It’s been nearly a full year since Rachel Vincent’s final Shifter book, Alpha, had been released. So I was super excited for Blood Bound, her new adult series. I loved the Shifters series and was eagerly anticipating Ms. Vincent’s new novel and new world (even though I miss Faythe & co). Once again, Ms. Vincent delivers and it was well worth the wait.
Most can’t touch the power. But Liv Warren is special – a paranormal tracker who follows the scent of blood.
Liv makes her own rules, and the most important one is trust no one.
But when her friend’s daughter goes missing, Liv has no choice but to find the girl. Thanks to a childhood oath, Liv can’t rest until the child is home safe. But that means trusting Cam Caballero, the former lover forbidden to her.
Bound by oath and lost in desire for a man she cannot have, Liv is racing to save the child from a dark criminal underworld where secrets, lies, trauma and danger lurk around every corner…every touch…every kiss.
And more blood will be spilled before it’s over…
I swear Ms. Vincent has the most brilliant opening lines for a series I’ve ever read. The opening to Blood Bound is just as attention grabbing as her opening line in Stray, the first book in the Shifters series. I was hooked. The world Ms. Vincent has created is new and while paranormal, not something that really could not be possible. In this world, the paranormals are Skilled. They have talents like tracking (either using names or blood, sometimes both depending on the person, though it’s rare), Readers (can tell if anyone is lying), Binders (sealers of contracts), etc. Since Blood Bound is the first in the trilogy, there is a lot of world building that has to take place. You have to learn about all the Skills, who the major players are as well as the main story arc and subplots. Therefore, at times, the actual action can be slow and thus makes the pacing kind of slow at times. But, I promise the payoff is well worth mucking through those sections.
What I find most interesting in how one can be bound and how all of that works. The Skilled have a sort of modern day mafia, with different families controlling different sections of the city, with only a small portion being truly “independent”. Most persons, whether Skilled or unSkilled are affiliated with one of the factions. Recruiting is often violent and planned, as if one of the bosses wants you, they will find a way to make you indebted to them, and thus the requirement of signing on for a 5 year term…which may be extended at the end of said term.
Liv used to be an independent and worked for an independent private investigation firm. (Skilled persons are not officially recognized by the government, so traditional law enforcement cannot utilize such Skills in traditional detective work.) She still is…to a certain degree. She does do work for one of the bosses, but not the syndicate, just the person in control. What very few know is one of Liv’s secrets, that she is bound to her 3 best friends from childhood. This isn’t some pinky swear that she is no longer obligated to do, but literally bound to help should one of them ask. It’s this bond that gets Liv and her former lover, Cam, into some serious trouble as the plot unfolds.
Liv is strong and takes crap from no one. She is determined to fulfill her contract with Cavazos so she can truly be independent and not under anyone’s control. Then, as one of her friends from her childhood shows up demanding help, her world is turned upside down. She is forced to work with Cam, her former boyfriend whom she still loves, but is convinced she cannot be with.
Cam is still devastated by Liv’s sudden break up from six years ago. He uses the opportunity to try and win Liv back by getting Liv forced to work with him as part of a condition of her “helping” this friend. What he doesn’t tell her at first can be hazardous to both of their health.
All in all I enjoyed Blood Bound. The world Ms. Vincent has created is dark and gritty and unapologetic. While there are elements of romance between Cam and Liv, this is definately urban fantasy. The twists and turns will keep you engaged and the world building is simply superb. I am anxiously awaiting the next book, Shadow Bound.
Shadow Bound (2012)