I doubt there is anything I can say in this review that will truly do this book justice, but I'll do my best as I would love for more people to start reading this amazing series. Blood Bound was my favorite book read in 2011 (which is saying something in a year where I also read books like Divergent, Incarnate, and the whole Fever-series!), and Shadow Bound was even better.
Rachel Vincent has created an incredible urban fantasy setting in her Unbound world. The city is ruled by two opposing crime syndicates, contracts are bound in blood or flesh, and nobody can ever truly feel safe with Jake Tower as their boss. Kori Daniels lives in the middle of this mess, as well as the bigger mess she created for herself by helping her friends in Blood Bound. Now she has finally gotten a chance to get back on her boss' good side; all she has to do is convince Ian Holt to sign away his life and skills to work for Tower. One of my favorite things about the setting of these books is the binding of contracts, making sure that you physically can not disobey a direct order from your boss without experiencing a lot of pain, to the point where that pain might kill you. So whether you want to follow orders or not really doesn't matter at all; you have no other choice.
Of course with a character with as much strength of will and attitude as Kori Daniels, you can bet she's going to be looking for every single loophole there is, and after her treatment (read: punishment) in Tower's basement thirst for vengeance and fear for her sister seems to be the only two things to keep her going. And so Kori is far from the quiet, easily manipulated young woman Ian expected to find and kill. The relationship between Kori and Ian gives "steaming hot" a new definition, and I just loved how they keep pushing each other, provoking and teasing and always testing the limits of what the other person can handle. I might have screamed "just do it already!" at my book more than once.
Ian was truly incredible. Yes, he's been sent to kill Kori's younger sister, but as he is not bound to anyone he has only his own rules to follow. I loved seeing him struggle, always trying to do the right thing, never wanting to hurt anyone but not being given much choice. And he always treats Kori so nicely, to the point where she doesn't even believe his actions are genuine, but I always had faith in Ian being a perfect gentleman. These two will without question be remembered as one of my favorite literary couples of all time, right along side Olivia and Cam from Blood Bound.
If you have ever read a book by Rachel Vincent, you already know that her stories are very fast-paced and full of action. There's no sitting around waiting for something to happen - her heroines go out and make things happen themselves. Shadow Bound is no exception, and you can expect scenes that will make you want to hit something in anger, to cry out in frustration, and to hold your breath and cross your fingers, hoping for everyone to make it out of this story alive. Heck I'm getting goosebumps right now just thinking about that one thing. My point is, if you haven't read Blood Bound yet you are missing out, and if you have you need to read this sequel as soon as freakin' possible!