Binds is Rebecca Espinoza's debut novel, and with it comes good and bad points, so I'll list the points.
The book had a great setup and premise. When being kidnapped is somehow a better state than the MC's original, I can't help but be intrigued; especially when the kidnapper does not mean any immediate violence or pain as some other novels present it to give a romanticized picture of abuse. No, what Bindsdoes is to take this kidnapping and turn it into something legitimate acceptable; and makes sure that our MC is able to learn about her abilities of creating binds.
The magic aspect. Not just the magic in itself, but the story behind the Mages, Faes and the divisions within the Mage race is as well fascinating. It's not just something simple that the author threw in there for the sake of it; no, it has a unique twist on it. And so has the magic in itself an own touch to how it can be used, who can use it, and how good a person can be in practicing it.
The writing/editing. For a self-published book, the quality of the editing is high. Very few errors in grammar could be spotted while reading. However, the writing was a bit too stilted for my tastes. This can be due to the first person POV and present tense, and I have no love for this narrative. So while I might not have appreciated this choice of narrative, it might not bother anyone else than is after the story more than the writing. It's not horrible nor bad, it's just not meant for me, and I knew this after a few pages.
The love triangle. I am no fan of this either, but for once I could understand the reasoning behind our MC, Ophelia, for fancying both men. At least I understood it somewhat, because I could not decipher any emotion between them, but from what we are told about their personalities, I understood it. Thus, I understood when being told they felt something because I could imagine it in my head, but I could not feel it in their actions. A bit contradicting, but my lack of romance conjured up this romance to satisfy the hunger.
Our MC, Ophelia. Here is the main reason I did not enjoy the book. Ophelia is that girl that when being told to do something that
will with certainly work, she does the opposite. I could not feel for her character even in the slightest. When she's thrown into a world she has no knowledge of, she still questions everything they tell her, and is rarely impressed or affected by the information they hand her unless she herself finds it important. Also, she is closer to perfect with nearly no major or minor flaw. Despite not having consciously used binds in her life, she is successful from the start and not too soon is questioning if she has exceed her teachers after a few weeks. Plus, she is said to be 27 year old, but she sounds as a teenager, even younger than myself.
The pacing/details of the story. This read a bit like many ideas scribbled down to make a story without the details. I would have appreciated more details, because as it is, the motives of the characters are still unknown to me, and I'd like for a faster pacing if not adding these details that would have made me feel the connections between the characters. Also the pacing should have been tighter, so not all the action was saved to the end; since Ophelia had no trouble learning how to handle her abilities this part became boring fast.
In whole though, I did find it a good debut novel even if it could use some polishing over all.