Saturday, March 12, 2016

Bind the Soul Review: Piper

Book: Bind the Soul
Author: Annette Marie
Series: Steel & Stone #2
Genre: YA fantasy
Source: Netgallery
Pages: 304
Release: January 9th, 2015


The most important rule for an Apprentice Consul is simple: Don't get involved with daemons. Well, Piper is planning to break that rule — big time.

After a near-deadly scandal with the Sahar Stone, she has the chance to return to the only life she's ever wanted. All she has to do to keep her Apprenticeship is forget about Ash and Lyre. Ash might be enigmatic and notoriously lethal, and Lyre might be as sinfully irresistible as he is irritating, but they’re not bad for a couple of daemons.

There's just one problem: Ash is missing.

Really, she shouldn't risk her future for him. He lied. He betrayed her. But he also saved her life, damn it. Wherever he is, he's in trouble, and if she doesn't save his sorry butt, who will? But with every dangerous secret she unravels, each one darker than the last, she slips deeper into Ash's world — a world with no escape for either of them.

An absolutely amazing followup! I have no idea how this book could have topped the first book, but it did!

After the disastrous events of the last book with the missing Sahar Stone, Piper's given the chance to go back to her old life, training to become a Consul, and forget about everything that happened and the enemies she's made. But Ash is missing, having made the suicidal decision to return to the Underworld, and it's up to Piper to find a way to save him. But the ruler of the Underworld, Samael, might have other plans for Piper...

This book was absolutely fabulous. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is predictable. Nothing went according to plan, nothing happened without something bad happening that changed everything, nothing. It made this book extremely hard to put down.

Piper is as witty and snarky as she was in the last book. However, in this book, we get to see how determined and loyal she is. Unlike the last book where Piper was driven to clear her name in the sake of an overall truth, she was determination to save Ash for what she believed was right. Piper gained a lot of strength in this book, and finally was able to stand on even ground with everyone else. But her struggle to remain on even ground was what made it so interesting, since she's not accustomed to it. Another thing was the fact that the plot was completely unpredictable, and Piper found herself in dire situations time and time again. But Piper was always quick to adapt, and let nothing hampered her determination to get back on track. She was an absolutely amazing and strong character!

Ash. I thought it wasn't possible to love him even more than in the last book, but I was proven wrong. We see Ash in such an emotionally vulnerable state in this book. He has no secrets left to hide, no second agenda, and was completely open and raw. He wasn't invincible and needed saving just as much as anyone else. Of course, that didn't put a limit on his fierceness or protectiveness at all. We really see him begin to struggle with his daemon nature, which thirsts for power, and his heart, which is set on doing the right thing. And as powerful as he is, he is ruled by his heart, which makes him so easy to love. I'm just going to say Piper is the luckiest girl in the world.

Samael was downright terrifying. I'm not joking. Forget not wanting to meet him in a dark alley; I wouldn't want to meet him in broad daylight. I wouldn't want to meet him, ever. His tactics to get information from Piper were terrifying, and even if she wasn't in his direct presence, he was able to torture her through purposeful neglect of food, water, and warmth. And to make it even worse, he even managed to take away any chance of sleep Piper had by keeping rats in her cell. Samael was a master manipulator, and all I want to do is applaud Piper for being able to resist having her will crushed.

The Sahar Stone gets a bit more history and context, which I enjoyed. It may be a source of unlimited power, but the reason why no one can tap into it is explained. We also got a bit of the history in regards to how it was created, and just what exactly is inside it that fuels such immense power. I'm really interested to know more about it, and see how Piper and Ash handle it!

What I particularly liked about Piper and Ash's relationship was that it was built off of pain and blood, with them constantly saving each other. It was never completely one-side; Piper would save Ash, Ash would save Piper, and Piper would save Ash again. Much like the last book, Ash's protective nature meant he constantly was saving Piper. Though Ash may physically be more powerful, Piper is always the one who is able to drag him back from the brink of death or from falling too far into his daemon self. She grounds him to his humanity, and keeps him safe from losing himself.

We get to explore the Underworld in this novel. The author skillfully describes the twisted lifestyles there, weaving in terrible court and prison life, and the different ways one can torture someone. I definitely do not want to take a trip there as a prisoner. Never, ever. Unless I have Ash and Piper to get me out, but even then, I probably wouldn't survive that long!

All in all, this is an absolutely fantastic book. It doesn't suffer from the dreadful second-book syndrome, and is better than the first in all ways. More magic, more action, more wit, more daring acts, more romance, more revelations, more devastation, more sacrifices. Phenomenal! If you haven't read this series, I highly recommend you pick it up. Also, I'd like to take a moment to thank the one and only Cody again for recommending this to me. You're the best, and I'll be thanking you by bombarding you with my emotions soon enough, muahaha!


  1. You have no idea how much I love this review, I've read it 3 times over as I'm now vicariously re-living all those highlights though you, so thank you :D I'm so happy you loved this book, the series is only getting better isn't it? I mean it's pretty much perfect! The action and adventure never stops, the characters have more depth, the plot twists leave my face with a great :O expression the entire time. I can't even speak of the romance without freaking out - your emails know this quite well now ;)
    I'm just so thrilled we can enjoy this series together and I can't wait for us to finish it and just fangirl the only way we know how <3 You're so welcome and bombard away, it will never be enough because ASSHHHHH!!!
    Brilliant review Erika!!!

    1. Awww, Cody, you're so sweet <3 But honestly, what has this series done to me? I have no idea what to do with my life now, because I keep thinking about what's going to happen to Ash and everything else. The romance, the action, everything is killing me. I"m just going to die happy now ;)

  2. I so need to read this series! It sounds amazing and your review is perfect! Great job Erika!

    Carrie @The Book Goddess

    1. Thank you, Carrie! This series is great, and I cannot recommend it enough!

  3. This series looks so good and totally up my alley!!! Wonderful review! :D

    1. It's amazing! I recommend the series so much!

  4. So, you liked it? Lol. I need to check this out like asap!