Ferdy's Reviews > Shadow Bound

Shadow Bound by Rachel Vincent
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's review
Jun 12, 2012

it was ok


Kori Daniels is one of the Skilled, she can travel from place to place by moving through shadows. Kori has worked as Jake Tower’s (one of the city’s major syndicate bosses) bodyguard for years. She agreed to work for Tower and be bound to him in order to protect her sister, Kenley, from Tower after he tricked her into working for hm. As Kori is bound to Tower she is physically unable to resist any of Tower’s order, if she tries to resist his orders she suffers extreme physical pain and she may even risk death. As punishment for not protecting him, he locks her in a basement for weeks and leaves her to be tortured by his sadistic brother. Tower releases Kori to recruit Ian Holt who he wants for his powerful Skill. Ian has the rare Skill to manipulate and create darkness, Ian is aware that Tower wants him and so he plays along in order to get close to Tower’s top binder – Kenley. Ian has a deadline to kill Kenley in order to save his dying brother from a binding Kenley did when she was younger. Ian requests to have a woman show him around and gives Kenley’s description, unfortunately as Kori and Kenley look alike, Tower assigns Kori to him. Tower orders Kori to convince Ian to join his syndicate, he warns her that if she fails he will kill her. Ian has no intention of signing with Tower but he pretends to in order to get close to Kori and her sister.
I’ve read all of Rachel Vincent’s books and this is definitely the weakest to date - there were a number of things that really grated on me. I was really looking forward to Shadow Bound and had high expectations so I was disappointed that this didn’t deliver. There were some aspects that were quite good – the world building is unique, the fact that there are serious consequences to the choices characters make and also the action at the very end was entertaining though it did feel rushed. Cam and Liv make an appearance - I had mixed feelings about this as it just reminded me that they really didn't have a satisfying HEA because they were still ‘enslaved’ by their boss at the end.
Kori and Ian are the protagonists in Shadow Bound - they take turns narrating in 1st person. I’m not a fan of the alternating 1st person POV – I usually find that the characters voices sound the same in most books that use this style. There were some chapters that Kori and Ian we’re easy to tell apart from each other but regrettably in other chapters they both sounded exactly the same.
Ian and Kori’s romance was underwhelming and happened too fast. They lacked chemistry and charm, I honestly didn’t know what Kori saw in Ian. Ian was a dull, forgettable and whiny hero, he was a rubbish love interest - even after falling for Kori over the course of a few of days he still contemplates killing her sister whom he knows Kori would do anything to protect. He was also a rubbish brother as he was more interested in messing around with Kori than trying to come up with a solution to save his dying brother. I would have liked him to have been more intelligent and shown initiative when it came to saving his brother instead he just winged it and hoped for the best.
Kori wasn’t the easiest heroine to like - she was aggressive and acted like to much of an alpha female. On the plus side she was fiery, protective and loyal. My biggest problem with Kori was that her character wasn’t consistent, there were parts where she reacted how someone (of her personality type) would react after so recently being abused and then there were parts where her attitude and behaviour wasn’t of someone who had suffered abuse. To a certain extent some of her behaviour was understandable considering what she’d been through – after been tortured and locked away she would want to reassert her dominance. But then other times Kori would behave as if nothing had ever happened to her, particularly in regards to her relationship with Ian and Kenley. After being sexually abused no more than 2 weeks ago she jumps into a serious relationship with Ian – she overcomes her problems with trust and intimacy in a matter of minutes – it was just so unrealistic, Kori’s abuse was handled poorly. I hate when authors write about heroines who have been abused just so the heroine has a reason to act a certain way or so the hero can fall for the heroine because she’s survived and she’s strong. I also dislike when authors make their heroines act or think a certain way that wouldn’t ring true of an abuse victim just because it’s more convenient to the story to have the heroine behave like someone who’s not been sexually abused. I thought it was beyond ridiculous that Kori could take down a guy twice her size after being starved and tortured for weeks, it would take at least a few months to get back into top physical shape.
Moving on, I was very irritated with how much Kori coddled her sister, she’s only 2 yrs younger than her but acts as if she’s a helpless child. After being tortured Kori should be the one that needs help, comfort and looking after – Kenley shows more concern for herself than she does her recently abused sister. Kenley was a disgusting character – she was pathetic, selfish and spoilt. She was stupid enough to get herself contracted to Tower and then acted weak and helpless so her sister would feel obliged to help her and give up her free will so she could protect her. Kenley showed barely any remorse or guilt for making her sister suffer. I honestly don’t know what kind of sister would want her sister enslaved just so she felt safer and wasn’t alone in her ‘enslavement’. I don’t mind horrible characters but I hate it when horrible characters get away with it and are never called out on their actions.
The first 50% was just filled with long annoying, pointless and dull conversations between Ian and Kori as they tried to manipulate the other to their own endgame. Most of the characters were unlikeable especially Ian, Kenley and Aaron. The ending was the most exciting part unfortunately it just seemed rushed. I was pleased that Ian/Kori got a more satisfying HEA than Cam/Liv.
I'll still read the 3rd book because I’m hoping Vincent will be back to her gold standard.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Rachel (BAVR) Nooo! You didn't like it? I may have to reconsider reading it now. :(

Ferdy You might enjoy it..there were just things that really grated on me. I really wanted to like it and there were parts that were good. Cam and Liv have a couple of scenes - which I had mixed feelings about because it just reminded me that they really didn't have a proper HEA becuase they were still enslaved.
I quite liked the heroine, she was aggressive but it was understandable considering her circumstances but I did get annoyed with her being overly protective of her weak, selfish, spoilt sister.
The first 50% was just long annoying conversations between the hero/heroine, most of the characters were unlikeable and the ending seemed rushed.
I'll still read the next book because I mostly like RV's books.

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