Early Review: Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland

March 29, 2013 Review 2 ★★★

Early Review: Vengeance Bound by Justina IrelandVengeance Bound by Justina Ireland
Series: Vengeance Bound #1
Genres: Romantic, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Published by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers on April 2, 2013
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Source: Edelweiss
Reviewed by: Abigail
3 Stars

Sexual content

Kissing. Attempted sexual assault. Vague references to rape and sexual abuse.

The Goddess Test meets Dexter in an edgy, compelling debut about one teen’s quest for revenge… no matter how far it takes her.

Cory Graff is not alone in her head. Bound to a deal of desperation made when she was a child, Cory’s mind houses the Furies—the hawk and the serpent—lingering always, waiting for her to satisfy their bloodlust. After escaping the asylum where she was trapped for years, Cory knows how to keep the Furies quiet. By day, she lives a normal life, but by night, she tracks down targets the Furies send her way. And she brings down Justice upon them.

Cory’s perfected her system of survival, but when she meets a mysterious boy named Niko at her new school, she can’t figure out how she feels about him. For the first time, the Furies are quiet in her head around a guy. But does this mean that Cory’s finally found someone who she can trust, or are there greater factors at work? As Cory’s mind becomes a battlefield, with the Furies fighting for control, Cory will have to put everything on the line to hold on to what she’s worked so hard to build.

When a book is described as 'The Goddess Test meets Dexter' it gets shoved to the very top of my TBR pile.  What could be better than a teenage serial killer hunting down human monsters with the help of the Furies from Greek Mythology?  It's such an amazing premise that unfortunately fell just a little flat.

As a crazy rabid fan of the show Dexter, I was hoping to find another character who recognized the darker part of themselves and found a way to indulge it without becoming as vile as her victims  That's not exactly what we find in VENGEANCE BOUND.  Cory is wracked by guilt and the sight of blood makes her ill.  She's an unwilling bystander mostly.  The Furies burst forth when they find a new target and gleefully torture them before Cory is forced to make the killing blow (which comes off as humane at this point).

Then there's the romance, which I'm sorry to say was on the average side.  The whole point of the story involved Cory embracing and finding love in order to break free from the endless cycle of vengeance that the Furies demanded.  You'd be expecting an epic love story, right? Not so much.  Niko is handsome and he's got some weird relationship going on a fragile girl that Cory befriends.  These two have zero chemistry and practically zero meaningful interactions, but Cory is flustered and weak kneed from their first meeting.

I also had some issues with the pacing.  There is a lot of repetition especially in the beginning   It almost felt like the author wrote three different versions of the beginning and instead of choosing one, she included all three.  Really, you could almost start the book from chapter four and Cory's first day of school.  The premise, even with the slight character cop out for Cory, is still cool and it's a nice change from the increasingly similar titles in the paranormal YA genre.  There are also a few unexpected plot twists that kept me turning pages despite my other complaints.   VENGEANCE BOUND is a good book, my criticisms stem more from the fact that it could have been amazing with a few changes.  The ending is somewhat open, so I imagine a sequel is already in the works.

Series Titles

  1. Vengeance Bound

Similar Titles

  • Goddess Test series by Aimee Carter
  • Furious by Jill Wolfson

  • Medusa Girls series by Tera Lynn Childs

2 Responses to “Early Review: Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland”

  1. Kt.

    I too got sucked into “The Goddess Test meets Dexter” tagline. Too bad it didn’t actually live up to it. There was so much potential there, which makes it even more frustrating in the end.