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I Belong

Early Review: Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland

Title: Vengeance Bound

Author: Justina Ireland

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: N/A

Publication Date: April 2, 2013

Format: Hardcover, 320 Pages

ISBN-10: 1442444622 (Simon Pulse)

ISBN-13: 978-1442444621 (Simon Pulse)

Reviewed by: Michelle


Cory Graff is not alone in her head. Bound to a deal of desperation made when she was a child, Cory’s mind houses the Furies—the hawk and the serpent—lingering always, waiting for her to satisfy their bloodlust. After escaping the asylum where she was trapped for years, Cory knows how to keep the Furies quiet. By day, she lives a normal life, but by night, she tracks down targets the Furies send her way. And she brings down Justice upon them.

Cory’s perfected her system of survival, but when she meets a mysterious boy named Niko at her new school, she can’t figure out how she feels about him. For the first time, the Furies are quiet in her head around a guy. But does this mean that Cory’s finally found someone who she can trust, or are there greater factors at work? As Cory’s mind becomes a battlefield, with the Furies fighting for control, Cory will have to put everything on the line to hold on to what she’s worked so hard to build.

Quick & Dirty: A retelling with promise, only to leave me feeling disconnected from the story.

Opening Sentence: Annie shakes my arm frantically, startling me awake from a nightmare of blood and nameless terror.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

I had a little trouble getting into Justina Ireland’s Vengeance Bound. The premise sounds great. Furies who inhabit a young woman to help her deal out justice and revenge. But once I started reading Vengeance Bound, I never really connected to the main character or the story itself. But there are so many factors why it didn’t work for me and why it could for you.

After a traumatic episode, Cory was institutionalized. Due to the Furies who take up residence in her internal psyche, Cory’s parents feared her, leaving no choice but to take residence in the mental hospital. But she fell victim to a certain doctor, and after months of slumbering Furies, she allowed them to awaken and wreck havoc. Cory was saved by the Furies, escaping into a life away from that danger. But the Furies weren’t satisfied with casting judgement on the doctor. Some time has passed and Cory and the Furies live in a new life, attempting normalcy during the day and passing judgement at night. Little by little the Furies are controlling her body, and the fight for normalcy is getting harder and harder. Will Cory survive her life and better yet, will she survive the Furies?

Cory is a strong character. With the events that Ireland has written for Cory, it was realistic to see her with flaws. Cory has these internal struggles within herself and with the Furies. They definitely don’t make it easier for Cory, at all. But I felt that her voice wasn’t fluid, losing her strength along the way. I couldn’t completely connect with her because of her actions and decisions. And I know that is the point of the Furies invading her mind, but it was just difficult to separate them. I couldn’t get a sense of who Cory really was, and it somewhat ruined the reading experience for me.

While attempting to live a normal life, Cory meets Niko. He has eyes that penetrate and Cory feels he is staring straight into her soul. Niko is the unrequited love interest. It is interesting to see how Cory and Niko interact with each other. Niko becomes infatuated with Cory and makes her question her whole world. She goes against every belief that she has been living with since she left the institution.

Vengeance Bound is dark, which is refreshing given the other choices in young adult at the moment. Ireland brings the main character to dark places and thoughts. A few moments had me contemplating if this should even be considered YA. There are graphic scenes, detailed to complete the mood and overall setting. Demons, murderers, demented minds make up for a lot of the judged and the things that happen to them aren’t for the faint of heart.

Vengeance Bound has a lot of promise. For the most part, it was fast-paced with twists and turns that I didn’t expect. I felt there were a few odd areas with slow and staggered pacing, but overall it was enjoyable. For myself, it was just okay, but like I’ve said my personal preferences may vary from yours.

Notable Scene:

We don’t have to kill him. How about a little pain, hmm? We can just break his arm. Megaera’s voice is so matter-of-fact that she could be talking about what she had for lunch.

Come on, Amelie. We’ll fix him up as good as new after We’ve had a little fun. Tisiphone’s whisper trails off into a high-pitched giggle.

I focus on my breathing, mentally steering Them back into the cage of my mind with the force of my will. While I’m doing  that, I turn around and pretend to peruse the selections in the vending machine. The Furies strain and fight, not ready to so easily take up residence back in my subconscious. I count backward from twenty, pushing  them back with concentration and some serious mental effort. After a few seconds of resistance, They retreat back into my subconscious, and I slam shut the barrier that keeps Them away. They howl in frustration, and I sweat from the effort.

FTC Advisory: Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy of Vengeance Bound. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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