Destiny Binds by Tammy Blackwell is a young adult urban fantasy tale of werewolves and werecoyotes and the teenage girl caught in the middle of all the secrets woven through her small town. Scout’s life is a little strange to begin with, but all and all it’s a nice one. Why does she have to get dragged into all the drama when a new pack of shifters move into town and start pissing off the resident pack? Maybe it’s not as coincidental as it seems after all….
When I was at GenCon this past week, I had to stop in the author’s alley briefly. I was thrilled to get to meet Tammy Blackwell and freaking ecstatic when she handed me a copy of her book, Destiny Binds, to review for her. I’m always a little nervous about new indie authors, since it can be rather hit or miss, but the cover looked so well done and the blurb rather intriguing, that I had to start on the first chapter as soon as I got a break in all my running around. The first sentence reads, “John Davis smells like Play-Doh.” Who starts a book like that?? Awesome writers, that’s who! Blackwell has a very compelling voice with wonderful descriptions and characters, and I can’t recommend this indie author enough!
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Title: Destiny Binds
Author: Tammy Blackwell
Genre-ish: YA Urban Fantasy, no vamps
Rating: ★★★★★- Lightning fast read, very compelling
Setting: Destiny Binds takes place in normal, small-town America. The kids in high school have known each other most of their lives, and things are pretty peaceful. Nothing strange going on here at all. Oh, except that apparently there are werewolves, werecoyotes and seers, who knew?
Premise: Scout lives a pretty normal life. She has a step-brother, sister, loving and happy parents, and a crush on her step-cousin. She is smart and enjoys school a little too much to be part of the popular crowd. All of that starts to seem blissfully normal, however, when a new family moves into town and she is suddenly seeing a new side to her brother and cousin as they command her to stay away from the horribly alluring new guy. As she gets to know Alex Cole, though, things are suddenly much less normal than she thought, and Scout starts to be dragged into a world with a lot more magic and mystery than she ever thought existed.
- This writing is so freaking compelling! I’m not usually a YA fan, and I literally whipped through this book in a couple of days, half of which I was driving. I spent practically every free moment reading this book, and I’m a slow reader! I’m betting you might get through Destiny Binds in one sitting if you have a spare afternoon.
- One of the things that contributed to that compelling nature of Destiny Binds is the character development. I’m not a huge fan of love triangles, but this one was very tastefully done. I completely understand why Scout would be torn in her situation, and why two gorgeous guys are drawn to her. The secondary characters are also wonderfully brought in to really pack in the emotional connection to Scout’s life.
- Oh my god, so moving! I completely didn’t expect the ending and wow was it a tear-jerking, wanting-to-cuddle-the-characters moment. Hugs for everyone!!!!!
- The cover is so pretty…. There has been a lot of post series on how to do indie publishing well, and this cover is a good example of how some stock photos, a little effort and some nicely set text can make a great cover.
- There are a couple of the typos and tripped up sentences that you expect to find with indie publishing, though at no point do they really scream at you. Blackwell did a good job of editing Destiny Binds, which is something I really hope all indie authors continue to push for. It’s worth the costs of hiring someone!
- Warning: definite crying ending. I was freaking sobbing. You probably shouldn’t read the end in an airport, just saying. Also have some tissues with you.
- I’ll be honest, the picture of a wolf statue on the back doesn’t do it for me. I think I own that statue, actually, and a picture of an actual wolf probably would have worked way better.
I know that there are a lot of YA fans out there, and if you haven’t found Tammy Blackwell yet, get on it! She is a wonderful writer and is going straight on my guaranteed read list. Destiny Binds is a wonderful YA urban fantasy story with a fun take on the shifter packs idea. There is also a lot of seeding in Destiny Binds for a really epic trilogy and I’m very excited to get my hands on the next books!