Speculating on SpecFic

Fantastic Literature: From epic fantasy to fairytales to myth-making

Blood Bound (Unbound) (An Unbound Novel)

Blood Bound (An Unbound Novel) - Rachel Vincent I really like Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers series, so I was eager to read Unbound, her adult urban fantasy series. Blood Bound follows the tenacious and brave Olivia Warren and the witty and sexy Cam Caballero as they race to recover a little girl. In a world where oaths and contracts are magically enforced and betrayal has deadly consequences, they must find the child before their respective pasts catch up with them.The world building in this book took me by surprise - it is well thought out and intricate, and readers are introduced to it a little at a time so it's not overwhelming. The Skilled are a cool addition to the world - people who have magical powers such as Tracking, Seeing into the future, Travelling using shadows and Binding people into magically enforced contracts. They have formed a black market, where their Skills are made available to the general public, for a price. Blood Bound is set in a city that where the Skilled are largely controlled by two rival gangs, and independents, like Liv, are hard to find and constantly in danger. The danger increases when her search for the child lands in the crosshairs of both gangs. I love the dark new world that Vincent has created and am looking forward to finding out more of the secrets and history behind the two gangs.I instantly liked Liv when I met her. It would have been so easy for her come across like many other female protagonists in urban fantasy, but I found her strength realistic given her past and present predicaments. She's jaded, but not so much that it's tiring to read about how she doesn't believe in anything good anymore, and I think the reintroduction of Cam into her life makes Liv question a lot of things. Her Skill - the ability to track anyone by using their blood - is really interesting and I liked how it complimented Cam's Skill in finding people using only a name. She also has a vulnerable side and although she's never playing a helpless damsel in distress, its nice to see her acknowledge that she does need help sometimes.The tension and romance between Cam and Liv is perfect : while they are focussed on their goal of saving their friend's daughter, but can't deny that their attraction to one another, six years after their break up. The story is told from both their perspectives so it's easy to sympathise with them. Cam is understandably confused about why Liv left him all those years ago, and wants to convince her to try again, while Liv is hiding a secret from him that could threaten their whole relationship. The dual perspective is potentially confusing it changes without warning, but I quickly got used to it. It is also nice to know what the guy is thinking for once, instead of having to guess like in most other novels.An enjoyable book set in a vivid new world, Blood Bound will be enjoyed by fans of Rachel Vincent's previous works and those looking for new and unique urban fantasy. I enjoyed the book immensely and look forward to reading the sequel, Shadow Bound, soon.You can read more of my reviews at Speculating on SpecFic.