Today Kris and Jay are back chatting about A Vigil in the Mourning, the fourth book in Hailey Turner’s fabulous Soulbound series. But first, a quick intro to what’s happening in the story….
Jono and Patrick are facing conflicts on two fronts, forcing the men to divide and conquer. At home, things are heating up between Jono’s pack and NYC’s other god pack. Estelle and Yousef are making increasingly hostile advances trying to shore up sole reign for their own pack, and Jono has no choice but to take action. He had hoped to have a little more solid footing with his pack and those under his control before having to take on the other god pack, but their actions are leaving him no choice. With Patrick out of town, Jono is forced to make some decisions and face the dangers without him.
Patrick is sent out of town to investigate a seemingly crooked political candidate in Chicago. The on-the-books assignment delves neatly with his other mission in the city, which is to follow up on tips that Ethan and the Dominion Sect might be in Chicago looking for Morrigan’s Staff. With no choice but to keep it out of Ethan’s hands, Patrick must find the staff first. The investigation turns much more dangerous than Patrick hoped, but fortunately, Jono is quick to be by his side to help.
As Patrick’s cases begin to converge, it is clear that there is something deeper going on and the threat is much bigger than he imagined. The Dominion Sect is continuing to increase in power and even the gods are at risk. Now Jono and Patrick are in a fight for their lives against a very powerful enemy and it will take all they have to make it out alive.
Kris: Yay Norse mythology!!
Jay: Yes, one of the things I love about this series is how Turner mixes a variety of pantheons. We have had Greek, Latin American, Celtic, and now this story focuses mostly on Norse (with some Native American thrown in too).
Kris: And she does it in a way that makes it accessible. We’ve talked before about how it’s a little easier for me since I have a knowledge about all these things, but I think on the whole, Turner does a really great job of painting the picture and being true to the original stories/myths while putting her own spin on it so it fits this insanely well-crafted world she’s built
Jay: Yes, I agree. In fact, I thought this one was my favorite, and perhaps it was because the mythology was more familiar to me (yay Odin and Thor!). But I agree that it is seamlessly integrated into the story. In particular, I like how she mixes pantheons even within the same book, so we have Hermes hanging around with Thor, for example.
Kris: Yes. I agree with it being my favorite, and for a similar reason. Norse mythology has always been a love of mine, so I was extra excited to see it getting it’s shining moment here and always with the recurring god characters that continue to tie in the through storyline.
Jay: Right. I think this book was actually a nice turning point. I feel like a lot of what we have been building toward over the last three books begins to really tie in together here and start to look forward to the series resolution. For example, the team is looking for the missing Morrigan’s Staff in the third book, and here that search continues with wider implications.
Kris: Mhmm. The story has prgoressed nicely in that way. Always moving forward and we get to see the next steps. We also learn more about it, in that now we know we don’t know what it does!
Jay: Yes, things they thought they knew are now called into question as they get the bigger picture.
Kris: And man the Dominion Sect….I love to hate them. Turner makes them, and Ethan, truly bad.
Jay: Yes, agreed. I like how we have these incremental battles that are increasing in severity and obviously leading up to more. Turner does a good job of giving us exciting, suspenseful plots while still building to something bigger.
Kris: Which is always a great twist. And the author has a great ability to make it work so it doesn’t seem like just a pointless plot twist. I love how Turner manages to marry the romance storyline with the rest as well. They grow parallel with both upping the stakes.
Jay: Yes, agreed. I was a little worried when we saw these guys separate into different cities for part of the book, but they are so clearly bound to one another that it never affected my sense of their connection. And fortunately for us (less so for them), it doesn’t take long before they are back together.
Kris: Yes! I thought Patrick wouldn’t call, and when he does, I was relieved. Jono only has Patrick’s best interest in mind too. At first, with them, I was expecting more growth of their relationship. But then I realized it was there, just more subtle. They really are bound, they love each other, even if Patrick can’t say it yet, and they’re solid in each other. Patrick especially KNOWS he can lean on Jono and that’s a big step for him. We got to see that in that last book, but it’s really shown here.
Jay: Yes, I do think this story really showcases their relationship bond, even though they aren’t as obvious about it. They are both clear the other one is IT for them, and I don’t doubt it. They are so fiercely protective of one another, but also both so strong and solid (and if you like stories with two alpha guys, this one is for you…).
Kris: That’s the prefect description. And with each trial and tribulation, they get more solid with each other. Jono is a little further along, at least with realizing it, but there’s no doubt Patrick will get there too. The gods might have put them together, but it’s clear that they are actually meant to be, so whether the gods are working their own machinations or not, Patrick and Jono are truly a power couple.
Jay: While the main focus of the suspense is on the big battle in Chicago and advancing the Dominion Sect storyline, we also take time to address their growing pack and the conflict with the other NY god pack alphas. I am enjoying seeing how Jono is finding his way as pack leader, even though he is now forced into a conflict they may not be ready for.
Kris: He’s been holding back a long time, and he’s done with that. He will do what is right, even if it means everything is happening sooner than he wanted. I love seeing him be the man and alpha he’s supposed to be, no longer keeping his power hidden. (I’m looking forward to seeing Estelle and Yousef die, btw.)
Jay: Yep agreed (on all counts, lol). I think it has been intersting to see that storyline grow in parallel with the larger series arc and it is clear things are coming to a head in all directions.
Kris: Which means we’ve got intense storylines coming up. I’m ready for it. I’m not sure how long she’s planning for this series to be, but as you said, this book feels like a turning point.
Jay: I know she is working on book 5 but I am not clear if that is the end. I hope not!
Kris: That’s exactly what I was just thinking. I’m hoping we get at least a couple more before the end.
Jay: Yep me too!
Kris: And maybe if we’re lucky there’ll be some spin offs?
Jay: Ok, throwing in a couple of random things. OMG, I did a total squee when the Valkyries showed up! I have a soft spot for Valkyries and they were such a nice addition to this story! Also, it made for some fun lol moments when Wade is coveting their harleys!
Kris: I love how, since magic doesn’t work on him, he could see they were actually Pegasuses.
Jay: Yes, me too!
Kris: Heck, I just adore him. He’s comic relief, but he’s also growing too. He has some really good moments in this book.
Jay: Yes, agreed. I mean obviously we are supposed to laugh at his constant eating, but also here we really see the bond he has with Jono and Patrick. They are usually taking care of him, but here we see some points where he steps in to protect or rescue them too.
Kris: Yep. He’s just solid all around, and he’s pack, he takes that seriously, and he will protect his pack.
Jay: Ok, anything else you want to mention?
Kris: I think we covered the high points. Found family!
Jay: Yes, you know I love found family! We are both big fans.
Ok, rating? I am going with 4.5 stars again, but I will say this was my favorite so far.
Kris: Same. 4.5 stars. It’s my favorite so far as well, but I think I could have used a bit more relationship stuff in this one. As good as everything was, I was missing that a little bit.
Jay: Ok, thanks for doing this with me again! Looking forward to book #5!
Kris: Can’t wait! It’s gonna be a wild ride!