Release: May 22, 2012
If you live in the dark long enough, you begin to forget the light…
Kori Daniels is a shadow-walker, able to travel instantly from one shadow to another. After weeks of confinement for betraying her boss, she’s ready to break free of the Tower syndicate for good. But Jake Tower has one final job for Kori, one chance to secure freedom for herself and her sister, Kenley, even if that means taking it from someone else…
The job? Recruit Ian Holt—or kill him.
Ian’s ability to manipulate the dark has drawn interest from every syndicate in the world, most notably an invitation from Jake Tower. Though he has no interest in organized crime, Ian accepts the invite, because he’s on a mission of his own. Ian has come to kill Tower’s top Binder: Kori’s little sister.Amid the tangle of lies, an unexpected thread of truth connecting Ian and Kori comes to light. But with opposing goals, they’ll have to choose between love and liberty….
"One moment she looked vulnerable and bruised, and I wanted to bandage wounds I couldn't even see. Then a second later, that woman was gone, and in her place stood a fierce hellcat, angry at the world and spitting flames with every word, and I wanted to poke her just to see the sparks fly." - Ian
Vincent's second in the Unbound series is darker and more intense than the first while still managing to have the same superior world building. Shadow Bound follows a new couple - Kori and Ian - in the same world as Blood Bound. Before beginning this story I knew it would be different from book one because of its focus on Kori, a tough and stubborn character with questionable morals - and that was just what we gleamed from her short appearance in Blood Bound.
However, at the beginning of Shadow Bound Kori is in a very different situation. She is being punished for aiding the main characters from book one in getting into her boss' house. She has been thrown into a special dark room in the basement where infrared lights keep her from 'walking in the shadows' to escape. She has been beaten, tortured, raped, and broken.
"If you live in the dark long enough you start to forget what light looks like." - Kori
Kori is released from her makeshift prison in order to complete a task for her horrible boss, Jake Tower. She is needed to recruit Ian Holt into Tower's mob-like syndicate. I really loved all of Kori and Ian's interactions, which is good since that's how 80% of the book takes place. Kori and Ian each have their reasons for not trusting the other and each has their own secret agenda, especially Ian. He has come to solve a problem that will save someone close to him and he constantly tries to remind himself that he is there with a goal in mind. He is not their to sign his life away to Tower, but unfortunately that's what Kori needs him to do. Kori battles with bringing Ian into the syndicate, which would make Tower happy and keep her sister safe, and the fact that she is dooming this man to a life under the thumb of a cold and depraved boss.
If you read the first Unbound book, you will remember that the story was told from Liv and Cam's alternating points of view. In Shadow Bound, the story alternates between Kori and Ian's POV, but Vincent makes things a lot less confusing by labeling each chapter with whose point of view it is told from. This was a big plus for me.
Kori's POV was almost certainly the most difficult to write, although seeing her through Ian's eyes was almost just as painful. She is definitely a dark and twisty character, someone not used to being so vulnerable. As you can imagine, she is quite a bit messed up after her time in Tower's basement and her fear for her sister, her attempt to keep Ian at arm's length, and her conflicting feelings about convincing Ian to sign with Tower all roll together into a big ball of crazy. Despite her frailness, she is still a skilled ass kicker when need be. She is a wonderful and faulted character that I really enjoyed.
"I stared at her, awed by her strength and determination. She'd done time in a hell I could only imagine, and come out intact. 'I feel sorry for all the people who will die without ever meeting you, Kori. But the selfish part of me is happy, because I don't even want to share you with the people you already know. Most of them don't deserve you.'" - Ian
Ian is, of course, a wonderful balance to Kori. He is strong and sexy, but knows when to be honest and gentle with Kori. He has some secrets that come out slowly throughout the story, much like Liv and Cam's secrets in book one.
The world of the Skilled and the powerful syndicates that want them is expertly written and fascinating. Vincent pulls you into this unique world and builds in more and more layers as the story goes on. Characters from book one, including Liv and Cam, make appearances in the book in useful ways - meaning that they don't just pop up for no reason. As much as I was disappointed that we wouldn't get a whole series devoted to Cam and Liv, I am now glad to have been able to read Kori's story.
Recommended for fans of: dark and faulted characters, unique world building, Rachel Vincent series, and fantasy without paranormal creatures.
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