Shadow Bound 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.See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I'm not used to having to be critical of anything Rachel Vincent writes, so bear with me.
If only the characters had been half as good as the worldbuilding, this would be a much more favorable review. But they weren't. Kori was grating from the start. I didn't believe anything about her. SHADOW BOUND begins with Kori being released from weeks of hellish torture where she was starved and brutalized in everyway possible. A couple weeks later she tops the scales at one hundred pounds and yet she knocks out massive skilled body guards and attackers left and right. Didn't buy it. Nor did I buy how quickly she started having romantic/lust filled emotions for Ian hours after meeting him (considering her rape and torture only two weeks ago). Worse still was the complete lack of chemistry between these two. Kori was over the top hard with temper issues, endless clichéd gripes, and one stupid move after the next (every time they go outside they get attacked...the solution is to obviously keep going outside and act surprised when an attack happens). Ian wasn't much brighter. He has an endgame that will 100% make Kori loathe him forever, but he wonders constantly about making sure her feelings for him are genuine.
Beyond Kori and Ian's lack of intelligence, everything else felt ridiculously contrived. Why exactly is Kori picked for this crazy important assignment? Why is she allowed to stay on this assignment when she tries to sabotage it the first time she opens her mouth? Why do Kori and Ian conveniently forget that their loved ones will die if they don't get the other to do something horrible and instead go on dates and share flirtatious backstories? Why does no one think to look for them at Kori's house when they run off? I can't count how many times I wondered why the easy, obvious action/answer wasn't picked. I just didn't get it.
I'm a huge Rachel Vincent fan. I gave the first book in the Unbound series a 5/5 rating so I was more than ready to love SHADOW BOUND just as much, but even though the worldbuilding is truly excellent and Rachel does write well, this time neither the characters nor the storyline lived up to it. Fortunately there will be two new characters leading the story in OATH BOUND when it comes out in 2013. I have to hope this installment was a fluke and that the next book will be just as killer as the first.
References to rape and torture. One sex scene.
Kori is recovering after being tortured and asked to prove herself by recruiting someone into the syndicate. With little choice she meets Ian, a Blinder with significant power. The syndicate's leader, Jake Tower, tells her to do anything to recruit him. Being the rebel that Kori is, this means she shows Ian all the negative things about being part of a syndicate so he will make an informed decision. Little does she know that Ian has an ulterior motive.
The book legitimately made me pissed off for Kori. She was tortured, and treated like crap and I felt really bad for her. I found Kori to be an interesting character and made me want to read more. The writing is amazing, as usual for a Rachel Vincent novel. If you have enjoyed any of her previous work I highly suggest you read this series. If you haven't read a Rachel Vincent book, do yourself a favor and go buy one now!
This installment focuses on the darker skills, namely shadow-walking and blinding. Right off the bat I felt a connection between Kori and Ian because their gifts are similar in nature and work in tandem. Even though they do manage to resist each other in the beginning it was obvious that they'd become involved sooner rather than later. As a result, there is a certain degree of predictability to the plot that made the story not as enthralling to read as Blood Bound. Although, Rachel does explore the limitations of certain skills and explains how a syndicate contract actually works which I found intriguing and nicely explained.
It was impossible not to immediately feel something for poor Kori. When we first hook-up with her she's being released from "the basement" after 6 impossibly long weeks of torture, rape and humiliation. Needless to say, she's not too happy with her boss at the moment and the last thing that she expects to find is love. I enjoyed her spunk, fearlessness and snark. Kori is fiercely defensive of her sister and will never hesitate to protect her at all cost. Ian is smart, determined and loyal; his world gets knocked on its ass when he meets miss Daniels. Together their chemistry wasn't exactly what it could have been but they still manage to have a couple of really great moments.
The story took a little too long to take off in my opinion. I found that the character development dragged and the main plot didn't actually kick in until several chapters later. I hate to say it but there was an instance where I was actually a little bored. Vincent also introduces a bunch of new skills without really explaining them which I found disappointing considering she did such a stellar job in the detail department in Blood Bound.
Even though Rachel Vincent didn't hit it out of the park with Shadow Bound you can't help but be swept away by her exceptional writing and superior storytelling.
Vincent's second in the Unbound series is darker and more intense than the first while still managing to have the same superior world building. Shadow Bound follows a new couple - Kori and Ian - in the same world as Blood Bound. Before beginning this story I knew it would be different from book one because of its focus on Kori, a tough and stubborn character with questionable morals - and that was just what we gleamed from her short appearance in Blood Bound.
However, at the beginning of Shadow Bound Kori is in a very different situation. She is being punished for aiding the main characters from book one in getting into her boss' house. She has been thrown into a special dark room in the basement where infrared lights keep her from 'walking in the shadows' to escape. She has been beaten, tortured, raped, and broken.
"If you live in the dark long enough you start to forget what light looks like." - Kori
Kori is released from her makeshift prison in order to complete a task for her horrible boss, Jake Tower. She is needed to recruit Ian Holt into Tower's mob-like syndicate. I really loved all of Kori and Ian's interactions, which is good since that's how 80% of the book takes place. Kori and Ian each have their reasons for not trusting the other and each has their own secret agenda, especially Ian. He has come to solve a problem that will save someone close to him and he constantly tries to remind himself that he is there with a goal in mind. He is not their to sign his life away to Tower, but unfortunately that's what Kori needs him to do. Kori battles with bringing Ian into the syndicate, which would make Tower happy and keep her sister safe, and the fact that she is dooming this man to a life under the thumb of a cold and depraved boss.
If you read the first Unbound book, you will remember that the story was told from Liv and Cam's alternating points of view. In Shadow Bound, the story alternates between Kori and Ian's POV, but Vincent makes things a lot less confusing by labeling each chapter with whose point of view it is told from. This was a big plus for me.
Kori's POV was almost certainly the most difficult to write, although seeing her through Ian's eyes was almost just as painful. She is definitely a dark and twisty character, someone not used to being so vulnerable. As you can imagine, she is quite a bit messed up after her time in Tower's basement and her fear for her sister, her attempt to keep Ian at arm's length, and her conflicting feelings about convincing Ian to sign with Tower all roll together into a big ball of crazy. Despite her frailness, she is still a skilled a** kicker when need be. She is a wonderful and faulted character that I really enjoyed.
"I stared at her, awed by her strength and determination. She'd done time in a hell I could only imagine, and come out intact. 'I feel sorry for all the people who will die without ever meeting you, Kori. But the selfish part of me is happy, because I don't even want to share you with the people you already know. Most of them don't deserve you.'" - Ian
Ian is, of course, a wonderful balance to Kori. He is strong and sexy, but knows when to be honest and gentle with Kori. He has some secrets that come out slowly throughout the story, much like Liv and Cam's secrets in book one.
The world of the Skilled and the powerful syndicates that want them is expertly written and fascinating. Vincent pulls you into this unique world and builds in more and more layers as the story goes on. Characters from book one, including Liv and Cam, make appearances in the book in useful ways - meaning that they don't just pop up for no reason. As much as I was disappointed that we wouldn't get a whole series devoted to Cam and Liv, I am now glad to have been able to read Kori's story.
Recommended for fans of: dark and faulted characters, unique world building, Rachel Vincent series, and fantasy without paranormal creatures.
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