Series: Arcadia Bell #3
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Published by Pocket Books on May 28, 2013
Cover Artist: Tony Mauro
Reviewed by: Julia
Kissing, references to sex and prostitution.
In the third book in this beloved and “riveting” (Romantic Times) urban fantasy series, demon-friendly tiki bar owner Arcadia Bell discovers more about her own evolving, and possibly destructive, magical abilities when her bar is the target of a demonic crime wave.
Renegade mage and bartender Arcadia Bell has had a rough year, but now the door to her already unstable world is unhinging. When a citywide crime wave erupts, Cady's demon-friendly tiki bar is robbed by Earthbounds wielding surreal demonic abilities that just flat-out shouldn't exist. With the help of her devilishly delicious boyfriend, Lon Butler, Cady sets out to find the people who wronged her—but her targets aren't the only ones experiencing unnatural metamorphoses. Can Cady track down the monsters responsible before the monster inside her destroys everything—and everyone—she loves? If she survives this adventure, one thing is certain: it's last call for life as she knows it.
The Arcadia Bell series works on two levels, both as a series with grand, sweeping plot points, and within each book, with the more intimate moments between characters. The cross series action is interesting, but not a motivating factor for me. It's the personal bonds, the interactions between Cady and Lon and Jupe, that have me excited to go from one book to the next.
And in that regard, BINDING THE SHADOWS more than delivers. Lots of Jupe time, charming and hilarious and awkward as ever. Lots of relationship growth for Lon and Cady, meeting the "in-laws" and slowly integrating two independent lives into one family. Even the action in this book has some "up close and personal" moments, where the general mystery that Cady is trying to solve comes home to roost on her doorstep. And it's those close to home, boots on the ground moments that I really loved. The threat of Cady's origins and ever growing magic is intellectually very cool, but those events don't feel like they're growing from Cady's efforts (they often just appear at moments of high stress), so I've always felt a little removed from that part of the action.
But regardless of whether you're looking for action or character, the ending of BINDING THE SHADOWS covers both sides of the story. As magic bleeds into Cady's relationships, I'm looking forward to seeing the Moonchild faced head on.