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Shadow Bound (An Unbound Novel) Mass Market Paperback – May 22, 2012
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"One of my favorite authors! I always look forward to a Rachel Vincent book."
-New York Times bestselling author Jeaniene Frost
"Blood Bound offers a little something for everyone: a convincing magical system for urban-fantasy fans; for romance readers, a love that time and distance can't break; and a twist-and-turn plot for mystery buffs....A gritty, dangerous world of sorcerous bindings and forbidden love."
"With Blood Bound, Vincent has created an original new paranormal universe full of interesting characters with awesome powers or Skills, as they are called in the book. Readers will enjoy getting to know Liv, an exciting heroine with a complicated past."
-RT Book Reviews
"Blood Bound is a strong, cohesive work founded on a unique paranormal premise and will lead nicely to the rest of the trilogy."
"[A]ction-packed, clever, and full of twists...a series into which everyone interested in the paranormal genre can sink their teeth.
-The Romance Reader Reviews
About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent loves good chocolate, comfortable jeans, and serial commas. She’s older than she looks and younger than she feels, but is convinced that for every day she spends writing, one more day will be added to her lifespan. Now absorbed in the dark, tangled loyalties of her UNBOUND world, as well as the travails of a teenage banshee in her SOUL SCREAMERS world, Rachel can be found online at www.rachelvincent.com or urbanfantasy.blogspot.com.
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If you live in the dark long enough, you begin to forget the light...
KORI DANIELS is a shadow-walker, able to travel instantly from one shadow to another. After weeks of confinement for betraying her boss, she's ready to break free of the Tower syndicate for good. But Jake Tower has one final job for Kori, one chance to secure freedom for herself and her sister, Kenley, even if that means taking it from someone else... The job? Recruit Ian Holt--or kill him.
Ian's ability to manipulate the dark has drawn interest from every syndicate in the world, most notably an invitation from Jake Tower. Though he has no interest in organized crime, Ian accepts the invite, because he's on a mission of his own. Ian has come to kill Tower's top Binder: Kori's little sister. Amid the tangle of lies, an unexpected thread of truth connecting Ian and Kori comes to light. But with opposing goals, they'll have to choose between love and liberty....
Why did I pick this?
If you don't know by now, you should know that Rachel Vincent is my favorite author. I fell in love with this world in Blood Bound. I could not wait to get myhands on the second book in this series. I think I actually drooled a little bit. ;-)
What did I think?Like I mentioned above, RV is my favorite author so I might be a little biased. But.... From the very beginning paragraph, the mood is set for the entire book.
If you live in the dark long enough, you start to forget what light looks like. What it feels like. You may remember it in an academic sense. Illumination. A possible source of heat. But after a while those abstract memories are all you have left, and they're worth less than the memory of water to a man dying of thirst.
I've always thought Vincent had a way with words. This has to be one of the best first paragraphs I've read in a while. Unlike the first book in this series, Blood Bound, this is told from the point of view of Kori and Ian. If you haven't read the first book, beware of spoilers.
In Blood Bound, we were introduced to this world where a man's life is his word. And you are bound to it. It was a very interesting twist to that expression. I loved the world that Vincent created. It was dark and so unlike anything I've read before.
In this second book, it picks up right after what happened with Kori and Jake Tower. Kori went against Tower's orders and got him shot. Which is a bad thing considering he is her boss and she was his guard.
I was in total captivation the entire time. I had no idea what was going to happen next. None. Vincent kept throwing punches and Kori kept taking them.
Let's talk about Kori. Wow. Just wow. Really. Kori has been through some shiz. For real. But she also has to be one of the strongest, caring, most badass chicks there are out there. There were times where I did an actual fist pump for her and the next, I wanted to cuddle her up.
Ian. Is. Hot. I loooooved him. Dark, daring and so strong. I loved how Kori was hard where Ian was soft. It's usually the other way around. He was the perfect match to Kori's crazy. They both complimented each other so well. I didn't think that Vincent could top Faythe Sanders in a badass chick, but she just did with Kori.
One of the things that I loved about this book is the unpredicatbility of it and the fact that every decision that had to be made was practically life or death choice. That was the world. They lived in it. Every day. I couldn't imagine what that would truly be like. Kori gives a damn good idea though.
It's so hard to talk about a book without having any spoilers. I truly cannot do this any justice.
Rachel Vincent has done it again. I've never read a book of hers that I did not like. She is a brilliant author. Period. Now I seriously cannot wait until the next installment.
Kori- Once those milling in the entry had their chance to see me, Nina guided me into the main event. Into the snake pit, where every hiss would feel like praise and every bitelike a deep, hot kiss. The venom would flow like honey, too think to swallow, but too sweet to entirely resist. -Pg 28
Ian-When she didn't object, I pulled her closer, until our knees were touching. "I want you. I want only you. I want all of you. But I'll take whatever you're ready to give." -Pg 301
The story is told from Kori's first-person point of view, and then from Ian's first-person point of view. It switches back and forth each chapter, which I enjoyed. You may remember this format from the first book, when it switched between Olivia and Cam... And what the heck every happened to Cam and Olivia, I wondered while reading? Well, we find out. They all make appearances, and continue to play vital roles to the plot in very new and interesting ways. An appearance is even made by that rank <edited> Michaela.
The great thing about Rachel Vincent's storytelling is that anything goes with her. There are no guarantees of anything, and never assume there will be a happy ever after waiting for you at the end. With that being said, I have to say that I am super pleased with how this book played out. Ms. Vincent kept this very intense tone of dread pretty consistently throughout the entire novel, particularly because the first book in the series, Blood Bound, ended with such a whammy. We watch the hero, Ian, and our kickass heroine, Kori, fall in love, but know the other shoe is going to drop. The anticipation of waiting to see who will be betrayed, and who will ultimately outsmart everyone in the game makes for a very intense experience. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the evens unfold between Kori and Ian.
I thought Shadow Bound was smart, well paced, with all the dark and grit I like my Urban Fantasies to have. The world building is really top notch, and there is a lot of complexity in the storyline with several different games being played, and various Binding going on that make it suspenseful. With the way it plays out, I almost felt like it was the end to a series, but that couldn't be... Only 2 books?? I was super pleased to see a third book listed for release in 2013, Oath Bound. You had better believe I will be reading it!
Ian has his own reasons for bringing himself to Jake's attention. Ian brother Steven is dying from breaking an oath that was bound by Kori's sister Kenley. Ian wants to get close enough to Kenley to kill her in order to free his brother.
Once he meets Kori his plans undergo a revision. He falls for her because of her courage and strength. Unfortunately, Kori has been ordered to do whatever Ian wants so she can't trust his feelings or her own.
This was an amazingly difficult book to read because Kori had so many awful things happen to her. She is bound to Towers's service in order to protect her sister Kinley but she feels, and is, powerless against the bonds that have been imposed on her by Jake Towers. Ian also has a very difficult time because, for a while, it looks like he will be forced to choose between his brother and Kori. It doesn't look like there is a way to save both of them.
This is the middle book in a trilogy and has the same wonderful world building as the first book. People who have Skills are bound by oath into crime syndicates. They literally cannot break orders given to them by their masters. There is no way out for the most Skilled. As long as they have people the love, harm to those loved ones can be used as a threat to keep the Skilled one in line.
I can't wait to read the third book in this series to see how things are resolved.