The goal of my reviews is to not only tell the reader if the book was enjoyable or not but to also let them know what sort of content is inside. From sexual content to profanity, I make sure to cover all of my bases.
Feather Bound by Sarah Raughley was published on May 6, 2014. I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
When Deanna’s missing friend Hyde turns up at his father’s funeral to claim his corporate empire and inheritance, she is swept into his glittering world of paparazzi and wealth.
But re-kindling her friendship and the dizzying new emotions along for the ride are the least of her concerns. Because Deanna has a secret – and somebody knows. Someone who is out to get Hyde. And if she doesn’t play along, and help the enemy destroy him…she will be sold to the highest bidder in the black market for human swans.
Now Deanna is struggling to break free from the gilded cage that would trap her forever…
Feather Bound is a dark debut reminiscent of Gabriel García Márquez’s A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings, and the twisted truth behind the fairy tale of Cinderella.
Unfortunately I have not had the pleasure of reading Gabriel’s book so I will not be able to compare or even feel the reminiscence as described. I’ve never even read a book about swans before, so this is a first for me. Which means my review will be about this book alone with zero comparisons.
As all good books begin with world building let’s start there, because there was none. Feather Bound opens up with chaos. The Davises are getting ready for a funeral with everyone half dressed besides the middle sister. It’s hard to figure out which sister is which when names and their nicknames are being thrown around seemingly randomly. The conversation everyone was having was also hard to follow.
Throughout this our little swan heroine doesn’t really think back on the past, doesn’t give any of us readers some back story to what’s happening. Not even when introducing new characters. We get their nicknames or they’re quickly dismissed.
By now being 3% done with the book means about 15 pages in and there still hasn’t been a single mention of swans. How odd. No, backdrop to build up to what happens at the funeral. Nothing. I couldn’t feel the weight of the red head’s words because I didn’t didn’t know anything about the oppression of her swan brethren. I’m sure the author was going for a “bam" scene but only confusion was left in its wake.
If you’re starting to think “go easy. That is only the first fifteen pages of the book. Everything will get explain.” I would usually say: “Yes, you’re right.” But not this time. The only history we get of the swans (if you’d really call it history) is pamphlets talking about the 3% of the population that turned and what ages it should happen and what it might feel like. Pretty useless information.
How does a human turn into a swan? Is it random or genetics? Do you they only get the wings or can they shift into an actual swan?
Let’s fast forward through the book a bit. Now Hyde, the boy she thought was dead but now obviously isn’t, is dating her(Deanna, our heroine). At the same time, she’s being blackmailed by Anton to ruin Hyde.
Deanna is supposed to drug Hyde at a huge masquerade so he makes a fool of himself and loses some business partners. Of course, she has plans of her own and brings in some ‘freedom for swans’ protestors. From here it was really confusing and everything happened so fast that even Deanna didn’t have time to process what was going on. It obviously didn’t go as she had planned.
I’m not one to ruin a book for other people so I’ll be careful how I word the rest of this review.
It’s getting near to the end of the book now and it’s the climax. Deanna has to do some serious planning to save Hyde from the clutches of the true villain in this story. It goes without a hitch, no one gets caught and all is well. As any true fairytale should end.
Here are some final points I would like to make. World building was sorely needed. As was character consistency. Hyde’s personality was all over the place. There had seemed to be hints of a deeper plot but none of it came to light, which was sad. My brain was racing with possible ideas but it was all simpler than what I had conjured. The dialogue was often awkward and almost made the book unbearable to read. Lots of characters were forgotten and I would have liked to have known what came of them. Especially since this is supposed to be a stand alone novel.
Feather Bound by Sarah Raughley had great potential but fell flat. A more intricate plot and world building would have done wonders.
Recommended for Ages 21+
GD - 8
Dam* - 20
Hel* - 20
Shi* - 29
Christ - 1
As* - 32
Fuc* - 13
Bitc* - 10
Bastar* - 11
Slut and whore were also mentioned.
-Hyde and Deanna have a few intense kissing scenes. They go to a Red Room during the ball and Hyde’s desire is evident though much isn’t described.
-Anton and his step-mom Beatrice have sex.
-Porn is frequently mentioned.
-Anton mentions having ‘room 4 more’ in a text. He’s also drunk and high a lot with women always at his beck and call.
-A man ‘rapes’ another. But what’s really happening is his feathers are getting pulled out.
-Hands grab at Deanna when she’s kidnapped and taken to the swan brothel. She watches a few men ‘play’ with a swan and pass her feathers around.
-The red head at the funeral takes off her cloak to be wearing nothing underneath. Her nakedness is frequently mentioned as is her ‘tits’.
Those ‘uhm’ moments
-guy scratching parts
-man peeing on grave/turns out to be pouring beer on the grave site