Series: Unbound #2
Published by Harlequin MIRA on 5/22/12
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Source: Mel's Magnificent Library
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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….
Shadow Bound is the second book in Rachel Vincent’s dark, gritty Unbound trilogy. It picks up six weeks after the events in Blood Bound and tells the story of Kori Daniels, Skilled Traveler (shadow walker), former bodyguard of Jake Tower and childhood friend of Liv, the heroine in Blood Bound. To get a little insight into the series, you can find my review of Blood Bound here.
From the moment Kori walked onto the page in Blood Bound I knew I was going to love her. She’s snarky, foul-mouthed and violent. In other words, she’s my kinda girl. I couldn’t wait to get to know her better as she made a huge impression on me in the brief period of time she was in the first book. I was beyond thrilled when I found out that book two was about her.
Where Blood Bound told Liv’s story from the perspective of the Cavazos syndicate, Shadow Bound shows life on the other side; what it’s like to live under the rule of tyrant, Jake Tower and the Tower syndicate. When Liv said that Reuben Cavazos was the lesser of two evils boy did she speak the truth. Where Cavazos was ruthless, manipulative and cruel but likeable (well at least for me), Tower is a sick, twisted frak. He is demented and evil which seems to be a family trait as his brother and sister are just as whacked as he is. To give you an idea of just how sadistic Jack Tower is, here’s what Kori had to say about him:
Jake Tower was the heart of the Tower syndicate. We -the initiates – were the lifeblood of the organization, but Tower was the pump that kept us flowing through the veins and arteries of this living machine. He pushed the buttons and pulled the strings, and we belonged to him, all of us, bound into service, sealed in flesh, by blood and by name. We lived and died according to his will. And we obeyed because obedience was a physical mandate.
Jake Tower broke Kori for events (in Blood Bound) that she had no control over. He put her in the basement where she was starved, tortured, raped and deprived of her Skill for almost six weeks. Tower only released Kori to recruit Ian Holt, an incredibly talented and Unbound Blinker (a person who can create darkness out of light). Not only is Ian’s Skill rare, he’s also incredibly gifted. Jake threatened Kori with her worst nightmare if she doesn’t get Ian to sign with the Tower syndicate. She doesn’t want to trap anyone into the life but she will sacrifice Ian’s freedom to protect her sister, Kenley. It’s a decision that Kori struggles with as she gets to know Ian. Little does she know that he has an agenda of his own; to work his way into the Tower Syndicate and kill Kori’s little sister.
Throughout Shadow Bound we learn that there is more to Ian than meets the eye and I really liked him. We also see just how damaged Kori is; she suffers from PTSD and has MAJOR trust issues. Who can blame her, right? Not only is her story incredibly gritty, it was also an emotional roller coaster that I didn’t want to get off of. I wanted so much for this rude, crude and socially unacceptable girl to know some kind of peace that I just couldn’t put the book down. It took Ian, an accepting yet complicated man with demons of his own to fight, to bring light into Kori’s ever present darkness. The journey to fix Ian’s problem without causing more pain for Kori was a constant struggle but was brilliantly written. I really loved them together.
I’ve always been drawn to mentally and physically scarred characters (hello Zsadist!) and Kori was no exception. That being said, it’s not often that I completely fall for a female character but I did with this book. Kori Daniels broke my heart in the same way the tortured Ivy Tamwood from Kim Harrison’s Hollows series did.
Just because I have to share, here are two of my favorite Kori quotes:
“I’m pretty good with knives. I’m so good, in fact, that I could sever your testicles with one hand and slice open your throat with the other, and you’d go into shock so fast you’d die without even knowing you’d spilled a fucking drop of blood.”
“Let me the hell out of here or I’m going to rip your head off and finger paint with your fucking gray matter!”
Like I said, violent and foul-mouthed; my kinda girl. Kori’s a character that (even a couple of weeks after reading the book) I just can’t seem to let go of. That to me is brilliant character development and outstanding writing.
Rachel Vincent is a masterful storyteller. Just when you think she couldn’t possibly top a book, she releases a new one and takes it to another level. If you are an urban fantasy fan and aren’t reading Rachel Vincent, you really should be. She’s wildly imaginative, has a voice unlike any author I’ve read and she isn’t afraid to get inside a tortured character’s mind for your entertainment.
I give Shadow Bound 5 stars but would give it 10 if I could. It was emotionally gripping, dark, disturbing and by far the best urban fantasy book I’ve had the pleasure of reading in 2012. Run, don’t walk to your nearest-and-dearest book peddler and grab this series. It’s worth every penny you’ll spend on it.
© 2012 – 2013, xmelaniexthomasx. All rights reserved.
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