Monday, 20 August 2012

Review: Shadow Bound by Rachel Vincent

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 it 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

I loved the first book in this series ‘Blood Bound’ which was released last summer. It was a gritty dark new adult world that really showcased Rachel Vincent’s writing, her world development, and her absolutely awesome imagination. So I was pretty excited to get my hands on ‘Shadow Bound’.

Whilst Shadow Bound was brilliant as I had been expecting, I did find it a lot harder to read than the first book in the series. The material is a lot heavier and darker and I found it actually physically gruelling and emotionally exhausting to read parts of the book. That didn’t diminish my overall enjoyment, it was just quite a shock to delve into such a heavy book when I hadn’t been anticipating it.
As a result it took me several days of dipping in and out to read it, and I felt a little wrung out by the end of it.

I loved Kori and Ian, they were a fantastically complex couple who I really fell in love with. They were flawed and selfish but ultimately desperate for redemption from the dark holes they’d fallen into. That and revenge, never forget the revenge. You didn’t really get a glimpse of this side of Kori in her brief appearance in the first book – mind you a lot of her trauma occurs after the events of the first book, and it was really good to see that flip side and the fall out for her after her actions in the first book.

Some of the acts of violence and destruction were horrific. Vincent takes her writing skills to a whole new level with this, because it is gritty and disturbing and horribly real. It feels as though you are right there with Kori and it ain’t a pretty ride.

‘Shadow Bound’ really plays with your emotions. Right from the first page it is twisted and horrid, but there a moments of pure happiness that cut through all of the agony and pain and make it all worthwhile. It’s depressing, but there is hope, and that is why it is worth it. The emotional payoff by the time I closed the book was definitely worth the heart breaking journey all the way through.

Vincent takes the world she’s set up in the first book, admittedly already quite dark and twisted and turns it inside out. The syndicates that we saw elements of in the first book look like playful kittens compared to the stuff we see when Kori has fallen from grace. It’s brutal in every way, and makes Kori one of the most compelling and heart breaking heroines I’ve read in some time.

I loved it. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting from Vincent, but at the same time it’s probably some of her best writing. There is a very big shift happening, each book Vincent writes is better than the last one, and the emotional turmoil is some of her darkest, but also some of her best writing. It was a hard book to read, but it was completely worth it. But I wish someone could have given me a heads up going in that I was heading down the rabbit hole.


  1. I love this series, and I thought Shadow Bound was beautifully written, even with the violence and the graphic descriptions of most of what happened.

    I, too, fell in love with Kori and Ian :)

    Great review :)

    1. Thanks for reading Lexxie! Which of the two books did you prefer in the series so far?