Sunday, November 17, 2013

Mind Bond by Julie Haydon

 Mind Bond

Title: Mind Bond
Author: Julie Haydon
Series: N/A
Publisher: Feather in Cap Publishing
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Source: Netgalley
Purchase: Amazon
Goodreads Summary: This book is an urban fantasy that explores New Age themes. The blurb reads:

"The year I turned sixteen, the media featured reports of a worldwide phenomenon – the emergence of Interspecies Telepaths, or ISTs."

When Christa Wilder mind-bonds with Magnus, a wolf pup, on a camping trip in Sakima National Park, her life changes forever.

As the bond between Christa and Magnus grows stronger, other ISTs befriend them, including teenage Romy and her mountain lion, and Karl, a famous wildlife artist, and his golden eagle.

But not everyone is happy that ISTs exist or that wolves have been successfully reintroduced to Sakima, especially when wolves begin killing livestock on nearby ranches. Suddenly, with the first wolf hunting season about to open just beyond the park's boundaries, Magnus's pack is placed in jeopardy.

Even inside the park there is danger because a lunatic is slaughtering animals while staying one step ahead of the authorities. Next on the hit list: a wolf.

And, unbeknown to Christa, her brother, Josh, who went missing on his fifth birthday, has reappeared, but what sort of man is he? Why is he keeping his identity a secret?

Soon Christa is forced to commit to a new life full of challenges, friendships, learning, love and loss. With her psychic grandmother and her best friend, Ava, Christa will explore her spiritual beliefs, discovering a deep connection with nature and Spirit. But, most importantly, Christa will discover the sheer joy of the Mind Bond.
My Thoughts:
        Writing: Although I don't believe that this was the most well written book I have ever read, it did have a high level of writing, and a good strong plot line. There were a few typos, but nothing that really distracted from the story.
        Content: This ebook was advertised as a Young-Adult novel. However, I don't think that it really fits the description of a ya book. The characters were in their twenties, and mature themes were commonly thrown into the story. At the very beginning of the novel there is a implied sex scene between Christa and Tom. While the author does not go into detail it is there, as well as other hints at such scenes throughout the novel. Although there was hardly any swearing, the word "bitch" was used multiple times to refer to female canines, and a few times to human women.
        The Good: I think that this novel had a very interesting plot line. I was intrigued by the general off the beaten track feeling of the book. I felt like you really got to know the characters and I especially liked the family elements that Haydon included. I appreciated how the novel was not entirely about Christa and Magnus mind bonding, but about how important family is, and doing what you're meant to do in life. I really enjoyed the moments that were spent with Romy and Karl I thought that their characters were very well rounded and developed, as was Christa. My favorite character was probably Magnus. His conversations with Christa were completely adorable, and I loved the amount of energy that Haydon was able to write into his dialogue.
                           I also loved the beauty of Sakima park. I am a hiker, skier, and wildlife lover. As such I really could connect to the IST's love of the natural beauty of the wild. There were many times throughout the novel when I felt like I was right there next to Christa and Magnus tromping through the snowbound park of Sakima. So, hats off to Haydon for her vivid descriptions.
**********Warning Spoilers**********
        The Bad: I really, and I mean REALLY hated the character of Tom. I get that his purpose was to show how Christa needed to change her life. But really he was just a pain in the butt. Whenever he was in a scene I felt like the beauty, maturity, and goodness of the scene went way down. I really didn't understand why Christa was still with him. I guess I just felt like they were so different that I had no idea how they got together in the first place. I feel like Christa's boyfriend should have been a little nicer even if he didn't like her as an IST, but seriously, he sucked. I didn't understand why Christa hadn't broken up with him before, because they didn't even really work together. ugh.
                        I didn't like the sex scenes, or implied sex jokes that ran throughout the novel. I really didn't. I don't feel like they were necessary, or helped the plot in any way, shape, or form. They were just dumb, and uncomfortable. THIS IS LABELED AS A YA BOOK FOR PETE'S SAKE! Okay, calming down. Also, I got the need for the religious speeches from Grandma, but once again I didn't feel like they were necessary. They were long, and confusing, and kind of boring. Sorry, but they were. I think that maybe a few lines from Grandma would've been find, but there were WAY too many!
                        But, in case you were wondering, the good did outweigh the bad.

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