Saturday, June 23, 2012

YA book review: Soulbound (Legacy of Tril, Book 1) by Heather Brewer + Giveaway

Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Dial (June 19, 2012)
ISBN-13: 978-0803737235

Blurb: What's worse than being blackmailed to attend a hidden school where you're treated like a second-class citizen? How about nearly getting eaten by a monster when you arrive? Or learning that your soulmate was killed in a centuries-old secret war? And then there's the evil king who's determined to rule the world unless you can stop him...

Meet Kaya, a young woman with the power to heal and the determination to fight. But struggle as she will, she remains tied to three very different men: a hero who has forsaken glory, a tyrannical ruler who wants to use Kaya, and a warrior who's stolen her heart. Kaya learns the hard way that some ties can't be broken...and blood is the strongest bond of all.

My review: In the world of Soulbound's Tril there is a continuous war between the Barrons and Healers against the evil Graplars. Barrons are warriors and have a Healer they are bound to whose job it is to heal any of their wounds. Barrons and Healers balance each other out--one fights, the other mends. In this battle there is Kaya. She was born a Healer (to two Barron parents which is a definite no-no) and they are only taught the healing ways but Kaya is an outspoken, tough teen. She doesn't fit the mold of a typical healer--she won't just sit there while someone else defends her from the horrifying Graplers. She wants to fight but with her background she needs to find someone who will secretly train her. Kaya is bound to Trayton. Darius is a fighting instructor at her school who doesn't like her but is willing to bend the rules and train her. Both of these guys are hot and Kaya finds herself attracted to both. When Graplers make their way into the school and attack Kaya, she is determined to learn to defend herself.

I found Soulbound entertaining and quick paced which are two things I like in books but here I found with the pacing there were details lacking. I liked the concept behind the Barrons and Healers but I couldn't understand why healers are treated like second-class citizens. Healers are scarce and only those on the top of the waiting list have a chance at procuring one. Seriously, what would the Barrons do without Healers so shouldn't they be appreciated? I was turned off by the use of made up curse words like "fak" and felt they dragged the story down. As for the typical story line of girl can't decide between two guys, I'm tired of this. Do we really have to always fall for hot guys? Can't there be a normal looking guy in the mix? The romance seemed like it was added in for the sake of having it but I wasn't convinced. The fantasy world was interesting and yet the kids spoke like contemporary kids. Huh? Call a dialogue doctor now.

Soulbound did keep my interest and by the end of this first book in the series I had unanswered questions and concerns. The fantastical concepts intrigued me and the story itself has some great potential (as does Kaya to become a kickass heroine like Katniss). I liked the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod so I will continue reading Auntie Heather's books like a devoted minion.

Rating: 3 stars.

Cover comment: Cool cover. Like Kaya's pose.

Favorite excerpt: "I knew what it meant, leaving home and entering the Academy. My parents had told me all about the hundred-year-old war, and how once you entered a school for training, the war became your way oflife. I also realized that by returning to that lifestyle, I was virtually undoing everything my parents had fought for to give me a normal, peaceful existence. But I couldn't, in good conscience, let anyone else lose a friend to the insatiable hunger of a Grapler. Avery would want me to go. Avery would tell me it was the right thing to do.

As I pressed my lips to my father's brow in a kiss, my mother's tears turned into body-racking sobs. I kissed her forehead too, suppressing my own tears--after all, there would be another time to cry, maybe one when I was alone, away from my parents, and my tears would cause them no further grief--and went upstairs to my room to pack."

Book source: Picked up the ARC as a freebie handed out at an author reading event at a local bookstore. 

As we did with This Is Not A Test, we are giving away our ARC of Soulbound to one follower. This ARC was gently read by Caity. Our contest is open internationally and 
ends on Saturday, July 28 at midnight.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Sounds like a great concept and I like the cover. You've piqued my interest!

  2. Sounds like a lot to love about this book. The cover looks like an interesting blend of contemporary fantasy and old school. Very nice.