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(Alex Caine series #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  303 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Alex Caine, a fighter by trade, is drawn into a world he never knew existed - a world he wishes he'd never found.

Alex Caine is a martial artist fighting in illegal cage matches. His powerful secret weapon is an unnatural vision that allows him to see his opponents' moves before they know their intentions themselves.

After a fight one night, an enigmatic Englishman, Patrick
Paperback, AU edition, 352 pages
Published May 23rd 2016 by Voyager - AU (first published July 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
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Nov 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I picked up Bound, by Alan Baxter, on the recommendation of a friend. I owe that friend a few drinks now.

Bound is about cage fighter Alex Caine, a man who can see his opponents moves before they make them. Following a successful fight Alex is approached by an Englishman called Welby, who knows his secret and wants Alex to help him unlock the key to an ancient and powerful grimoire. Drawn into a world filled with magic, violence, and a chaotic Fey godling called Uthentia, Alex must harness his
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm not into magical thrillers, but this one, I liked reading. Alex is a good character, he is a tortured soul, and finds a fellow tortured soul on his journey. I loved the familiar scenes of Sydney, the South Coast, Newtown (I love Newtown!) and other countries, but knowing that this book is essentially an Australian based book, was the catch for me.

The Grim Reader
Jul 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
A few years ago I went through a stage of reading nothing but fantasy fiction. I got a little tired of it and decided it was time for a break. Only recently I have started reading some again. When I saw Alan Baxter’s ‘Bound’ and heard that it was like Jack Reacher with magic, I was all in. ‘Bound’ has recently been re-released with some great new artwork. I have come across Baxter’s work in various anthologies and have enjoyed his stories. ‘Bound’ is the first book in a trilogy that features the ...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Alex Caine grew up in foster homes and was a wild kid until he started learning martial arts; since then, he's had focus, discipline and a means of earning a living in illegal cage fights. He always wins, too, because he has a secret advantage: he can see people's shades, and knows what his opponents are about to do. It isn't until he meets Englishman Patrick Welby that Alex learns there's a name for what he is: mage. Once Welby unlocks the door to the hidden world of magesign and the Fey, Alex ...more
Amanda J Spedding
A fast-paced, action-packed first book of the Alex Caine series, that had me pretty much hooked from the beginning. Magic and monsters and Magesign, oh my!

See my full review here:
Adrian Collins
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Originally reviewed by M.L. Spencer on Grimdark Magazine.

Alan Baxter’s Bound (Alex Caine Book One) is a brutal story that moves at a break-neck pace. It’s ripe with dark, conflicted characters in a turbulent, urban setting that has a mixture of martial arts, magic, and supernatural themes. I definitely recommend Bound for readers who take their violence seasoned with gore, sarcasm and sex.

In Bound, Alex Caine is a successful martial artist who makes his living clobbering opponents in the ring.
Apr 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this.
A great urban fantasy based around an underground-fighter dragged kicking and screaming into a world of magic and mayhem.
The revelation of the mysteries that flow throughout Bound are timed perfectly to maintain and escalate the reader’s interest, keeping up a pace that encourages rather than bores or overstimulates. The plot moves along nicely, and ticks all the boxes. The character development is great, and the overall charm of Bound shines through without being lost in the writing
May 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-read
This is the first Alan Baxter book I’ve picked up, and I’m certainly going to be back for more!

I loved the gritty, bloody, dangerous world that Baxter introduces in this book – Alex Caine is quickly taken from the world he knows (which isn’t exactly safe and wholesome, him being partial to illegal cage fighting) to one of magic and mortal peril, populated by blood-thirsty Fey and an evil Godling. I enjoyed uncovering the world alongside him, meeting the Clan Lords and learning about the
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary | "Empathy" - Look it up.
Bound wasn’t an easy book for me to read. I had some initial reservations about it, but as I do love the occasional dark fantasy book, I decided to give it a shot. Alas, Bound and I never quite bonded. It is the perfect dark/urban fantasy read for readers who love the Chosen one spiel. It is also absolutely absent of even a whisper of a love triangle.The epic quest is, indeed, epic, and the evil guys are very evil. The Chosen one, as one might expect, does have trouble coming to terms with his ...more
Jodie How
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fast paced, supernatural fantasy. A wonderfully entertaining read.

