Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.

Soulbound (The Legacy of Tril Series #1)

Soulbound - Heather Brewer See more of my reviews sooner on The YA Kitten!I've held off on composing this review for days because even thinking about this book makes me start frothing at the mouth. Between nothing happening until the last thirty pages, too many things being explained with BECAUSE REASONS, a awful, ham-fisted approach to a great theme, and these effing characters, I haven't been able to sit still long enough. There's too much rage for my keyboard to take. Expect a lot of CAPS LOCK because there's no way to stop it.It starts out decently enough with a Graplar killing Kaya's friend--a friend who only gets a rare few mentions throughout the rest of this lengthy novel despite how close she and Kaya apparently were. Then comes the letter from the Zettai Council telling her she better go to this school or else and oh yeah, her Soulbound Barron is dead. It's so completely obvious it's a lie they told BECAUSE REASONS that I spent the rest of the book wondering when they were going to reveal he's alive. Answer? Not until the end. FRUSTRATION.The further in I got, the more questions I had. This seems like a typical European-society-based fantasy novel, but they've got katanas and a few Japanese words/names thrown in. What's wrong with giving them claymores or longswords or any of the other European weapons? An Asian-European fantasy this is not; it's just European with Asian elements occasionally shoehorned in so these people have an excuse to wield katanas. BECAUSE KATANAS ARE AWESOME.Why the Barron/Healer society refuses to train Healers (Barrons will always be there to protect them) is idiotic. Barron gets too busy, untrained Healer is left on their own, and then we have a dead Healer because they'd rather stick to tradition than train the Healers they're throwing onto the battlefield in how to fight. I admire Kaya for objecting to this obvious bull, it's done so ham-fistedly it's not worth admiring anymore.For all its issues, the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead handles the same theme much more decently. The Healers of that series are the Moroi and the Barrons are the dhampirs. The dhampirs are trained within an inch of their lives to defend the Moroi, but the Moroi aren't trained at all because the dhampirs will always defend them... until they're overwhelmed or killed, in which case the Moroi are screwed. In that series, the issue builds over time because that dichotomy is so deeply ingrained in their society, but here, Kaya just has right at it and handles the issues with none of the nuance it deserves.Then Soulbound introduced me to my pet peeve line, aka a common line that appears in many books that makes you want to punch something. Mine? "Any girl in her right mind would have flirted with him (p. 84)," "It was a wonder any girl could resist him (p. 125)," and all variations of that line. Basically, lines that say ALL women love this guy and/or aren't in their right mind if they don't.HEY. HEY. CUT THAT OUT, JACKASS. THIS NONHETEROSEXUAL FEMALE BLOGGER IS GETTING PISSED OFF BY YOUR HETERONORMATIVE ANTICS. Not to mention it's stereotyping heterosexual people too, but more importantly, it's acting like LGBT people and asexual people don't exist.Maybe if things were actually happening, my annoyance wouldn't have been so great, but the majority of this novel is boarding school shenanigans where Kaya sneaks around for training sessions, time with her boyfriend/Barron, confrontations with the one-dimensional mean girl love rival Melanie, and worldbuilding done via classes. Those classes don't even explain the main point: why did Barrons and Healers go to war against the Graplar King a century ago? BECAUSE REASONS, THAT'S WHY. (I told you that was the explanation for everything. You had warning.)The characters aren't even worth talking about. Kaya is flat, Darius is flat, Trayton is flat, and it took me five minutes just to remember their names. All the relationships are flat as well, happening with little to no development. Just blah blah blah blah blah.The next novel seems to promise answers to a lot of the questions Soulbound raises, but I won't be sticking around for it. My annoyance levels are too high to deal with more of these characters and this series in general. Ugh! So much disappointment and anger!