Title: Shadow Bound
Author: Erin Kellison
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: June 29, 2010
Format: Paperback, 322 Pages
ISBN-10: 0505528290 (Dorchester)
ISBN-13: 978-0505528292 (Dorchester)
Synopsis (Product Description):
Some people will do anything to avoid it. Even trade their immortal souls for endless existence.
Secretly, inexorably, they are infiltrating our world, sucking the essence out of unsuspecting victims with their hideous parody of a kiss.
Adam Thorne founded the Institute to study and destroy his monster of a brother, but the key to its success is held in the pale, slender hand of a woman on the run. There is something hauntingly different about Talia O’Brien, her unknowing sensuality, her uncanny way of slipping into Shadow.
This is the place between life and what comes after – a dark forest of fantasy, filled with beauty, peril, mystery. And Talia is about to open the door.
Quick & Dirty: This is a fascinating tale of things that go bump in the night.
Opening Sentence: A light in deepest Shadow.
Talia O’Brien has done extensive research on wraiths and even has details about the mysterious Shadowman. As a result, she’s caught the attention of Adam Thorne, founder of the Segue Institute. Adam is dedicated to studying wraiths, their weaknesses, and ultimately learn how to kill them. Soon, Talia finds herself on the run from these soul-sucking creatures. Shocked and horrified by witnessing the violent death of her roommate, Talia is forced to go underground. Adam believes that Talia’s knowledge will help him find the answers he’s been looking for, and to his surprise he learns that she has her own powerful abilities.
Shadow Bound is Erin Kellison’s debut novel. Although the prologue was verbose and I found myself stumbling over paragraphs at times, I’m very pleased to say that Shadow Bound does not disappoint. This is a well-written, multilayered tale that unravels nicely with detailed world-building. Ms. Ellison succeeds in crafting creative secondary characters and an impressive mythology.
While I liked Talia’s character, she just wasn’t as practical as someone with her knowledge should be. After agreeing to work with Adam, it didn’t seem plausible that she thought she would be better served by trying to run and hide on her own. In a world teeming with wraiths, and demons with names like “The Death Collector” on the hunt for her, it just didn’t make sense. I would have liked Talia to be a stronger character and for her to adapt more readily to this dangerous world. As events unfold, Talia’s powerful abilities begin to take shape.
Adam is a really strong character and adds a lot of depth to the story. Even though he is arrogant and a bit rough around the edges, he is a very sympathetic character. He’s still troubled by the death of his parents. They were killed by a wraith and he will not allow his plans to avenge them to be thwarted. Talia and Adam have great chemistry. The slow burn of attraction between them ignites and delivers more tension, danger, and excitement.
Another stand-out character is the Shadowman a.k.a. Death. I’m very intrigued by Ms. Kellison’s concept of Death and I hope to see more of him in the upcoming sequel, Shadow Fall.
Overall, Shadow Bound is a good book. Ms. Kellison has crafted an intense urban fantasy tale with just the right mix of romance and suspense. The fast-paced plot takes readers on an emotional roller coaster, and this eerie and dangerous world won’t soon be forgotten.
Shadowman grips the cold staff of his scythe, its blade pitiless as death and sharp as his grief. Shadows howl and roar as they surround him like great dark beasts of wind and fury.
Over the encircling snarl, a soul cries a high song of deepest terror. Its an Old sound brought up by a child’s throat in a composition of broken, dissonant notes summoning Death to a hunt.
The scream rips through the veils of Twilight and rends the bindings of his prison. Freedom. Shadow snaps at his heels, but they cannot follow him.
The Shadow Series:
1. Shadow Bound
2. Shadow Fall
FTC Advisory: Dorchester Publishing provided me with a copy of Shadow Bound. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.
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