In a small way, reminiscent of Lord of the Rings.

Bound feels very comfortable and familiar in its story construct. However, also original and exciting. Like all Baxter's work, it hits the mark.

Read this and you're going to get covered in a decent amount of gross monster guts :0).

I'll definitely be reading Obsidian and Abduction. I'm thoroughly invested in Alex and Sil's adventure.
Philip Fracassi
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: genre
A wonderful dark urban fantasy -- very well-written and fast-paced with characters you come to care about. The first of a trilogy (I'll be snatching up 2 and 3 right away). Wizards and witches and monsters all set around a street fighter's mentality with plenty of cosmic horror to leave Lovecraftians and dark Fantasy seekers equally satiated and wanting more. Highly recommended.
Dirk Flinthart
Aug 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

One of the oldest adages in the world of writing fiction is “Write What You Know”. It may not be a perfect formula, but it’s a bloody good place to start, and it’s served Alan Baxter well with his new novel Bound, the first in a series about protagonist Alex Caine, from Harper Voyager.

Caine is an illegal ring fighter, and a very successful one at that. The book opens in the ring, straight into the action, and it keeps going from there. In fairly short order we
Jennifer (bunnyreads)
This is a grisly urban fantasy with touches of horror, it’s full of violence, language, sex, and fight scenes!

It’s no secret (or maybe it is? if you haven’t read my reviews), but I am a huge fan of fight scenes. Hand to hand, swords, big epics fights, whatever- bring ‘em on! That this was bound (Haha, see what I did there) to be full of them, was a point in favor of this book right off. And it was full of them, but even better, it wasn’t too full of them. They were top-notch (especially the
Sep 25, 2016 rated it did not like it
A poor writing style and awkwardly inserted sex scenes had me struggling to finish this book.
S.B. Wright
Jun 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s great to follow a writer and see that hard work and persistence pays off. Alan Baxter is one such writer and it was great news to see that he had secured a three book deal with HarperVoyager for the Alex Caine series.

Bound is the first book in the series and introduces us to Alex Caine, an MMA fighter who uses what he thinks are unique abilities to sense his opponents intentions before they act. He fights in Sydney’s underground Martial Arts cage matches, coasting along, making a decent
J. Smith
Jul 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing

It’s been a long time since I’ve read an honest-to-goodness page-turner. Like the best thrillers, Bound drops you in the thick of the action from the very first sentence and doesn’t let up until the book is closed. But, unlike a simple airport potboiler, the world it drags you through drips with blood and magic and horror, a shadowed underworld of cage fighters, of Kin, and of dark powers that threaten to overwhelm all who come within their orbit.

On the
Jun 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had gone off Urban Fantasy lately. It all seems the same and all the plot lines tend to blend, but not this book.

Bound is the first book of the Alex Caine series by Alan Baxter. We start off in Sydney, then London and then all over the world. We are introduced to characters from Mythology and a new species of Fae. Alex Caine is a martial artist who makes a living off cage fighting. Then after a set of circumstances forces Alex to leave Australia, he then becomes bound to a dark grimoire which
Jason Franks
Apr 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I've read a fair amount of Baxter's work before, and Bound, the first volume of his new Alex Caine series, plays to the author's strengths--and reveals some new ones.

Alex Cain is a cage fighter with a deeper grounding in the spiritual side of martial arts. This is key to both the development of the character of of the plot in which he becomes immersed. A professional kung fu master himself, Baxter's description of the fights, and the consequences thereof, are visceral and realistic without ever
Dec 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was better than expected. Alex Caine does cage fights to make a living. Fighting is something he loves doing and is good at it. However, he has a vision which helps him best his opponents and its this ability that a stranger who will turn his life upside down has come looking for. All he requests is that Alex read a rare book for him. A fairly harmless sounding request that circumstances make Alex think will probably be a harmless solution to his problems and not the start of a new set of ...more
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So it isn't all that often I read this urban fantasy or non second world fantasy. There is a reason for that, I generally assume most of it is trite nonsense. An assumption I am happy to say this book did not at all live up to.

