Hello bookworms!! Welcome (officially) to Monday Mini’s, where today I want to talk about the Soulbound series by Hailey Turner.
In general, I will (hopefully) be posting some mini reviews for either books in a series, or stand-alones all by the same author, or… somehow otherwise related. Or maybe I’ll just write some mini book reviews. Who knows?!
Honestly, I have been drafting this same post for about six months now. Because I don’t finish anything any more. YAAAAY!! (But seriously, 2021 is making me so tired. Way more tired than 2021 made me.) Also because every time I add more to it, Hailey releases a damn book. ? It’s making it hard to keep up…
Soulbound series by Hailey Turner
So, the Soulbound series has 7 books in it, with 6 books out at the moment. Books in the series are:
- A Ferry of Bones and Gold ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- All Souls Near and Nigh ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- A Crown of Iron and Silver ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- A Vigil in the Mourning ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- On the Wings of War ?????
- An Echo in the Sorrow (came out on 1 March – and I haven’t read it yet because I just saw the release date today)
- A Veiled and Hallowed Eve (final book – expected on 1 Oct 2021)
This is an adult urban fantasy / paranormal story, with a queer main character. Oh yeah, and it’s self-published to boot.
I mean, should I go back and say that it’s an adult paranormal story with a queer main character?? ? Just joking, I love way more about it than that.
My elevator pitch when I describe Soulbound is:
This series is Percy Jackson x Shadowhunters for adults, mixed with every cop show on tv, a queer protagonist and werewolf / vampire turf wars. There’s magic and mythology, brutal violence, more sass than you can poke a stick at, and an OTP you can absolutely cheer for.
Firstly I want to talk about the characters. Patrick, our MC is awesome. He was a great backstory that’s filled with anguish and he’s suitably tortured by it. He’s a grown up Broken Boy™ and you can see how the damage inflicted from his past influences his decisions. PTSD is a real thing in this series, and that’s something I’m really glad the author has explored.
One thing I really appreciated about all of the characters, is that so few of them are two-dimensional. In fact, I can’t really think of any that aren’t at least somewhat fleshed out and flawed that have had recurring roles in the series. No one is pure good (there might be some that are pure evil…), but their damage is tangible – it makes them, not necessarily relatable, but at least somewhat realistic in a world that is not.
I also want to talk about the world building. It’s an urban fantasy world – our world, but some time ago (I can’t remember exactly, but less than 40 years ago) the gods revealed themselves to be real. Like, ALL of the gods. The Egyptian gods, Greek gods, Celtic gods, Norse gods, Hindu gods, Roman gods – all of them. Like, if you can think of a mythology, those gods are probably represented in this world.
But not just the gods, there are werewolves, vampires, demons, fae, witches – the whole shebang. Paranormal everything – but it’s good. There are also government agencies that work entirely in the paranormal space. Patrick is essentially a paranormal secret agent, with a military background.
Overarching plot and formula
I really like looking at story formulae and overarching storylines for books like this. And this series has intricacies in spades. The overarching story is Patrick facing his demons. Literal demons from his past. He’s faced them a couple of times so far, but he’s not even come close to winning a fight yet.
In terms of story formula, I like the consistency. Like any good cop show, there’s a new case in each episode/book – often linked to overarching plot in a subtle way – whether it’s chasing down a new demon or threat, or finding a relic that could give an advantage in the final battle. Each book has two main conflicts – the first one which they always lose spectacularly, and the second which is 50/50 on a win or a draw with both sides backing down. I think they’ve only half destroyed 4 cities so far, which is nice. ?
I’m betting on book 6 being a cliffhanger ending as book 7 is the final story, but so far each of the books have ended that particular ‘case’. (I’m also going to be happy if it’s not a cliffhanger, as we all know they aren’t my favourite.)
As much as I am highly enjoying the series, it definitely has its cringe moments. Sometimes the minor conflicts could be solved with better communication, but honestly, so could some of my real life conflicts.
The one thing that I am really not a fan of though, is the smut. I’ve talked about it before, but I am really not a fan of females writing male/male sex scenes. The same as I’m not a fan of men writing female/female sex scenes. There’s an element of fetishisation that I just can’t get behind, and I am certainly not here for. However, there are a maximum of 2 scenes per book, and I can quite happily skip past them to get to the real story.
Overall, I am really loving this series. So much so that book 6 even made my top 5 anticipated reads for 2021. I’m super keen for some resolutions. I’m anticipating one of the big battles to happen in book 6, the enemies of which aren’t the main protagonists, but rather annoyances that have been around for a while. Which leaves the big, final battle for book 7.
If you love cop shows, paranormal fantasy stories, and Rick Riordan, then I would absolutely recommend this series for you.
Book 1-6 are currently available on Kindle Unlimited for free (links above), and the author has self-published the books in physical copies which you can get from Book Depository and Amazon.
Have you read the Soulbound series?