*Just a gentle note, this review may contain small spoilers you may want to avoid before reading*
This book is having a moment right now. It’s in the book charts week after week and there’s a huge buzz all about it on social media, too. So, The Binding… what’s it all about? Here’s the blurb:
Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a letter arrives summoning him to begin an apprenticeship. He will work for a Bookbinder, a vocation that arouses fear, superstition and prejudice – but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.
He will learn to hand-craft beautiful volumes, and within each he will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, he can help. If there’s something you need to erase, he can assist. Your past will be stored safely in a book and you will never remember your secret, however terrible.
In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, row upon row of books – and memories – are meticulously stored and recorded.
Then one day Emmett makes an astonishing discovery: one of them has his name on it.
I’m a bit mixed with this book, to be honest. I have been looking forward to reading it for ages – just look at that beautiful cover! I got this gorgeous special edition from Waterstones with gorgeous purple sprayed edges and signed by Bridget too. It really is a gorgeous package – and that spine! Also, if you take the cover off, it’s just as gorgeous… but besides the cover and the gorgeous sprayed edges, I thought the blurb sounded interesting too. But like I’ve said already, I’m mixed with this book…
Let’s focus on the positives. I think this is a really great premise for a book. It sounds magical, exciting and a good adventure. This isn’t the sort of book I would normally go to read but I’m trying to be more open in my reading and focusing on different genres and varying my reading up a bit. I think the premise of the binding and the binders so interesting – it’s just brilliant, but I think the premise wasn’t strong enough. I felt most of the book it was a waste of time with useless characters with one line or our main characters walking in a forest for what seems like days. I would have loved to see more of the binding actually happen as I was left a bit disappointed. I feel there was a lot of ways this could have gone but it just felt flat and a bit lacklustre in parts. I skimmed a lot of the book which I hate to do.
I think Bridget writes beautifully. There are some really great and beautiful paragraphs that sing off the page. I loved the way she described certain scenarios and just her use of description in general. It set up a great atmosphere for the book. But, for me, the strongest point was the characters – especially Emmett and Lucian. God, I love these characters. I just love, love, LOVE them. I knew straight away I would fall in love with Emmett – he’s just the type of character I love reading about. I loved reading the development of his relationship with Lucian and everything in between. I think Bridget has created a very special character with Emmett and a great and interesting dynamic between him and Lucian. This is the only reason that kept me reading to be honest as I just loved the dynamics between the two of them.
For me, I’ve still got mixed thoughts about The Binding. On one hand, I thought it was a waste of time and not enough action. I would have liked to see more of the actual binding happen, I don’t think killing off a certain character didn’t help either. But I loved Emmett and Lucian so much that I couldn’t stop reading. I think this is a book that’s definitely worth a try but it didn’t blow me away like I expected it too. At the end of the book, it’s clear that there’s room for more, perhaps a series. But hopefully with a lot more magic than the first.
Have you read The Binding by Bridget Collins? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!