Bound By Sorcery, a novel by Antara Mann, tells us the story of Alexandra Shaw – a half elemental mage that owns an occult bookstore named the Steaming Cauldron. When the book shop runs into financial issues due to the competing occult shop a few blocks down, Alexandra is forced to take a job as an investigator with the Magic Council. Her first assignment: investigate the seemingly supernatural murder of a human banker.
I really was not crazy about this novel. It was one of the most contradictory books I think I have ever read. At one moment Alexandra says she won’t or shouldn’t do something and then in the very next sentence she is doing exactly that. It was incredibly frustrating as the reader. There was no spark in these characters for me. For example, her best friend and co owner of the book shop has just as much responsibility as Alexandra in making sure the shop is successful but instead, at the first sign of financial issues, she only comes up with solutions that make Alexandra do all the work. Doesn’t seem very best friend like in my opinion. As a matter of fact, every single character we are introduced to until about half way just seemed to have an attitude problem. They all snap at each other constantly and intentionally do things to annoy each other. Alexandra was incredibly frustrating to me. She acted like a lovesick teenager through the whole novel. All she talked about was being bitter and jealous over every little comment her ex, another detective working the case with her, did. She also got distracted by every attractive man, or creature, that came her way.
I held out a lot of hope that the second half of the novel would improve, but it never did. Instead, the closer to the end I got the more frustrated I became. The relationships don’t mature or improve during the course of the book and I just kept wanting it to be over. The most ridiculous aspect, to me, was that the reader – and Alexandra – aren’t supposed to know what her other half is and what powers she has. But the name of the series is literally the HALF GODDESS chronicles so it really didn’t take much guess work on the reader’s behalf. I try not to write off authors based on one book but I will most likely not continue with the series.