Thursday, December 8, 2011

Destiny Binds by Tammy Blackwell

Title: Destiny Binds
Series: Timber Wolves
Author: Tammy Blackwell
Length: 4122 kindle units
Rating: 5 stars

The Plot

Scout Donovan has an ordinary life in Timber, Kentucky until Alex Cole moves to town. Her step-brother and his family instantly hate Alex and insist that Scout stay away from him. But Scout, being the heroine of a YA paranormal novel, finds herself inexplicably drawn to him anyway. She soon discovers that not only is Alex a werewolf, but that her closest friends and family have been keeping their true natures a secret from her for her entire life.

The Good

I began this project with the intention of finding self-published books that were as good as published books. (By which I mean good published books. We’ve all read one or two… or many… that may not have deserved that honor.) By the time I started reading this, my fifth book, I was starting to doubt whether there were any self-published books that would merit a 5 – or even a 4 – star rating. Maybe, I thought, a book really does need to be edited by a team of experienced professionals in order to warrant large-scale reading.

I am pleased to say that Destiny Binds has laid my concerns to rest. Here is a book that I could have picked up off the shelf at Barnes & Noble without asking, “Why can this get published when I can’t?". The characters were likeable and interesting, and I laughed aloud in a few places.  And I’m not even a huge fan of werewolves. So, please, people who have qualms about buying self-published books, download this book with my assurance that you will not regret the dollar you spent on it.

It even has a Laurell K. Hamilton joke. Oh, Laurel K. Hamilton. I remember reading you back before your books turned into porn.

The Bad

I could nitpick this or any other book to death, but I don’t think Destiny Binds warrants it, and I’m sure you don’t want to read it. So I will just mention the couple of things that bothered me most.

First off, at one point, Scout says that the topic of socialized medicine is boring. She does a lot of research on it and still finds it uninteresting. Maybe it’s my years of working in public health, but I just don’t see how anyone could think that. Pandemic flu? Yeah, that gets boring. But the question of whether to socialize healthcare is one of the most important facing our society today, and to describe it as boring is just incomprehensible to me.

Okay, my other comment, which is actually about the book, is that the ending doesn’t feel very done to me. When I first read the book, I thought it was going to be a stand-alone novel (for reasons that I cannot tell you without massive spoilers), and I was quite frustrated with the way the book just stopped. After some internet research, I have discovered that the book is the first in a trilogy, and the lack of closure bothered me less. But I still feel as if the author just ran out of story to tell and stopped writing. I like to see a little denouement.

The Romance

Like just about everything else in Destiny Binds, the romantic set-up was far above average. The overall set-up was a love triangle, but it was not of the two-opposite-boys how-can-I-choose variety. Scout has always been in love with her brother’s cousin Charlie, but she does not think that he feels the same way. (And that is not as creepy as it sounds. He’s really her step-brother, but they’ve been siblings for so long that… You know what? It’d be faster for you to just read the book than for me to explain.)  Then she meets Alex, who is very much interested in her, and she comes to return his feelings.  Over the course of the novel, Scout learns that there is no such thing as “one true love,” which just makes the romantic journey in the book all the more satisfying.

Will I Read More?


I mean, yes. Yes, I will be reading more. I very much want to know what happens next. But I shall be patient in waiting for the next installment in hopes that it will be of equally high quality as Destiny Binds.


  1. Hi! I was directed here by Kevin on facebook and I love the idea of your blog. I was just telling a colleague that the major challenge faced by Amazon and other e-book purveyors is to somehow curate all of the massive amounts of information that is available so that the reader can identify promising reads. Thanks for doing that :)

  2. I bought this for Nook on your recommendation, and so far I'm really enjoying it - I had to pull myself away at the end of my commute this morning. Definitely as good as most published YA fantasy novels, and possibly better.