29 May 2012

ARC Review: Shadow Bound, by Rachel Vincent

 *Official release date for this title is June 1, but copies were available from May 22nd*

Author: Rachel Vincent

Title: Shadow Bound

Series: Unbound #2

Source: NetGalley

About the Book: 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…


My Thoughts: 

After Bood Bound left me on tenterhooks, I couldn't wait to read Shadow Bound. It's probably my biggest disappointment of 2012 so far. Here's the thing: Ms. Vincent creates world-building masterpieces. They are unique and grossing and just...fabulous. However, her characters usually incite a desire to do violence in me. Reading Shadow Bound made me angry in degrees. I started off angry about the mess the dead girl's selfishness had gotten all of them into. By the time I finished, I was seething at the foolishness of Kori and Ian. Enjoying this book to any degree depends heavily on being sympathetic to the characters, which I could not find it in me to do because they were all TSTL. Cast of Characters
  1. The Daniels Family: This is a world where any display of some power will attract attention from mobsters who are looking to add the skilled - willingly or unwillingly, to their numbers of minions. This hinges on Binders, the people whose specific skill it is to bind people's wills to their contracts (and so to the mobsters). You discover by painful experience that your sister is a very powerful binder, which guarantees the mobsters will be after her her entire life if they get wind of it. What do you do? Well, if you are Kori Daniels and her family, you "shelter" her. You don't research into how binding works; you don't teach her what she needs to protect herself from being discovered; you don't impress upon her the danger of her gift (esp. as a disaster has happened before); you don't teach her to be wary of people who ask for her blood and their motivations, and not to hand out her blood to her friends for friendship's sake.... knowing well that if she is caught, her skill will be spent binding lots of people to a life of horror and that her life will be spent in servitude to horrible people. No. You "shelter" her so she grows up to be a nincompoop. How is that any sort of intelligent decision? Exactly! It isn't. suffice it to say, Kenley is easily snared by Jake Towers and Kori goes with her to protect her. No intelligent life in this family. They knowingly laid the groundwork for this to happen. When people were telling Kori it wasn't her fault, I wanted to smack them. Yes it was! If they'd just exercised some common sense, they'd have nipped this in the bud before it begun, so that this story wouldn't be taking place.
  2. Kori Daniels: We already know she isn't intelligent. If to save your life and your sister's life you are asked to cozy up to some dude, will your modus operandus be to be rude and crass to him? But apparently, she doesn't know that you don't catch flies with vinegar. But rest assured that she catches Ian, who's a prize fool himself. Much was made of how strong and indomitable Kori's character was. I didn't see it. I saw instead a TSTL person who talked crassly. That's all. No substance, no depth, no integrity, no nothing. All those fights she won were sooooo unbelievable to me. I couldn't understand how one couldn't just shoot her in the head.
  3. Ian Holt: If you are on a mission to kill a stranger's sister to save your brother, a mission on which you can't afford to fail, do you spend your time agonizing over that stranger and whether they like you? Or about the urgency of your mission to save your brother's life?
  4. A closer look at Kenley Daniels reveals a girl as selfish as she is stupid. And she is that way because her family made her so.
Nope. I couldn't support these people and their lack of common sense, self-preservation and intelligence. If nothing else, the fear of having Kenley bind people to such horrors should have spurred the Daniels family into raising her to be sensible. So much blood is on their hands. Unfortunately the final book in this trilogy is to center on Kris, Kori and Kenley's brother. Owing to what we know about the lack of intelligence and common sense in this family, I'll be frank and admit that my hopes aren't very high. 0 butterflies for the characters; 2 butterflies for such a unique and wonderful world, and the promise it is denied by the nincompoops inhabiting it. If you do read this series, read it for the amazing world-building, not for the fool inhabitants.

1. Blood Bound - Excellent


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