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Bind the Soul (Steel & Stone Book 2) Kindle Edition
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This book is... I don't even know how to explain it. It sucked me in so completely - I read both this and the previous book in one day - I couldn't get it out of my head. You know books that you have to come up for air from? This is one of those.
Piper, Ash, Lyre, and Zwi are back and as amazing as ever. This book has more action, New characters, and more despicable antagonists than the first (also more Ash /Piper, which I consider to be a very good thing).
One of the strongest points in this book remains (like the first) the authors ability to have tension, drama, action, plot twists, etc without making you give up on, hate, pity, or lose faith in the characters. I have LOTS of deal breakers with books but the biggest one is when you can't root for the characters you love on every page. This is a book (series) where you can, no regrets.
Plus? The author doesn't have a need to unnecessarily kill beloved characters as a plot point (ahem, hedwig, literally every character in game of thrones, etc) and the plot doesn't suffer for it. At no point is the book slow or do you think, "you know what this book needs? More gut wrenching sadness to pull me in" because that's not how she writes- you're sucked in without it.
I don't write book reviews and I don't gush but I legitimately loved this book. And I'm a decade too old for YA. I will definitely keep reading Annette Marie's books, and I already preordered the third book (these are the first books I've read with kindle unlimited that I've bought because I know I'll keep rereading them).
This book was just...wow... It was awesome. I couldn't put the first book, Chase the Dark, down the first time I read it and it was just as difficult to do it the 2nd time around too! And then you read this one, Bind the Soul, and you realise the story is only going to get more gripping as it progresses.
Ms Marie writes so beautifully, you're pulled into Piper's world first hand, you experience her pain, her joy, her growing feelings for Ash - and her panic when she realises Ash is missing. She knows there's only one place he can be - the Underworld. And it's the one place she needs to avoid like the plague now that Samael has the stone and he knows she's the only one who can wield it!
However, once again her life goes to hell in a handbasket (literally) and she finds herself a captive of Samael in the Underworld. True to the environment, the story gets quite dark and painful and we see how these events mould Piper into a stronger, more self-aware version of herself. We also gain deeper insight into the Sahar itself, how it was created and why Piper appears to be the only person who can wield it. We also begin to understand a lot more about what drives Ash and get tantalising hints of the real, caring daemon beneath the killer rep. The story of the draconian race is fascinating and I suspect this may feature somewhere in one of the many threads that will end the story.
This is where we begin to realise that sweet Piper doesn't fully understand what Ash really means to her; She comes across quite niaive and believes her concern and determination to save Ash is what friends would do for each other. But, from a readers perspective, it's clear that something totally scrumptious is blossoming between them. For readers looking for a straight romance story you may be a little disappointed.... there is definitely romance here but I just don't read romance stories per-se, and this definitely isn't one! This story beautifully combines urban fantasy, a kick-ass protagonist, gorgeously wicked heroes, fantastical new worlds and first class story-telling enchantingly wrapped up in ribbons of romance. The type of romance that leaves you wanting to lick the plate after finishing your dessert - totally more-ish!!
Piper doesn't yet realise she's led a very sheltered and protected life - I have serious issues with her father (and her mother!) and I'm really hoping that her father's way of raising her is not due to his 'non-existent parental chromosome' but because he loves her. After all, the Piper we love just wouldn't be Piper without the upbringing she had! Let's see what the next book reveals in this regard.
Now onto Book 3 of the Steel & Stone series, Yield the Night! If you're planning on reading these (and I recommend you do - they're totally, absolutely awesome!) then you should read them in order - they are not standalone novels. There are not many series out there that I just can't wait to get my hands on but this is one of them - they will have a permanent home on my bookshelf.
It has been five weeks since Ash disappeared and Piper lost the Sahar Stone. She knows that Samuel will come for her when he finds out she was able to use the stone. She also fears for Ash. Her gut tells her he’s in trouble. Lyre has been searching for a trace of him to no avail. Piper and Lyre follow leads as their search brings them to places Piper doesn’t want to go.
Samuel sends Raum to kidnap Piper. Piper is forced to make a tough choice. When she comes face to face with Samuel, she is surprised at what she finds but knows those rumors she has heard are true. She has to survive her time with Samuel and find Ash. She refuses to leave him in Samuel’s hands.
In the process Piper learns more about the Sahar Stone and how she is able to use it. Samuel’s plans for her include her ability and using her to go on with his plans. Piper must tackle her fear and trust herself to save herself and those she loves.
I love this series. Piper is trying so hard to do the right thing. She wants to be a Consul but has no magic. She is no match for what that world throws her but she relies on her friends and her wits.
This book is action packed. She is constantly trying to escape from people that want to hurt her or use her. She is tough but leads with her heart. I like how she embraces her friendships with Lyre and Ash even though she shouldn’t.
Her relationship with Ash seems to progress in this book. They get more physical in this story and you know their feelings for each other even though they never admit it.
I hope things keep progressing with them both as the series continues. I can’t wait to see what is thrown at her next. Her resourcefulness is fun to watch. She is an awesome character. This was a great continuation of the story and a fabulous read. I give it a 4 out of 5.