Friday, May 25, 2012

Rachel Vincent's Shadow Bound

Shadow Bound is the second novel in the “Unbound” series and takes place six weeks after the events of Blood Bound. From the synopsis, you know that this is the Korrine (Kori) Daniels and Ian Holt story to tell.

While Kori was suffering extreme abuse at the hands of Jack Towers crew for betraying him, Ian was catching the fancy of not only Tower, but Ruben Cavazos as well with his ability to turn an entire hockey rink dark from the outside in.

Kori is known as a Shadow Walker (Traveler). She can easily step into a shadow in one room, and appear in another shadow somewhere else. She can also see in the dark like a vampire. Kori’s sister Kenley is a powerful Binder and because of Kenley’s worth, Kori agreed to be binded to Tower in order to protect her from harm. Kori is fiercely protective of her younger sister knowing that if she’s not around, Kenley is a sitting duck to all kinds of abuse.

Tower gives Kori an assignment to redeem herself for the Blood Bound mess: recruit Ian Holt or kill him if he refuses. Kori is to be his recruiter and liaison and ensure that he signs with Tower before anyone else can get their hooks into him. Kori’s first meeting with Ian happens nearly 8 weeks after she was put into a locked room and abused and it’s not all sunshine and lollypops. Yes, there is a huge catch to luring Ian into Tower’s web, but, I shalt not spoil it for anyone.

Ian Holt is a Blinder, which is rare, and unbound to any syndicate – no oath of loyalty or service. As an Independent, he knows that he will either have to sign with someone soon, or go on the run for the rest of his life. When Holt is first identified, he is on a mission to eliminate Kenley Daniels and to save his twin brother. By killing the Binder, the binding fails to hold and those who were bound are set free.

Lately, I’ve been having a hit and miss affair with Vincent’s work. While I disliked Blood Bound and its characters; I found Kori and Ian’s story much more interesting and appealing. The suspense, action, romance, and world building was much more in tune to what I expected from her Shifters series.

I also liked the fact that Vincent identified which characters were being portrayed by separating the chapters into odd and even. Kori gets the odd numbered chapters, while Ian gets the even. Unlike Blood Bound where I was totally clueless as to which character was actually speaking at the time.

I liked Kori’s characterization because she is so damaged and not perfect by any means. Yet, she is also strong willed, and tries to do whatever she can to break Towers hold on her. She knows that she is the only person who can save her sister, and will put herself through hell in order to achieve that goal. Yet, she's not a Mary Sue character where she will fall down and go gaga over a love interest like Ian. The romance was slowly building and came while the two were trying to save their respective love one's from further harm.

If you’re wondering about Cameron and Olivia Warren and whether or not they play any part in this story, yes they do. Cameron is the only man alive to have gotten out of his contract with Jake Tower and now he works for Cavazos with Olivia. Not all that surprising since this story is in the same universe as Blood Bound.

This is actually a step away from the Urban Fantasy world we are all used to. While Vincent doesn’t have any vampires, shifters, or fey, she does have a special breed of humans called Skilled. These people can be anything from Readers, to Binders, to Travelers. For me, a person who loves the supernatural, every now and again it's nice to have a different breed of paranormal characters.

Favorite quotes/lines:

“Don't believe a word they say. Don't let your guard down. And do not make friends.”

“Some lies between sisters are okay. Some are forgivable. Some are unavoidable.”

“I'm pretty good with knives. I'm so good, in fact, that I could sever your testicles with one hand, and slice open your throat with the other, and you'd go into shock so fast you'd die without ever knowing you'd spilled a fucking drop of blood."

“I hate it when women starve themselves to achieve some stupid physical ideal that only looks natural on a twelve-year old. Men don't want women who look like children. Not real men, anyway."

“You're the most dangerous weapon he has, armed with nothing but the tongue in your mouth. And what a nice mouth it is.”

*ARC Recv'd via Netgalley for Harlequin UK. Released May 22, 2012

Author: Rachel Vincent
Title: Shadow Bound
Publisher: Harlequin UK
Released: May 22, 2012

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