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Length: Novel

 

Today, Jay and Kris are back with their Buddy Review of A Veiled and Hallowed Eve, the final book in Hailey Turner’s fabulous Soulbound series. The books are directly connected into one long story, so you will want to start this one at the beginning. It has been an amazing ride and we were both thrilled to pick up this final installment. Check out our review chat after the book overview. 

It has been building for years, ever since Patrick Collins was a child and his father destroyed their family in an attempt to become a god. Ethan killed Patrick’s mother, enslaved Patrick’s sister to a godhead, and nearly killed Patrick as well, leaving him with a soul debt to a goddess. Ethan’s power, and that of the Dominion Sect, has been growing and Patrick, along with his pack, has been working to keep those dark forces at bay. But it is clear the time has come for the final showdown. As Samhain approaches, the veil between worlds is thinning and they know this is when Ethan will make his move.

Before the final battle, Patrick takes some time to reconnect with his family in Salem. They had no idea he was alive, but now that the truth is out, he has decided to meet them. It helps give a little closure to Patrick’s past, but it also brings up some new hurts as well. As much as his family seems to care about him, Patrick also knows that his true family is the one that awaits him back in New York.

Now that Patrick and Jono lead the only god pack in the city, they have a new strength and can focus solely on the crisis at hand. Over the past year, they have gained many allies… and many enemies. Now, all of them will come together in one epic battle that will decide the fate of the world.

 

Jay: Hey Kris, so glad to be sitting down to do a Buddy Review of the last book in Hailey Turner’s Soulbound series, A Veiled & Hallowed Eve. We have been waiting eagerly for this one!

Kris: We really have! And it was worth the wait, but while I’m satisfied with the way it all tied up, I’m definitely a little bit sad it’s over.

Jay: I know! It is always bittersweet when a beloved series winds up. I am eager for the last book, but also hesitant to start the ending. But I am happy to say I loved how Hailey Turner pulled this one together.

Kris: I 100% agree. This book hit the right notes for me, and it was everything it needed to be after everything the characters, and particularly Patrick, have been through.

Jay: Yep, agreed. There is so much going on here, so let’s break it down a bit. First up, we see Patrick reunite with his mother’s side of the family. He had been told he must stay away from them for their own safety, and until recently they thought he was dead. So now Patrick is having some uncertain feelings about reuniting with them.

I think Turner gets the tone just right here and shows some nice emotional vulnerability for Patrick. He is never going to be able to jump in and embrace them, at least right away, but he is starting to reconnect.

Kris: Yep. Definitely. I think you hit the nail on the head with the emotional vulnerability. Patrick has been hiding SO MUCH FOR SO LONG that it’s particularly hard for him to open up. He’s only just begun really doing it with Jono, Sage, and Wade. And now here’s this whole other new thing. He really shows and feels the hurt that stems from all those decisions made when he was eight.

But he also learns some things about that part of his family that cut him deep. And he has to deal with that as well.

Jay: Yes for sure. I think that was an interesting twist and I think there will be a long road for them to really reconnect fully. But it also highlights one of my favorite aspects of the series, which is the found family. And Patrick has his people and this is just a bonus. But I am glad that we got some closure of sorts with regard to his family, as it has been sort of an open issue.

Kris: Yeah. He’s been through so much and has been on his own for a long time. Other than Setsuna, his guardian and then boss. It was hard for him to open himself up to people, but he’s found them and has chosen them. He makes his decisions now based on that.

And speaking of Setsuna, I’m really glad they finally had a heart to heart. It really helped see exactly why their relationship is the way it is. I think this, plus the reconnecting with his mother’s family, plus the found family he’s made of his own, sets him up to finally live his life

Jay: Yes, agreed. Those were two big issues on which he needed closure. Patrick had it rough as a kid, and lots of decisions were made by people who had his best interest at heart, but may not have always made the right choices. Or the choices he would have wanted. So emotionally, Patrick needed to get some closure both with his family and with Setsuna, to have some honest conversations and come to a place of peace with them.

Kris: I absolutely agree with that

Jay: So last book we resolved a lot with the rival god pack, then the family and Setsuna here, so that really set the stage for the big final battle where they take on Ethan and the Dominion Sect and all I can say is wow! I thought the Paris fight scene was intense but Hailey Turner is amazing at choreographing these amazing, epic battles.

