Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Review of SOUL BOUND by Anne Hope

Soul Bound
Dark Souls #1
by Anne Hope

Release date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Samhain Publisher, Ltd.
Length: 338 pages

Amazon US Kindle

Rating: 4.5♥s Excellent/Highly Recommended
Sensuality: Hot
Cover: 4.5♥s
Genre: Paranormal Romance

A Deadly Destiny

Jace Cutler died.

Lia Benson knows he did. She's the doctor who frantically worked to save him even as she was overcome by heat and dizziness. She's the doctor who called his time of death. She's the doctor who witnessed him miraculously come back to life.

She's the doctor who received his soul and his memories.

Jace awakens in the hospital without any memories of who he is or of his past. And, he discovers, without a soul. He also discovers that he sees glowing auras around everyone, a glow that he hungers for. The brightest aura belongs to Lia.

Lia has memory-like dreams of the childhood of a boy who she is convinced is Jace. And when she is near him, something deep inside her responds to him. They are drawn to each other, even though they are wrong for each other on many levels.

Attempts are made on Jace's life by one group, another group tries to recruit him to its cause, and Lia is kidnapped by the recruiters to gain his cooperation. When he finds Lia, he learns who and what he really is. And he learns his destiny. A destiny that could save humanity. And be the death of Lia.


Warning: Minor spoilers ahead.

Soul Bound is an intriguing and unique story about half-human/half soul-eating Hybrids who die and are reborn without souls. Some Hybrids control their soul-eating, and some don't. There are Watchers, Ancients, purebloods, rogues, and more. The backstory also includes Nephilim and Grigori, but I won't tell you more than that. There are some spoilers that I won't divulge. The world building is complicated. Lia is confused at times and isn't sure who is good and bad, and I felt the same way. Make sure you hang on until the end, however. You'll be glad you did.

Jace had a difficult childhood due to the fact that he was only half human and had a negative effect on people. He ended up acting out and becoming a very bad boy. After he's reborn he discovers some of his past and hates the person he'd been and the person he's become. What he doesn't realize is that he's got an honorable streak as wide as the Mississippi. Lia sees that he's a hero. She pushes him to see that in himself.

Lia is a rational, scientific person, but is forced to open her mind to concepts that can't be explained by science. She's a healer and nurturer, but becomes a warrior when lives are at stake. She faces her fear head-on.

The love story between Lia and Jace is poignant. A subplot involving Lia's sister makes it especially difficult. A prophesy concerning Jace could mean the death of Lia. Be sure to keep a Kleenex handy.

Anne Hope's imagery sings like a choir, harmonizing individual voices to create a hymn. She arouses emotions and atmosphere through music, weather, nature, buildings, and evocative phrasing.
The day was bright and balmy, with a thin ribbon of mist unraveling to carpet the ground. Trees shivered, scraping a too-blue-to-be-true sky, which struck Lia as odd. How could sunlight and fog coexist so seamlessly, as if they'd reached an agreement not to invade each other's turf?...Lia approached Jace and Regan, who turned in concentric circles, on guard, each waiting patiently for the other to launch an attack....
Soul Bound is a strong start to the Dark Souls series. Hope confirmed with me that book two, Soul Deep, will be Regan and Marcus's story. Regan and Marcus played large roles in Soul BoundSoul Deep is tentatively slated to be released in March 2013. She sent this preview:
For nearly two centuries, Marcus has been a dedicated Watcher. Rarely has he questioned his mission, let alone defied his leader. Sworn to protect humanity—bound by honor , duty and a strict vow of celibacy—his commitment to the Watchers has never faltered. 
His partner, Regan, is the exact opposite. Impulsive and reckless to a fault, she often acts first and thinks later. Regan's smart mouth and tender heart have fascinated Marcus for decades, but he's been pretty successful at ignoring the sizzling attraction between them...until now. 
When Regan goes rogue to protect a very special little boy whose soul is capable of great destruction, Marcus is forced to make an impossible choice—commit an act of treason or watch the woman he secretly loves die.
In an interview at The Romance Studio, Hope said that there will be a total of four books and a novella in the series. The novella is a prequel, and is about Marcus's son, Adrian. Book three will continue Adrian's story. Book four will star Cal, the leader of the Watchers who features prominently in all four books. Once you find out Cal's secret in Soul Bound, you won't be able to wait for his book!

Happy reading!

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