Debut Review: Shadow Bound

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,

10 Thoughts to “Debut Review: Shadow Bound”

  1. No vampires and no snarky heroines? I might actually check this one out! 🙂

  2. Tia Nevitt

    I tried to post earlier today from my phone, but I accidentally tapped a link and lost my post!

    I said something to the effect that when you find an urban fantasy that can please the likes of you and me, then it must be something special!

  3. This one sounds intriguing. I don’t think I have enough time to get hold of it and read it by the 29th, though!

  4. Chicory

    You would post an interesting sounding book with a gorgeous cover on my first day back to college. Oh when shall I find time to track down and read it? (That was a retorical question.) Since I discovered Dresden Files, I decided Urban Fantasy is okay provided the main character is male. I might just be ready to try a non-typical urban fantasy heroine.

    1. Tia Nevitt

      I totally agree! The Master of None by Sonya Bateman was great.

  5. This sounds interesting to me, too. Unfortunately, there’s no way I can order it thru the Book Gallery before that time limit expires. So maybe I should check the library first. If I like it, I can always order it later. {Smile}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

  6. Tia Nevitt

    Hey–Barnes & Noble has this available as a free ebook! Down load the nook software for your PC and then download the book here:

    Shadow Bound

    I nabbed it!

    1. Is it just me, or is the B&N site really buggy tonight? It took me multiple tries to get the site to realize I was trying to download an ebook.

      Also, why do I have to store a credit card number in their system before I can download a free book? It’s FREE! I refuse to give them a credit card number unless I’m buying something.

      If I sound put out, it’s because I am! This would have been my first ebook, and it’s not going smoothly at all. Tia, I hope Carina’s site works better (although, since Carina sounds awesome, I’m guessing it will).

      I don’t think I’m fated to read Shadow Bound. 🙁

      1. Tia Nevitt

        I forgot to mention the tiny detail about the credit card numbers. I was a bit put out about this as well, but I went ahead and did it. All I’ve downloaded so far are free ebooks.

  7. Eek! Sorry, guys; I’ve been offline for a few days. Anyway, I’m glad there seems to be so much interest in this one. I’m really bummed because I’m having trouble getting ahold of Shadow Fall. Borders (the only bookstore under an hour from my house) had Shadow Bound, but they’re not carrying Shadow Fall for some strange reason. I’m going to try getting it somewhere online.

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