Kris: You said it. It is epic to be sure. Of course, it had to be. But there are so many moving parts, so many people, and Turner made it all work. Each step forward as they fought, each new God, Goddess, or ally who came into that part of the scene, all played their role. To be honest, every time a new character popped up for the next part of the battle, I had that swoop of “oh and here’s this person!” of excitement that they were there and fighting for what was right. It was truly well orchestrated, made sense for the set up Turner has laid the groundwork for, and each character played their part.

Jay: Yes, I had the same thought. It was like the “all stars” of Soulbound. All these folks who had played a role, good or evil, came back to participate in the big fight and that really made it epic. There was a sense of continuity to the past books that really made it all tie together so well.

And just purely in a physical sense, the battle takes up a huge portion of the book and the way that Turner was able to craft it so we could follow what was happening and who was where is so impressive. I’ll say, there were some spots in the middle that I thought could be trimmed, since it is a LOT of battle. But overall, I was so impressed with how she managed to get all these characters moved all over the city in a way that made sense and built to this final showdown.

Kris: It is a lot of battle and for me that built some of the anticipation to getting to that final showdown, but I wouldn’t have minded a little trimming. But when we got to that last part, and it was the final part of the battle, the big boss to borrow from video games, I was riveted. The biggest through thread throughout these seven books has been getting to this moment. And things I expected to happen did, which was oh so satisfying.

Jay: Yes, so good. I really am so impressed with how it all pulled together. The story felt epic in scope to fit the series and the way it has been building.

Ok, so we talked big moments, so how about some smaller ones. I have to say (yet again because I say this every time), how much I love Wade. And I love seeing him come into his own over these books. Here he really gets involved in the fighting, as well as being a source of support for his new family.

Kris: I was going to especially say the second thing. He has grown so much, especially into his confidence. He’s solid, because of his pack, and the love and support they give him, so he’s able to give it right back. He is not going to shy away from doing everything he can to be there for them and to keep them safe. Especially after what happened between Wade and Patrick in the last book, I love how he won’t back down. He’s not going to allow his people to be hurt if he can help it. He’s shown so much growth. But he still has his moments of funny that bring the levity.

Jay: Yes, he is such a great side character. Comic relief, but also with his own character arc and personal growth.

I also have to give a shoutout to my favorite random side duo, which is Spencer and his “lynx” Fatima! I love watching her gobble down all the bad spirits. It goes back to these folks we have met in past books reappearing here and getting to see them in action again.

Kris: The way Spencer runs headlong into battle, doing his thing, breaking souls, I love him and Fatima. And I love his role in the final moments of the battle

Jay: Yes for sure. And of course, in the end, it all comes down to Patrick and Jono. I loved their happy ending and how we finally see some peace for them.

Kris: Oh, man. Yes! It was everything I wanted it to be for them. Where Patrick was, finally, mentally and in his heart. They deserved every moment of their HEA. And how the reader just knows that going forward they will be living their life, loving each other, and caring for all the packs under their protection

Jay: Yes, totally agree. The ending was perfect for them and gets them to the exact place they want to be (and deserve to be). Finally free of some of their burdens, but still leaders in their pack and together with the people they love

Kris: Yes, that. So much so.

Jay: Ok, anything else you wanted to add?

Kris: I mean, I could actually talk about this series and this book in particular for hours, but I think we hit the major points.

Jay: lol, yes, there is a lot to unpack!

Ok, so final rating?

Kris: 4.75 for me. There are a couple of plot points I would have liked to see handled differently, but on the whole, it was everything it needed to be to tie up the series with utter satisfaction.

Jay: I’m going to go with 4.5, just because I felt like at times things could have been trimmed a bit. But I loved it and totally a worthy end to a fabulous series.

Kris: The world building is intricate and fully detailed, and most importantly consistent. It’s clever and engaging. I whole heartedly recommend this series to anyone looking for PNR.

Jay: Absolutely, particularly if you are looking for a series that you can really sink into and characters you can follow across many books.

Kris: Yes. It’s really immersive that way.

Jay: Ok, well, it has been so much fun buddy reviewing this series with you, and always great to hear your thoughts on the books! (And Elizabeth will be coming soon with her audio review for a third opinion.)

Kris: It’s been great buddy reviewing this series with you!

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