Friday, 29 June 2012

Review of SHADOW BOUND by Rachel Vincent

Title: SHADOW BOUND (Unbound #2)
Source: eARC via NetGalley
Publish Date: May 22nd 2012

*I hereby award this book 5 wings!*

I first heard about this book when I saw Rachel holding a giveaway of signed postcards on Twitter. I entered and was lucky enough to receive 20 of them. I was so excited, these cards were the first swag I had won. I was relatively new to blogging at the time. I knew I wanted to give them away (or 19 of them anyway). It was then that I decided I needed to read BLOOD BOUND (Unbound #1) and come up with a question for people to answer. This was to be my first giveaway and I was very excited. 

So anyway, I read BLOOD BOUND and fell in love with the way Rachel Vincent writes. She is a woman of great talent and if I could aspire to write like anyone, it would be her.  Why? Well you'll have to read her books to find out, but if you want to know what I thought of SHADOW BOUND, listen up!

Initially I had expected SHADOW BOUND to pick up where BLOOD BOUND left off (I won't re-hash that ending here in case you haven't read it for yourself). So it was a shock when I read the blurb and it said it wasn't about Olivia and Cam. This time it was about Kori and Ian.
At the end of BLOOD BOUND, I have to say I didn't like Kori Daniels. It wasn't a festering hate, but she had left me feeling like if I met her again, I wouldn't care if something bad happened to her.
So yet another shock came to me when I read her story and not only learned to like her, low and behold I actually felt real feelings for her. 

I can't tell you what Kori did to make me dislike her. If you've read BLOOD BOUND, I expect you know exactly what I am talking about - if you haven't, then you really need to go and read it. 
But I can tell you that Kori more than redeemed herself and not only did I actually have feelings for the girl in the end, I actually cried TWICE along the way. That was a shocker, let me tell you.

So what is this book all about?

Kori Daniels is a shadow walker. She works on the West side of town in the employ of Jake Tower. He is a pretty despicable man, sort of like a mob boss only, much worse. If you can't imagine anything worse than the typical mob boss, you haven't met Tower. He is indescribable. Mere words cannot make you understand what kind of power he holds and frequently wields over those who work for him.

Tower uses everyone in his employ for their Skills. He has people who can do any number of things. Kori's sister works for Tower. She is his Binder. One of the strongest Binders there is. Whether verbally or by blood, Kenley binds Tower's people to his service for the term of the contract, whether that be 5 years, 10 years etc. They end up with a tattooed mark on their arm that identifies them as Tower's staff and also makes people aware of where exactly they are in the chain of command, what their Skills are.

Kori was bound to Tower as his shadow walker and as part of his security team. But Kori is out of favour with Tower and now she is held in a cell in the basement. She is unable to shadow walk out because of the infra-red grid, making it so that there are no true shadows for Kori to put to use. 

Tower lets Kori out of the basement after 6 weeks. He has an assignment for her. She is to recruit Ian Holt. Ian is a powerful Blinder, he can draw shadows to him and create darkness. Needless to say this is a Skill that Tower would rather he could put to use than let his opponent, Reuben Cavazos get his hands on.
If Kori can't recruit him, she must bring him in so that his blood can be harvested. Tower will have Ian, one way or the other.

Upon meeting, Kori is instantly rude to Ian, it's in her nature to be more than a tad aggressive. So they are immediately on the back-foot. Something Tower makes Kori rectify because he won't have her tendency toward rudeness stand in the way of him acquiring Ian and his Skill. 

Kori is supposed to think of Ian as nothing more than a recruit and her only way to stay out of the basement that had been her own personal prison for the last 6 weeks. But with his good looks, charisma and witty banter, Ian is becoming harder to recruit. Kori knows what will happen to Ian if she doesn't manage to get him to sign with Tower. But she also knows what will happen to him if he does sign. So she's in a quandary and will tie herself up in knots trying to do the right thing.

But Ian has an ulterior motive for saying that he will sign with Tower's syndicate. He doesn't intend to sign with anyone, he wants to disappear off everyone's radar.  But there is something he must do fist. Kill Kenley Daniels.
Kenley bound Ian's brother Steven and he's dying because of a contract breach and no-one knows what to do. 
Ian's plan is to get into Tower's home and kill Kenley, thus unbinding everyone she ever bound. 

But Ian starts to rethink his plan when he's confronted with aggressive, obnoxious Kori. There's just something about the fact that she calls a spade, a spade. He likes her for the fact that she's all rough edges and sharp angles. She's infuriating, yes, but she's also pretty and funny. He gets through to the softer side I never thought Kori even possessed.

So it seems that both Kori and Ian have choices that they must face. What will the outcome be?

From beginning to end, I was sucked into SHADOW BOUND. The world is intricately crafted, unique and very very scary. Tower and his men are among the worst I have encountered - only rivalled by Reuben Cavazos on the other side of the river.
As I said at the start, I was not Kori's number one fan. But as this story unravelled, I was drawn in and made to feel what it must be like to be her. Her world is scary as all Hell. She must obey Tower's every order or face resistance pain, or worse yet, another stint in the basement. Kori's world is not as black and white as the surface may appear.

I love how from the moment I picked it up, this book was an action-packed roller coaster of events. There were highs, there were lows. But in amongst all the ugly, scary things, there was a glimmer of something prettier, sweeter. Something that could bloom regardless of all the ugliness surrounding it. What was that thing?... Guess or read it for yourself! My lips are sealed.

I am in awe of the way Rachel Vincent has created such an intricate world with the good, the bad and the ugly. She has created some of my favourite characters in books to date. I still think about Liv Warren and Cam Cabellero from book 1, even though it's been about 8 months since I read it and I am now fully committed to being on Team Kori & Ian. 
I even like the bad guys in the Unbound series. If nothing else, they are memorable characters. 

Did I love this book? 100% I did. Should you read it? Damn straight you should. So if you haven't already, pick up a copy of BLOOD BOUND and settle in for a long and bumpy ride. Then pick up a copy of SHADOW BOUND and settle in for an even more tumultuous ride. 

These are the first two books by Rachel Vincent that I have read and I can tell you now, that woman has a fan-girl for life! For any of you doubting my commitment to RV and her books, check out my tattoo...

This is on my left forearm and it's the saying that Liv Warren has tattood on her in book 1. It means I Yield To No-One. A sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with!

Thanks to Net Galley for being there to provide me with this eARC and thanks Harlequin for accepting my request to read and review it.

Thank you one and all who dropped by to read my review! Hope to see you back soon!

Available on Amazon, Book Depository, Barnes & Noble and all good book sellers.


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