Kissing. References to rape. References to sex slavery. Sexual assault. A couple sex scenes
Near Perfect – Buy two copies: one for you and one for a friend.
By blood, by word, by magic…
Most can’t touch the power. But Liv Warren is special— a paranormal tracker who follows the scent of blood.
Liv makes her own rules, and the most important one is trust no one.
But when her friend’s daughter goes missing, Liv has no choice but to find the girl. Thanks to a childhood oath, Liv can’t rest until the child is home safe. But that means trusting Cam Caballero, the former lover forbidden to her.
Bound by oath and lost in desire for a man she cannot have, Liv is racing to save the child from a dark criminal underworld where secrets, lies, trauma and danger lurk around every corner…every touch…every kiss.
And more blood will be spilled before it’s over…
I can’t remember the last time I got this excited over an urban fantasy debut. I already knew that Rachel Vincent was a paranormal master thanks to her increasingly good paranormal YA Soul Screamers series and adept at injecting just the right amount of romance into urban fantasy in her Shifters series, but her new Unbound trilogy, which begins with BLOOD BOUND, promised a much darker, much grittier story that breaks way outside the box. And having now read it, she may have just set a new standard for the genre.
Comprehensive and inventive worldbuilding, strong yet flawed characters, surprising and fast paced plot, and a dash of romance are what I always hope for in urban fantasy. BLOOD BOUND gave me all that and more. The worldbuilding is staggeringly good. After thirty years, the world’s worst keep secret is that there are certain individuals who posses Skills. These can range from Trackers (those who can find people with just a name or a smear of blood), Binders (those who can broker magical contracts), Travelers (those who can cover any distance by moving between shadows), and several others. Since the government refuses to acknowledge Skilled individuals, organized crime has made excellent use of them. The details of this world are so finely nuanced and so well thought out that I’d believe in a heartbeat that Rachel Vincent had been planning this series for decades.
The main character is a blood Tracker. She works freelance for one of the nastier crime bosses in her city. Liv has a lot of secrets. Deep ones that have started to eat her soul by the time we meet her. She is sinking further and further in a pit of filth that she willingly entered and with each passing day, it becomes less likely that she’ll ever get out. The phrase ‘hitting rock bottom’ was made for characters like Liv Warren.
Liv’s co-narrator is Cam Cabrillo, the only man she ever loved. Cam is a name Tracker. He’s been driving himself half mad trying to figure out why Liv left him six years ago. Cam has his own secrets and ties to a rival crime boss, but none of that matters when Liv’s best friend from high school invokes a magical Binding that Liv can’t ignore if she wants to live and Cam is the only one who can help her.
I stopped counting after the third punch-you-in-the-gut shocker that was revealed in BLOOD BOUND, not because I suddenly saw them coming—the entire book was one unbelievable yet totally believable scene after another—but because I realized that I’d have been better off counting the scenes that didn’t steal my breath away. The romance is so well paced too. Cam and Liv have a lot resentment and stubbornness between the two of them, as well as secrets that Liv is keeping that are every bit as terrible as you suspect from her behavior, but once revealed, they shed an entirely different light on everything that has happened up until that point.
I kept telling myself I’d only read one more chapter and then I’d quit for the night. I kept making that same bargain with myself until the very end of the book when suddenly it was light enough outside that I couldn’t call it night anymore. But I don’t even care that I’m tired today, because BLOOD BOUND was exactly the kind of book that’s worth robbing you of sleep. I’d be ready to forgo sleep again tonight if it meant I could read the next book in the Unbound trilogy, SHADOW BOUND, which is scheduled to be published in 2012.
About the author
- Winner: DEAD MAN’S DEAL by Jocelynn DrakeMay 25, 2013