Series: Unbound #1
Published by Harlequin MIRA on 9/1/11
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Source: Mel's Magnificent Library
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Bound by blood, condemned by fate
As a bloodtracker, Liv is extremely powerful. And in a world where power is a commodity that can get you killed, Liv's learnt to survive by her own rules.
Rule number one? Trust no one.
But when a friend's daughter goes missing, Liv is bound by a potent magical oath. She can't rest until the child is safe.
And that means trusting her dangerous ex, Cam.
A sinister prophecy tells that she and Cam will be the death of each other, yet Liv's tired of being a slave to destiny. She's ready to play the forces controlling her world at their own game.
No matter what the cost.
Smash wants to preface this review with a HUGE THUMBS UP.
Listen to Mel. She knows what she’s talkin’ bout!
“Only two-thirty in the morning, and I already had blood on my hands.”
What an opening line! Rachel Vincent has managed to once again create an incredibly original paranormal world that draws you in and leaves you wanting more. I love both her Shifters and Soul Screamers series and was really curious what she would do with this book. The concept was really intriguing and original but was it enough to build a world on? Oh hell yes, it is! I was sucked in from the opening line and stayed up way too late just because I had to know how it ended. I literally could not put this book down. I didn’t want to eat, I didn’t want to sleep. I just wanted to sit my happy ass on the couch and read until I couldn’t hold my eyes open anymore. That’s how engrossed I was.
In the Unbound world there are Skilled and Un-Skilled people and your word is your bond. If you agree to something and take an oath, you are bound to that person until that agreement is fulfilled. If not, you suffer the consequences; excruciating pain which can lead to death. The government doesn’t recognize the Skilled but uses them for their abilities off book. Because they aren’t regulated by the government, mafia-like crime syndicates have set up shop and taken over. In this case, the city is split; Jake Towers controls the West and Ruben Cavazos controls the East, leaving one small, neutral area in the city. The syndicates take what they want through manipulation, coercion and sometimes even kidnapping and murder. Liv is a blood Tracker and is caught in the middle. Though she’s a freelancer, she bound herself to Cavazos, a man she hates, because she felt she had no choice. She lives a miserable, lonely life to protect the man she ran from six years ago. She wants to be free to live her life even if it is empty.
One night while out of a run she finds Cam, Name Tracker and love of her life, waiting for her. He tells her a friend needs her help. Liv doesn’t want to help her but has no choice, she’s been bound to Anne since she was 12 years old. In order to track the person that killed Anne’s husband, Liv must work with Cam and hope that her deepest fears don’t come true.
I loved, loved, loved this book! It was a great beginning to a trilogy that has a lot of potential for development. While each book will focus on a different set of characters, Unbound is far more urban fantasy than paranormal romance though there are romantic aspects throughout. The characters are intriguing and I actually found myself really liking the bad guy, which doesn’t happen very often. Cavazos is a man you really don’t want to frak with. He’s dangerous, twisted and cruel but the connection between him and Liv was so chilling that I couldn’t stop thinking about him when the book was over. I wanted to hate him but I just couldn’t; he simply fascinated me.
One of the many things I love about Rachel Vincen’ts style of writing is that she not only invests in the main characters but the secondary characters, as well. The main characters in Blood Bound were great. I really felt for the struggle both Liv and Cam had to go through and wanted to see them beat the odds and end up together. Though I found Anne a bit annoying, I loved Kori and can’t wait to see what’s in store for her. She’s angry, snarky and her Skill is super cool; I’m looking forward to learning more about it. So glad Kori’s book, Shadow Bound, is next.
Rachel Vincent is a must read author for me. If you are a fan of dark urban fantasy and are tired of reading the same old thing, give Blood Bound a shot. It’s very imaginative, will hook you from line one and is hands down my favorite urban fantasy book released in 2011.
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