Shadow Bound

by Erin Kellison
Dorchester Publishing

Mass Market Paperback – 7.99

Imagine if your father was what the world fears most. Imagine if your father was Death.

Talia O’Brien doesn’t have to imagine in Erin Kellison’s Shadow Bound. Hunted by inhuman monsters all her life with no knowledge of why, regarded strangely for her unique combination of white-blone hair and jet-black eyes, and with the ability to manipulate shadows, Talia is alone in a world that doesn’t understand her–not that she understands herself. But she won’t be alone for long, because Adam Thorne is looking for her.

After reading Talia’s dissertation on near-death experiences, Adam believes Talia is the key to destroying the monstrous, soul-sucking wraith he keeps in the basement of Segue Institute–a monster who was once his brother. But when he discovers Talia’s strange talents and past, he believes she is much more–not just the key to destroying his brother, but putting an end to all wraithkind.

I’m having trouble finding criticisms for this book. I’m not a big fan of urban fantasy, but I really, really, really liked this one. First of all, it’s a breath of fresh air in a subgenre where vampires and werewolves rule. I know the fey are filtering into urban fantasy, but Shadow Bound still keeps it fresh, finding new twists and introducing characters who break the stereotypes for characters in urban fantasy books. If you’re getting tired of sassy, bad-ass urban fantasy heroines (the main reason I don’t read much urban fantasy), Shadow Bound is one to try. Talia isn’t the norm, and I love her for it.

But having unique twists, characters, and concepts isn’t enough. A novel like this need suspense, and Shadow Bound is indeed riveting. The author knows just how to push the characters into the impossible, then pull a miracle out of thin air and make it completely believable. There were several times where I thought, “Oh, they’re never going to get out of this,” and then to my complete surprise, they made it out alive. This wonderful ability to keep suspense high and tension boiling is what truly makes this book such a success.

If you’re turned off by racy scenes, let me go ahead and warn you that one of these appears very early in the book. But–and I know this may sound strange–it’s such a beautiful scene, and it really sets up the entire story; I don’t see how the author could have written things any other way. So while I warn you that it’s there, I’m also recommending that you not let this deter you. This is a book well worth reading.

Shadow Bound‘s sequel, Shadow Fall is already on shelves, released only a month after its predecessor. Both books are part of Dorchester’s Guaranteed Read program, which means that if you don’t like Shadow Bound, if you return it by 8/29/10, you’ll get a full refund from the publisher. So if it sounds interesting, you still have a little bit of time to try it risk-free. (Wow, I sound like an info-mercial!) But even with this guarantee, plan on making room for this one on your shelf, because it’s a compelling read.

Myself, I’m looking forward to reading Shadow Fall, so plan on that review coming soon.

Reviewed by Superwench83.

Katie Lovett, better known around these parts as Superwench83, is an aspiring novelist and published short fiction author. She blogs about writing, books, and the fantasy genre at her website, www.katie-lovett.com.