“Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.
Quick & Dirty: Latent witch has grown used to her lot but comes into her power and struggles to understand her gifts.
Opening Sentence: I was born on a dark night, under a Dark Moon in a sky turned bloodred with power and prophecy.
This story revolves around Xandra Morgan who is the 7th daughter to the 7th daughter in a Royal line of witches. She is foretold and prophesied to have great magic but in the end Xandra has got nothing. No magic at all and she couldn’t pull a rabbit out of her hat if she had to. This premise, I felt had many possibilities for story lines including the struggle Xandra’s family has with her inability to be a witch.
The interplay in the early portion of the book between Xandra and her mother in particular really pushed the story along and helped to flesh out Xandra’s motivation and often her guilt about her family. As always, the interchange between mother and daughter fascinates me in part because of the unique and ever changing relationship I have with my own mother. In this portion of the storytelling, Ms. Adams nails the dialogue and angst perfectly.
However, the time it took to progress to other portions of the story was a bit of a buzz kill for me. I wanted to see those relationships develop but also have the story move along faster. We seem to get bogged down a bit in a juvenile mind set by Xandra which was a bit strange. This is a 27 year old woman with a business that sometimes felt like a teenage instead. She doesn’t think to ask the important questions of loved ones or the hero and demand answers. This doesn’t compute with that type of personality but maybe that is my biases coming through.
Now our hero, Declan Chumomisto was a hard character to crack. I was unsure nearly the whole way through the book whether, in fact, he was an anti-hero or not. Maybe that is what Ms. Adams was going for but the relationship with Xandra can only be described as “off”. There is just something not right but the reader does discover later why this does feel this way, however, I feel it could have been handled in a different manner and still had the same impact.
The side characters we are introduced to in this book often feel like an afterthought, which is a true shame. A couple of them have staring roles later in the book, but aren’t given the character development that I would have preferred to see earlier on.
On a larger front, I am not sure about this book’s genre placement. Seems to me that this book would have fit more squarely in Young Adult fiction. Eighty-five percent of the book was squarely written in a Young Adult fiction format and only fifteen percent of the book is Adult content. Maybe Ms. Adams was not sure which readers to write for, but I felt the distinct difference in writing and content.
Finally, this series has promise and I would definitely recommend this book if you are looking for a different spin on paranormal or shifter romances. My hope is that book 2, Flamebound, will take all the strides forward that Soulbound has going for it and expand on those and ditch some of the extraneous noise that were distractions. We shall have to wait and see.
“Declan, it’s been almost nine years since we’ve seen each other. Frankly, the fact that you know where I live smacks of stalkerdom.”
“It’s been eight years, five months and three weeks since I last saw you. Not nine years. And why should it upset you if I know where you live? Have I ever bothered you?”
“You’re bothering me now.”
He makes the turn into Guadalupe smoothly. “No, I’m taking care of you. I thought the difference between the two was obvious.”
FTC Advisory: Signet/Penguin provided me with a copy of Soulbound. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.”