An interesting tale with quite a good deal of world building, a fairly believable bunch of characters, loved the kin as a potential anything separate race.

Some parts seemed a little repetitive, the constant angry sex I mean. It wasn't over done or gratuitous it just
Martin Livings
At one point in Alan Baxter's BOUND, the characters observe someone reading "an airport novel". Weirdly, I wonder if it was actually this book, because BOUND is a perfect airport novel. Fast-paced, exciting and engaging, with excellent fight sequences and a genuinely interesting mythos behind it, this book was a great read, and I can't wait to read more in the series!
Greg Chapman
Apr 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a terrific dark fantasy action debut novel. Rich with detailed supernatural lore and a character who truly experiences the internal struggle between good and evil and his own personal torments, this is a thrilling start to the Alex Caine trilogy.
Steven Paulsen
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I finally unearthed Bound from my TBR pile and I’m sorry I left it so long to read. It’s a cracking story, well paced and gripping. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I’m looking forward to reading the next two books in the series.
Jul 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was so kick-arse, I found that when you're reading it, and put it down to go and do something else, it will actually get up, kick your arse and demand that you continue reading it!
May 10, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
An entertaining and driven urban fantasy thriller from Aussie Alan Baxter, Bound is full of martial arts, magic and monsters. Review will be posted closer to release.
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, adventure, magic
Love Bound and the whole series, great fight scenes, terrific adventure, magic and mystery, all done of my favorite things.
Darius Guilford
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Bound is a dark, I mean daaaarrrk, urban fantasy.
Bound introduces us to Alex Caine, a man with a difficult upbringing who has a couple of extraordinary abilities; one – he is an expert martial artist making money in illegal MMA cage fights, two – he has a psychic ability to read the aura and intention of his opponents. He stands in absolute mastery of his physical prowess, but does not understand his magical talent.
Enter the catalyst of the story, an English named Patrick Welby, a mage who
Anthony Creane
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like this book.
A lot.
I must admit, I haven't read much urban fantasy - which I believe this falls into - although generally I'm not a fan of pigeon hole/genre labelling, but I just wanted to be clear this isn't generally what I read a great deal of.
But, for me, Baxter nails it. He jumps straight in, grabs you by the collar, and drags you along at a break neck speed.
There is quite a bit of information needed to get the reader up to speed, but Baxter avoids the dreaded info dump, and we learn
Dannielle Line
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Alex Caine always knew he was different, that he could see things most people couldn’t. If anything, it was an advantage. But Alex had no idea why, and he isn’t about to follow some strange gentleman home to ‘learn the truth’ even if the decades-old Englishman seems to have the answers he needs. When circumstances force Alex to run, the Englishman is there again, offering him an escape as long as he reads one little magic book. Desperate, and concerned he’ll put his friends in danger, Alex ...more
Dec 27, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bound by Alan Baxter

Martial artist, Alex Caine, gets the awakening of a lifetime when a mysterious – and very British – man speaks to him after one of his fights. After this encounter, Alex goes on a journey that opens his eyes to the realities of the world he lives in. Magic, Kin, a fucked up book that won’t him alone, Alex’s life, let’s just say, has been flipped on its head.

To be honest, I’m on the fence about this one. It did take longer than necessary to read this (again, blame my crazy
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Aussie Readers: New dark urban fantasy thriller, Bound, Alex Caine #1 4 19 Jul 02, 2014 06:56AM  

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Alan Baxter is a British-Australian multi-award-winning author of horror, supernatural thrillers, and dark fantasy. He’s also a martial arts expert, a whisky-soaked swear monkey, and dog lover. He creates dark, weird stories among dairy paddocks on the beautiful south coast of NSW, Australia, where he lives with his wife, son, and hound.

He is the author of the dark fantasy thriller trilogy, Bound,

Other books in the series

Alex Caine series (3 books)
  • Obsidian (Alex Caine, #2)
  • Abduction (Alex Caine, #3)