by Erin Kellison
Paperback: 322 pages
Available: June 29, 2010
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal Suspense
Book received from: Dorchester
Some people will do anything to avoid it. Even trade their immortal souls for endless existence.
Secretly, inexorably, they are infiltrating our world, sucking the essence out of unsuspecting victims with their hideous parody of a kiss.
Adam Thorne founded the Institute to study and destroy his monster of a brother, but the key to its success is held in the pale, slender hand of a woman on the run. There is something hauntingly different about Talia O’Brien, her unknowing sensuality, her uncanny way of slipping into Shadow.
This is the place between life and what comes after – a dark forest of fantasy, filled with beauty, peril, mystery. And Talia is about to open the door.
Reviewer: Fiction Vixen
Let’s discuss the power of the cover for a moment. I assumed this book was Young Adult based on the image of the very young looking woman on the cover. The blurb didn’t necessarily indicate that is was Young Adult but it didn’t indicate otherwise either so I began reading on the assumption I would be reading a Young Adult novel. While it became clear early on that this is an adult novel, my mind had a hard time letting my first impression go and I kept thinking of the female protagonist as a teen. Clearly she is not, but for some reason, I did not want to let that go.
Wraiths are real and they kill by sucking the essence from their victims. Adam Thorne knows this because his brother somehow became one of these monsters and murdered their parents. Now Adam has dedicated his life to researching this phenomenon and he is obsessed with finding a way to destroy the monster his brother has become. In the course of his search for answers he comes across some research by Talia O’Brien, a brilliant young woman who has written a paper on near death experiences. Something in the text catches his eye and he believes that Talia could hold the key to helping him in his quest.
Talia has a unique ability to wrap herself in shadows. She doesn’t fully understand her gift but knows she is different. She is a PhD student who has spent years doing research to discover her unique heritage and the mysteries of who she really is. Talia’s plans for her future come to a crashing halt all at once when she and her roommate are confronted by strangers. She witnessed the horrific murder of her roommate by a wraith. Now she is desperate and on the run from these creatures, using her her ability to fade into shadows to survive. When she is attacked in an alley by wraiths, two men come to her rescue. They seem to know about the monsters that stalk her. Now she must decide, trust that man who is obsessed with the very thing that haunts her, or run for her life.
Shadow Bound is Erin Kellison’s debut novel and wow! Just wow. I just did not see this book coming. It’s such a wonderful surprise to open a book not really knowing what to expect and end up completely loving it. I don’t mean that I was surprised I loved it, but it was nice going in with no expectations and discovering something fresh and unexpected.
The world building in Shadow Bound is outstanding and my favorite aspect of the story. Quite often I read an urban fantasy with a pretty good idea of what to expect from the setting but that was not the case with Shadow Bound. This fantasy has a dark quality to it that is not quite what I would describe a gritty but maybe more along the lines of gloomy. The author successfully draws the reader into a believable alternate world creating at times what seems nearly hopeless situations with a glimpse of hope here and there to carry the reader through a very exciting and fast paced story.
The romance between Talia and Adam fell a bit flat for me. Adam is controlling, a bit obsessive and stands out clearly as the strong character in the story. Talia, as seen through the eyes of Adam, is a strong willed survivor but she comes as off fragile and almost needy at times and just didn’t seemed to stand on her own two feet. As romantic partners these two personalities just didn’t fit together as it seemed Adam overpowered Talia in their relationship and her desire to be his equal just wasn’t there. The romance didn’t dominate the story though, and for me it was more about the world building, action and adventure.
Shadow Bound is a thrilling, fresh fantasy with a slightly darker edge. I very much enjoyed this first installment in Erin Kellison’s Shadow series and I really look forward to Shadow Fall, the next book due for release in late July.
A scream shattered the air. Adam hoped it wasn’t his; if nothing else, he wanted to like like a man.
Jim leaned forward, restlessly. “You screamed, Death came. Listen, I need you to do something for me.
“I’m a what?”
“Banshee. You know, ahhhhhhh.” He raised his hands to his cheeks for emphasis.
Purchase a copy of Shadow Bound
Other books in the series:
Shadow Fall (July 27, 2010)
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