A Bit to By the Book For Me

Posted on February 24, 2016 «
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book review bound by duty

Book Review
Bound by Duty by Stormy Smith

Bound by Duty seemed to take me forever to read. I have admitted before that audiobooks tend to take me awhile because of my short commute, but I think there was something more at play with this one than just my short commute.

Bound by Duty felt too formulaic for me. The young girl with mysterious powers growing up in a single parent household goes off to school (college in this case) and is suddenly at the center of a love triangle and a huge power struggle where everyone is a knowledge hoarder. It’s obvious what the young girl needs to do and who she will end up with. I didn’t feel compelled to move forward with the story and I kept thinking, “I know how this ends. This is not a surprise.”

I also think that the audio version of the book perhaps did the story some injustice. Right from the start Kristin James’s narration grated on me. Everyone had husky voices and talked in whispers or lower tones. The story is told from the first person point of view and there was this weird echo effect used when Amelia would have an internal monologue. As if there were not enough textual clues given so the reader/listener would know that Amelia was thinking these thoughts and not speaking them out loud. A few of the characters had British accents, and I was never sure why. Their ethnic origins were never explained and there were times where the accents seemed to slip a bit. In the end, I regretted taking advantage of the audiobook sale.

While the story was formulaic and the narration didn’t jive with me, I did love Amelia’s best friend, Bethany. She was the picture perfect Southern Belle who infused a lot of life and confidence into Amelia’s life. Not much fazed Bethany, to Amelia’s benefit, and Bethany was a fighter. I wanted more Bethany.

I think fans of urban fantasy might find this story intriguing especially if you are looking for straight forward read with few surprises. I would shy away from the audiobook version, no matter how good the deal is, as I feel, perhaps, it doesn’t do the story justice. In the end, Bound by Duty was not a good fit for me, but others might like this foray into the paranormal with a new adult bent.


The Quick Book Review

A Bit to By the Book For Me

Bound by Duty

Author: Stormy Smith
Narrator: Kristin James
Published on: July 24, 2014
Pages: 390
Length: 9 hours , 33 minutes
Series: Bound #1
Genres: paranormal, mystery, new adult, fantasy, romance
Goodreads • Amazon Affiliate Link
My Rating: Thumbs Down

About Stormy Smith

Stormy Smith headshot

A word nerd from the very beginning, Stormy Smith has always had her nose in a book or a pen in her hand. From a journalism degree to a public relations career, manipulating words has always been her forte. She never expected her love of stories to translate into writing them, but one day the words were there and couldn’t be stopped.

Stormy lives in Iowa’s capital with her husband and two crazy cats. When she isn’t working on, or thinking about, her books, Stormy’s favorite places include bar patios, live music shows, her yoga mat or anywhere she can relax with her husband or girlfriends.


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4 responses to “A Bit to By the Book For Me

  1. Isn’t it amazing (maybe that’s the wrong word) how a narrator can make or break a book? I mean, you might have enjoyed the book a little more if the narration had been better, right? I do get that the story was formulaic…it didn’t seem to offer anything ‘new’ with the formula. And that’s a shame. I don’t mind similar tropes being used in books but I want an author to give me their spin on them. Otherwise, I’m bored. And a bad narrator exacerbates the issue. (I’m listening to a review book right now and feeling this same way)
    Hopefully your next listen will ROCK, Terri!

    • A narrator can certainly can make or break a book. A few years ago I chose to listen to Helen of Troy by Margaret George. The narrator made Helen come off as a whiny spoiled brat. My sister read the book and didn’t get the same impression!

      My current read does indeed rock. It’s my first audiobook with a FULL cast.

  2. I hate it when narration gets in the way of a book 🙁 It can really make or break a novel. From the sounds of thing the story of Bound by Duty didn’t really help either though. I think I’ll stay away from this.

    • Ages ago I listened to Helen of Troy by Margaret George. The narrator made Helen seem like a whiny, spoiled brat and by the end of the book I hated her. My sister read the same book and didn’t feel the same way about Helen. It is amazing that a single voice can make or break a story. I can see why some folks are hesitant about trying audiobooks!