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Soulbound

The Return of the Elves Series, Book 1
Series: Return of the Elves, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins
4 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Summary

A deathbed promise.

Arlyn's quest is simple: Find her father and let him know her mother is dead. After all, Arlyn had promised her mother she'd go. The problem? Her father's people are myths and legends, and he doesn't even live on Earth. But despite a long journey through the mysterious mists of the Veil, finding him turns out to be the easy part.

A dream long buried.

After 500 years, Kai has given up on finding his soulbonded. So when he stumbles across Arlyn after returning from his latest mission and recognizes her as his mate, Kai starts their bond in haste. But he never could have imagined that his bonded is his best friend's newfound daughter. Whoops.

A hidden conspiracy sparked to life.

Though the sight of Kai makes Arlyn's heart pound, she isn't sure she can forgive him for starting their bond without her permission. But her love life is the least of her problems. Her father is an elf lord, and his sudden acknowledgment of a half-human heir reignites the same conspiracy that took him away from her mother in the first place. Now Arlyn and her family must face iron-wielding assassins, bigotry, and her newly awakened magical abilities if they hope to come through in one piece.

Arlyn thought she would return to Earth after meeting her father. Now she must fight to save the family she never knew she wanted.

©2016 Bethany Adams (P)2016 Skyboat Media, Inc.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Terrible

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This storyline had so much potential I was saddened to see it slaughtered so! No romance what so ever, just three conversations and bed. Terrible characters. A 500-year-old elven guy that is as mature as a 15-year-old. The female narrator turns the protagonist into a whiny kid. No real descriptive prose, anything complicated was avoided. The protagonist spent weeks in the portal, yet we are told nothing about it.

Would you ever listen to anything by Bethany Adams again?

Never ever! Nope! Shoot myself first.

Did Gabrielle de Cuir and Stefan Rudnicki do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

Did not like this joint venture, but i would consider listening to Gabrielle de Cuir again.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

disappointment, I came for elves and got inmature 500 year old idiots.

Any additional comments?

Thank god i can give the book back.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • K
  • 20-11-16

70% worldbuilding, 20% court intrigue, 10% romance

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Somewhat. I did enjoy the setup and explanations of the culture, but unfortunately the romance was an afterthought at best. The summary had me expecting a marriage-then-love plot with some court politics, but what I got was a lot of background of the world the characters inhabited with little to no depth given to those characters themselves.

Would you recommend Soulbound to your friends? Why or why not?

No. I feel like friends who enjoy fantasy world-building wouldn't enjoy the shoehorned romance but friends who enjoy romance wouldn't enjoy the drawn out world-building explanations or the very poorly executed romance plot. The author seemed to want to do both, but ended up dividing her efforts too much between them and the story suffered for it.

Which character – as performed by Gabrielle de Cuir and Stefan Rudnicki – was your favorite?

None of the characters were especially relatable or lovable. They all felt shallow and one-note in their characterization. I would say Adams clearly had a favorite, because that character was given the most backstory and explanation of anyone, that being Lyr. While the author clearly meant for Arlyn to be the main character, she feels more like an alternate point of view to a story mainly revolving around her father.

What would have made this romance irresistible?

Actually having spent time on said romance, for one. The summary implies that it is a main plotline but it is actually a background plot that receives little to no development. The characters are just suddenly "in love" with no buildup or effort. While Aryn is initially doubtful about the soulbond, after Kai is injured she is suddenly totally accepting of it. The two only have a handful of conversation in the entire book (most of which is just Kai explaining culture or history to Arlyn) but suddenly they are confessing their love to one another and falling into bed.

Any additional comments?

If you are primarily looking for a romance, this is really not the story for you. If you enjoy believable character depth & development, this is not the book you want. If you simply enjoy fantasy elven culture, you might really enjoy this book, because that is where the main focus is.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • nia
  • 24-01-19

Good enough book. Poor narration.

The female narrator did a good job with description and male voices but she made the female voice unbearable. I've stopped listening many times simply because I couldn't take the whining! She's supposed to be a grown woman, but she sounds pubescent. Book comes down 2 stars for me for that alone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Charlene
  • 18-11-17

I would really prefer a narrator other than Gabrielle de Cuirass

I feel cruel writing this, but I feel compelled to do so. If you are fussy about the narrators of audiobooks, then you want to avoid this one. It was difficult to determine if I enjoyed the book. Every time Ms. de Cuir read, I found myself doing my best to not shut it off. I think it is a lack of her acting ability. Her inflection, intonation, and how she elongated words made it grueling to listen to. Finally, her voice of Arlyn was like that of a child/valley girl/annoyed teen. and not the voice of an adult.

Now, in Ms. De Cuir's defense of portraying Arlyn as an adult, Ms. Adams made her character too young for her age as well as her "soul mate." It was also difficult to believe a five hundred year old man would act like a teenager.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kassie
  • 02-03-17

I love elves

This book does a good job of showing a sensitive yet strong male lead character. I wasn't sure about it at first but it's good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ted
  • 22-11-16

Awesome first book! Give me more please.

If you are like me, another series is the last thing you need. But this one gets added to the list and gets bumped to the front end for priority too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • successify
  • 09-04-19

Good Intro to the series<br />

Definitely in my wheel house of storyline I enjoy. Well the book was little long, it was well worth the many hours I took listening to it. Stefan Rudnicki is among my favorite narrators. Gabrielle de Cuir was also stellar in her performance.
It's enough to bring me back to a regular Audible subscription for at least one more book!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • NSolomon
  • 24-03-19

Great book!

I was searching for a new series to start. I found everything I hoped for in this book: different worlds with elves and fae, love, deceit, mystery, adventure and excitement. I am ready to start book 2!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Montzalee Wittmann
  • 24-12-18

Action, adventure, magic, romance, and elves!

Southbound by Bethany Adams and narrated by Gabrielle Dr Cuir and Stefan Rudnicki is a terrific fantasy novel that grabbed me right away. I didn't know what the book was about when I started it and was pleasantly surprised. I adore the main characters and found the plot intriguing. I am not much for romance but there is just enough in here to make it interesting and entertaining. I definitely want to continue this series!
The narration switches back and forth between the two main characters and both do a great job.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Scrath
  • 22-11-18

good book but...

having two narrators randomly switch kind of brings you out of the book it's a great book otherwise.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • scooby
  • 19-09-18

meh

lackluster story, all over the place, doesn't leave you wanting more, may listen to second book for redemption