28 September 2011
The Binder's Daughter, Matt Hofferth
Fantasy Writing, Vampires, And A Dash Of Romance...
The title of this book is somewhat deceiving as the story is told from Michael Allen's perspective. Beginning with his normal young adult life in Chicago and taking the reader through his brutal transition to vampire, this novel continues into the present day where our hero leads a solitary life. Haunted and tortured by the memories surrounding the night he was bitten, Michael maintains a lonely existence, fighting against 'The Beast' and hating the very nature of what he is.
When Michael begins hearing a strange voice and finds himself inexplicably drawn to Kiara, a local young woman with a life almost as strange as his own, a longing takes root deep inside him - a longing that could end in disaster. What Michael doesn't know is that Kiara has secrets of her own, some she doesn't even know she keeps. Together, Michael and Kiara discover the peace of self-acceptance through their unconditional acceptance of one another and find that the very powers that kept them separated and distant from others now bind them together.
Hofferth's vampire, Michael, gives readers a vampire's experience through a unique lens, and this Broad envisions the potential for numerous sequels from The Binder's Daughter. A far reaching vampire hierarchy and structure are alluded to, in addition to shape shifters, spirit binders, hunters, and powerful spirit beings which seek human form. The author did an excellent job in crafting the world in which his characters exist. Hofferth also built tremendous tension between not only the hero and heroine, but amidst the secondary characters as well. Yeah - that's what I said! Book ten doesn't sound far fetched after reading that last paragraph, right?
Michael was definitely a tortured character, much different than the vampires normally found in novels. Private, thoughtful, and NOT a seducer, Hofferth's vampire is not going to appeal to most paranormal romance readers. The Binder's Daughter does showcase a romance, but it is the a romance of the heart and mind, not a steamy-between-the-sheets-magic-vampire-schtooping-bonanza that will wow you! I was impressed, however, with the intimate scenes Hofferth did write. One in particular left this Broad weak in the knees, eliciting strong emotion through the written word. Call me biased, but I wasn't expecting that kind of pizazz from a male writer.
Kiara was Michael's love interest, but honestly, I never became invested in her character as much as the others. Blessedly absent of 'in-your-face-angry-drama', Kiara was likable, but the author left her background mysterious enough that I wasn't able to connect with his character. I was left wanting to know much more. Perhaps that was intentional, as I believe that the author has already planned a trilogy of books on this storyline. I'm guessing he'll end up with more than a trilogy...but that's for another day.
On a fun note, Michael's foil, Matthias was my favorite secondary character. I'm hoping to learn that Hofferth will write Matthias his own story. He was such a 'German Cutie Nerd'! I vanted to haff him kiss me... on the lips!
This vampire has no issues with who or what he is. He comes across as extremely intelligent and somewhat of a risk taker all while keeping it real with his inner nerd. Sold. I'll take one.
To keep it real here at the Broads, I have to say that I was disappointed with the final battle scene. Hofferth did not let readers fully in on Kiara's significance as a spirit binder, nor did he unharness Michael to let him embrace his power fully and hand out a little 'kick-ass'. Oh, there's action! But...it's more of a team effort thing, and it is Kiara's guardian and mentor, Keisuke, in the end, who brings the house down. I was cheering for Michael to grab up his existence with both hands and free fall, uninhibited, to gloriously defeat the evil that threatened his woman!
Okay. I'm done with that.
Despite my complaint, I most assuredly look forward to reading another of Matt Hofferth's books. This was a great storyline that hinted at a much more involved world than was revealed in the first book in the series.
The Binder's Daughter receives 4/5 stars overall. (Meaning that I mostly liked the story)
Plot strength - 4/5 stars
World building - 5/5 stars
Supporting characters - 4/5 stars
Michael - 4/5 stars
Kiara - 3/5 stars
Romance heat - 2/5 stars
~ Moira Naveen ~