Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent (review copy) - They say blood is thicker than water. They have no idea. As a blood tracker, Liv is extremely powerful. And in a world where power is a commodity that can get you killed, Liv s learnt to survive by her own rules. Rule number one? Trust no one. But when a friend's daughter goes missing, Liv is bound by a potent magical oath. She can't rest until the child is safe. And that means trusting her dangerous ex, Cam. A sinister prophecy tells that she and Cam will be the death of each other, yet Liv's tired of being a slave to destiny. She's ready to play the forces controlling her world at their own game. No matter what the cost. From Amazon UK
Rachel Vincent is one of my favourite auhors, so when the Shifters series finished, I was really quite sad that it had com to an end, but really excited to see what she would come up with next in the Unbound series. I threw myself into the story, and I was absolutely amazed!
Blood Bound is nothing at all like the Shifters series, as is right, but as you read further into the story, you pick up things that are...not similar, but very Vincent. Like the complexity of of the world's she builds. With the Shifters, it was in the politics of the werecats. With Unbound, it's with the Skills the characters have - the ability to track someone by their name or their blood, the ability bind oaths so that the one who took it absolutely has to carry out what they promised, people who can walk into one shadow and out another somewhere completely different, and so on. There are so many! But with binded oaths... wow. They cause pain that can lead to the shut down of your body if you try to go against the binding, they can stop you from actually speaking about something, and, if your oath is the right kind, it can make you do absolutely everything you are told to by the person you're bound to. Complicated huh? So when people of various Skills and bound to various people are brought together on a mission... well, things can get a little tricky. And I cannot tell you just how complex it is, and how much detail goes into it, it's just brilliant!
There is your fair share of action in Blood Bound - where it kind of puts me in mind of other urban fantasies I love; The Cassie Palmer series and Dorina Basarab series, both by Karen Chance, and the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost - and it's edge of your seat exciting! But there's also the planning, the discussing, the working things out - the revelations and the strategising, basically, and it's just brilliant! This is where Vincent shines, in my opinion, because it's all in the detail! And there is no detail too small, every little thing is a jigsaw piece to the puzzle of the bigger picture, and it's just incredible seeing it all fall into place! I am seriously in awe of Vincent's ability to have so much that so complicated, but have it work and make completely sense! It's unbelievable!
Blood Bound is also a lot darker. There are characters that are absolutely disgusting, gangsters who care very little for anyone, who will go to any lengths to get what they want - whatever they want, and, my god, it's really awful. There are characters in this book I would quite like to see die a very brutal death, that's really drawn out. They just... oh, they make me sick.
This time round, Vincent has gone for a dual narrative in that Liv and Cam both tell the story. It was really interesting to see their relationship develop through both their eyes, yet to see what one doesn't know about the other and sometimes we, the readers, only get hints at until later. It was awesome! And I think I would say Vincent has made a step up on the romance side of things too. The love they feel for each other is just so strong, it's massive, but there are other things in their way, and it's just a little heart breaking to read, and seeing them trying to fight all sorts of obstacles. It was really moving.
What was really, really nice in this story was mother-daughter part of it, where a main character, Anne, has a young child and is absolutely terrified for them. That's the type of emotion we don't see a lot of in urban fantasy. Ok, so the child isn't Liv's, so we don't have the direct narration of the mother in her turmoil, but even getting it second hand is just so powerful! It was really lovely and really upsetting at the same time. There really should be more of it in urban fantasy.
Blood Bound is an absolutely fantastic book, and with the ending, I am dying for Shadow Bound! Is it asgood as the Shifters series? That's not a question I can answer, because they're nothing alike, but Blood Bound is just fantastic! A must read for Vincent fans! Why? Because Rachel Vincent has still got it!
Thank you to Mira UK for sending me a review copy.
Published: 1st September 2011
Publisher: Mira UK
Buy on Amazon US
Rachel Vincent's Website