I empathized with her rollercoaster emotions. As time went on and she learned that the voices she heard were the voices of restless souls, I couldn't understand her resistance to Alden's teachings. If someone held the answers to all of your questions, why wouldn't you do everything in your power to learn as much as possible? Instead, she spent all her time whining over not being strong enough, complaining about Alden comparing her to Rose, thinking about how gorgeous Alden was, and trying to maintain her relationship with her boyfriend, Zak.
I've got conflicting emotions over Lenzi's relationship with Zak. Lenzi was constantly reminding herself of what a great guy Zak was, and how he was the only friend who stuck around after her father's battle with schizophrenia scared everyone away. But our first real encounter with Zak in Shattered Souls was of him driving Lenzi to a graveyard (located in a sketchy part of town) where he drunkenly tried to make out with her on top of her father's grave before passing out and virtually abandoning her. So on the one hand, he was a drunk, abusive and controlling boyfriend who shouldn't have been romanticized. But on the other hand, Lenzi treated Zak like dirt. She lied to him about being with Alden, led him on when she knew their relationship wasn't going to work, and then didn't even bother to break up with him properly - she just turned off her phone and ignored his texts/phone calls. So there's a different part of me that felt like it was easier to make Zak look like an abusive boyfriend then it was to have Lenzi deal with her conscience and make the difficult decision to end things.
As for her romance with Alden, I also had conflicting emotions! Lenzi went from feeling a sense of familiarity with Alden, to a connection that had her unable to keep her eyes/hands off of him (not a direct quote, but pretty damn close), to love...in about a week. All while Lenzi adamantly refused to let anyone - including Alden - call her Rose, because she was insistent that they were two completely different people and should be treated as such. I couldn't understand why Lenzi would refuse to acknowledge that she was Rose incarnate, but was able to act so freely on the feelings she obviously harboured from being Rose incarnate.
I did find Shattered Souls' plot to be very well-paced, interlacing enough mythology with action-packed resolutions to keep my full attention. There were a few moments that had me questioning the author's motives, where it seemed like Lindsey was using certain situations to make Lenzi appear a little less useless - like the situation with Charlotte's imaginary best friend, for example - but for the most part, I found Lenzi and Alden worked really well as a team, which helped keep the story flowing smoothly.
A quick read with an intriguing concept and a slightly confusing heroine made Shattered Souls an interesting read. While I had problems with some of the world-building, and the romance was conflicting and insta-loveish, I still enjoyed reading about the characters and was invested in their futures. I'd give Shattered Souls a chance if you're looking for a fast, light read with an interesting concept!