Official Review: Bound by Michael Campbell

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MarisaRose
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Official Review: Bound by Michael Campbell

Post by MarisaRose » 09 Apr 2018, 14:32

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Bound" by Michael Campbell.]
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1 out of 4 stars
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Bound by Michael Campbell is a character-driven thriller with strong sexual overtones. At the onset of the story, we are introduced to Tom, an unconventional “houseboy” working to pay off a debt to Jacqueline, a widow. However, Tom’s duties include more than just typical chores. He is tasked with obeying his master’s every word. Strangely enough, Tom's master is Ginger, Jacqueline's partner. When Stella, another person under the employ of the wealthy widow, starts acting strange, a series of events unfold that make Tom test his limits and discover what his relationship with Ginger really means.

This book is rather unique as it does not fit under any typical genre. Although the sub/dom relationship is alluded to often, there is very little actual sex in the novel. This was interesting because it established a clear relationship between the main characters but also allowed the story to move along freely, without the interruption of overwhelming or repetitive erotic scenes. However, the nature of the relationship and the language which is used to both describe the relationship and within the characters’ dialogue make this book unsuitable for those that wouldn’t normally be interested in reading erotic novels.

The book appears to be edited in the sense that there are relatively few grammatical errors. However, the writing itself lacks such professionalism. The most egregious issue with the writing is the dialogue. Many chapters or sections after a break begin with dialogue that is accompanied by unclear dialogue tags, namely in the form of pronouns. This made it difficult to understand who was speaking. Further, the author fails to insert new paragraphs within dialogue when referring to a separate character’s actions. Again, this made it unclear who the actual speaker was.

Other than the confusing writing, the most unsettling element of this novel was the poor characterization of the large cast of characters, and there are quite a few characters to attempt to keep straight. To begin, the main characters lack proper backstory; it was unclear throughout the majority of the novel how they ended up in such a situation. Moreover, the majority of characters in the story are female, and each one is strong willed, sarcastic and brave, making it almost impossible to tell them apart. The lack of differentiation between personas coupled with the poorly written dialogue made it exasperating to decipher who was speaking at a given time.

While reading this story, I couldn’t help but feel I was missing something. There is a substantial amount of background information missing from the narrative. Even by the end of the book, other than vague mentions here and there of the past, it is unclear why these characters are in the situation they are in. Similarly, when a supposedly major revelation is made about the true identity of a murderer from Ginger’s past, it is unclear why this point is so important due to the previous lack of development of this plot point.

In general, this book was frustrating to finish. I kept reading, hoping everything would make sense. Although all loose ends are tied up at the end, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was missing substantial information about the key plot points. Further, the incomplete characters and the lack of adherence to basic writing rules made this book a struggle to get through. In its current state, I do not recommend Bound to others, leaving me no choice but to give it a final rating of 1 out of 4 stars.

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Post by joshfee77 » 09 Jun 2018, 06:17

Excellent review! I also would have found the lack of character differentiation and poorly written dialogue extremely frustrating. These both go against the basics of good writing.

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Post by klwood65 » 09 Jun 2018, 06:50

Great review. Would not be a book I would want to read with the lack of differentiating the characters. I agree that would be frustrating and hard to get through.

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Post by Sushan » 09 Jun 2018, 06:51

:( descriptive, honest and an overall negative review. By sampling few pages and reading tge preface I got a general idea about the book. But untill I read the review ai never thought this might be a book which is that hard to read. Anyway I am going to give a try for this because I felt like it will suit me
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Post by daniya__shah3 » 09 Jun 2018, 07:07

Thanks for providing an honest opinion about the book. I have not started reading this, and your review is screaming at me not to. I guess I'll sample a few pages to form a second opinion and see if I should continue any further.
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Post by Lunastella » 09 Jun 2018, 07:09

Too bad you had such a hard time reading it, and you make very clear why. I appreciate your honest review very much because I was actually very driven to the plot (I don´t have any issues with erotica) but the problem with the dialogues would sure drive me crazy.
Thank you.

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Post by rusyalana » 09 Jun 2018, 07:16

I'm not so critical when reading the book and I might have like it. But I don't like D/s topics and avoid reading books describing such relationships, so I'll pass with this one. Still congratulations on becoming BOTD!

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Post by gali » 09 Jun 2018, 07:20

A thriller with strong sexual overtones sounds exciting! I am sorry you found the reading so frustrating. Too bad about the confusing writing, the unclear dialogue tags, and poor characterization. I am not fond of erotic books anyway, so I will skip it. Thank you for the review!
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by lavellan » 09 Jun 2018, 07:40

Thanks for your review! For me, even the nature of the relationship between Tom and Ginger is unsettling. The issues with the dialogue and characterization are also off-putting to me.

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Post by FictionLover » 09 Jun 2018, 07:46

I thought I posted a comment a few moments ago, but I don't see it, so I apologize if this is a duplicate. I downloaded and read the first few chapters of this book and was disturbed by the sub/dom theme, not because I find it a horrible subject, but because in the beginning I thought Tom was a sexual slave or a sex worker. It feels very dysfunctional and abusive, and even before reading your review, I wasn't sure I could read the whole thing. Now, I think I will pass. This is not how your typical thriller starts.
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Post by Memunat » 09 Jun 2018, 07:55

A very strong review that would discourage one from reading it, although I don't read thriller with sexual overtones, so I will skip this one. Thanks for your honest review

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Post by KLafser » 09 Jun 2018, 07:59

Thank you for your review! I read the summary on Amazon and was interested but the writing is going to be a blocker for me.

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Post by hsimone » 09 Jun 2018, 08:00

Wow, Tom who is a "houseboy" to two women to pay off a debt? Sounds like a unique concept. Throw in some discovery of relationship between two people, then perhaps several might enjoy this one. I don't particularly enjoy erotic and sub/dom relationships, so I don't think this is for me. Too bad about the confusing writing, grammatical errors, missing character background information, and that you found it frustrating to read. Hopefully, your next book will be better!
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Post by Kendra M Parker » 09 Jun 2018, 08:04

Thank you for persevering through this book and providing such a good summary for us. It helps me to know right away that this is not a book for me!

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Post by jubebe » 09 Jun 2018, 08:05

I would not have enjoyed the book even I read it. A book which fails to differentiate between the characters, makes it difficult to know who is who. Also the fact that one does not know what led the characters into their present situation can be frustrating. I think your next writing should be great.

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