Title: Shadow Bound
Author: Erin Kellison
Publisher: Dorchester Publishing
Publication Date: 27th June 2010
ARC: 213 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense
RATING: 7/10 – very good
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.
Shadow Bound is the first book in a new series by Erin Kellison. It is also the authors debut. The press release states it’s a fusion of “dark fantasy, science fiction, horror, religion and paranormal romantic suspense” – phew, that’s a lot of genres! To me this book leans more towards one: paranormal romantic suspense, the other genres mentioned are a bit misleading.
However, I enjoyed Shadow Bound. I was sucked into this book from the prologue where we meet Shadowman and a mortal woman, Kathleen, who has been ill and close to death for many years. She knows he is there but has never seen him and yet through all this they have fallen in love. Against his better judgement, Shadowman reveals himself to her from the shadows even though he’s not meant to until she passes away. They fall into each others arms and this one brief moment together produces a child called Talia.
From here time moves forward twenty six years, to the present day where Talia is at college and living a fairly normal life. Her mother Kathleen died while giving birth and Talia has been living with her aunt. Although Talia knows she’s different because of the things she can do with the shadows, she tries to ignore it and lives her life as normally as she can, until one day, without warning, two Wraiths come into her life and kill her room mate.
Talia is a good character, but I didn’t feel as though I really got to know her. She’s also not particularly kick-arse (until the very last chapter), she’s more into running away and hiding. I would have liked to see her grow a bit more, to see her harden to the world and come back fighting a bit sooner than the last few pages. Most of the time she is being protected by Adam.
Adam is a great character and felt I got to know him a lot more than Talia. He’s a bit bitter and twisted and at times rather arrogant, but his life over the past six years has been traumatic to say the least. His mother and father were killed by a wraith, which Adam captured and is keeping prisoner in the basement, and to make things worse the Wraith is also his brother, Jacob! Adam’s also the head of an organisation which is studying Wraiths and how to kill them. It’s a slow process and time is running out. But when Adam meets Talia and finds out what she can do, he thinks he has the weapon that will save the world.
I did feel there were too many names for the same thing. The “Shadows” is also called “Twilight” and Shadowman is also called “Death” and as well as being Death he is also faery, and the Demon who is offering immortality for souls is called “The Death Collector”, which is a bit confusing when “Death” is Shadowman. You see my point.
With that aside, the world building is pretty good and I enjoyed Kellison’s descriptions of a world filled with Wraiths, which are nasty soul-sucking demons. I did want a little more detail about the Shadows, but I did get a feeling that it is quite an eerie place. A place between this world and heaven, where once you die, Shadowman takes your soul from this life to the afterlife.
Shadow Bound is full of suspense with a smidgin of romance, which I really liked and both go hand in hand very well. Talia and Adam have lots of sexual chemistry, which they try and ignore by looking at the bigger picture, which is – they have a Wraith war to deal with first before succumbing to their feelings – of course, they don’t stick to this but I really liked the way their relationship grew. It was lust at first sight on both their parts but I felt as though the author held back with their relationship and took it slowly, nothing was rushed, so the end result was very satisfying and the relationship realistic.
Shadow Bound is a very promising debut. The ending gave me a flutter of excitement as it sets us up for the second book in the series, Shadow Fall, which I luckily have at hand. I think readers of urban fantasy, paranormal romance and suspense will enjoy this book and I definitely recommend it.
SOURCE: Thank you to Dorchester Publishing for sending me this book to review.
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