Friday, June 29, 2012

"Fractured Light" by Rachel McClellan

Fractured Light

Okay after a day of indecision, I finally thought it was time to write this review. First though, let me tell you that giving my rating to this book wasn't an easy thing to do. The reasons were several. For one, I loved the story - it was super original and incredibly well structured. I also loved the characters and the depth they were created on. And, I could hardly put the book down to sleep and eat. So yeah, it was pretty addictive.


It felt too predictable. I knew who the villain was from the very beginning and this sort of took a bit of the shine. But hey, there were plenty of times when I doubted my own judgment and wondered if I was right about the villain at all. I would've preferred to be surprised, to be honest.

So the concept of this book spins around Llona, who is an Aura - a carrier of Light, and Christian - who is ... incredibly irritating. Even though the book begins with a tragedy, and we're introduced to Llona's pain and anger and loneliness, it progresses from there. The more familiar Llona becomes with her Light, the stronger she feels. And then Christian comes out of nowhere and slowly grows on her, like moss on rock.

It's all well, until the murders, and the dark shadow outside her window, which is capable of controlling Llona even from great distance. So the question is - who's the shadow, and what does it want?

Now, let's talk about the characters.

*Llona - I liked her spunk, her energy. I liked that she wasn't ready to give up, no matter the odds. She was strong, yet not so much that she couldn't be weak as well. That made her personality full of nuances, gave her depth and made her loveable.

*Christian - he was so irritating!! He was running hot and cold all the time! One moment he was drawing Llona close, the next - he was pushing her away. Ughh! Sure, he was caring (to the point of stalking Llona outside her house), and mysterious, and extremely gorgeous. But so what? I wanted to kick him in the face half the time. And when Llona actually did, I was extremely proud of her!

I can't say much about the rest of the characters. I mean, Matt was a weird geeky guy, who gave off a weird vibe and May was a devoted friend, but beyond that there's nothing. Perhaps the next installment will tell us more about May at least.

My rating is

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"The Baron's Governess Bride" by Deborah Hale

The Baron's Governess Bride

Oh my! This novel had all the romance, struggle and drama one could expect from a Jane Austen book! It was the story of Cinderella, yet quite different as well, and I could safely say that I loved every single bit of it.

I must be honest though and say that I approached "The Baron's Governess Bride" with caution. I wasn't sure whether I'd find in it what I'd expected, and indeed I didn't. I'd expected something average, but it turned out to be superior.

I'm a sucker for quality romance of the historical genre, and Ms. Hale's story completely won me over. From the very beginning, I was acquainted with both leading characters. I got to see their reasoning, their feelings, their fears. I felt sad and outraged because of their hurt and trials. And I respected them for their desire to fight for their happiness. Could you believe it if I said that I even cried a little at one point? That's how touched I felt!

The fact that both Lord Steadwell and Ms. Grace Ellerby were amiable characters with realistic personalities, made me want to cherish this story as much as I do "Pride and Prejudice".

Now more about the characters themselves:

*Grace was a young woman who had never felt good in her own skin due to the constant pestering of people who envied her beauty. She ended up hating her looks, because they only brought her trouble. She was smart, educated in everything (and perhaps beyond) that a self-respecting young woman should know, and yet very humble. I loved her personality because of its complexity. Grace just felt real, like a friend I'd known my whole life. It was nice to read her fairy tale.

*Rupert, Lord Steadwell - as his name suggests is a man of steady heart. He'd spent the past 4 years mourning his late wife, whom he'd loved dearly. I'm pretty sure he would've spent 4 more years in grief had he not met Grace and fallen for the charms of her personality. I was pleasantly surprised by how honorable Rupert was. Even in his anger he rarely raised his voice. It was obvious that he was not a person of conflict, that he'd rather settle everything quietly, with understanding. And he was just. In more than one occasion he could've been harsher with Grace, but he was kind and understanding. Also, the fact that other noblemen respected him and his political opinions was a great advantage - a clever man is always a good asset.

*Rupert's daughters were such amiable creatures! I loved all three of them. Sure, Charlotte, the eldest, was a tough nut to crack, but once she was won over, she was Grace's firmest ally. Little, sweet Sophie could stir anyone's heart, and Phoebe's quick with and bright character were a nice addition to the family.

If you love nice historical romance, if you are a Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte sort of reader, this book would be just right for you. It was just right for me.

My rating is

Friday, June 22, 2012

"Glamorous Illusions" by Lisa Tawn Bergren

 Glamorous Illusions

Whaaaaat???? Nooooo!!!! This can't be the end of it?!?!?! GRRRRRR!!!

As you can imagine, I finished reading this book, and I was extremely frustrated with it. You want to know why? BECAUSE!!!!!!!!

Because when that last chapter was over I found myself madly clicking the next button on the Kindle, wondering where the rest of the story had gone. Then I wondered... perhaps Netgalley didn't send the whole thing.. you know, it's possible... (not really). And, I had almost convinced myself of it too, until I saw this horrendous message on the last page "book 2 coming out in spring 2013... book 3 coming out in fall 2012" gah!!!!!!!!!

So, it turned out this was a trilogy. A TRILOGY!!!!!!!! How unbelievably cruel!!!!! What of us readers? How are we supposed to wait a whole year for the sequel of this amazing novel??? I want it NOW!!!!!!

Lisa T. Bergren, I want to let you know that even though, in my humble opinion, you may be the next Jane Austen, you are one mean, mean woman! Yes, that's right! Very mean, and cruel and heartless! Just so you know.

Okay, now that I vented out, I'm going to proceed to explain why exactly I felt so strongly about this novel.

First of all, the world building was incredible. Every step of the way I found myself right there beside the characters. Whether in Montana, aboard the Olympic, London or Paris, I could feel the atmosphere of each place and how it affected the personality of the characters. It was amazing, really.

I loved how Ms. Bergren handled the POV's. Cora, the lead female was speaking in first person, while Will's and Mr. Kensington's (who are the only other voices we hear) chapters were in third person. This way, Cora's experiences seemed more personal.. almost as if I was in her shoes.

The story itself was masterfully written, with tension, passion and all kinds of love, intertwining with an abundance of anger, hurt, hate and irritation that made all the characters incredibly realistic. You won't see a two dimensional character here. Not even the servants, or background characters were such. Which made me love every single person Ms. Bergren wrote about. From the main ones, like Cora and Will, to Vivian and Andrew, and even to Anna and Stuart and Antonio.

And now let's talk about the characters themselves.

*Cora - oh, she was an amazing young woman. She was bright and brave, outspoken and straight forward. I was impressed by her revolutionary ideas, her thinking process. Because in the beginning of the 20th century, women weren't supposed to voice their thoughts. They weren't even supposed to have thoughts. But Cora was a girl with an opinion, and she wasn't afraid to shout it out for the whole world to hear.
I hated how her eldest sister treated her most of the time - like she was undesired, trash, completely unloved and unwanted. But through it all, Cora continued to fight - if not for the love of her siblings, than for her own self. Because with the help of God she was beginning to discover that it isn't important what others think of you, how they perceive you. Nor is it important to change yourself so other people will like you. What's important is to find out who you are, and why God's placed you where you are. And that He's always there to help, to hold you high.

*Will - He started out as a sweet guy, and remained so all through the end. But the way he developed was pretty amazing. From interest, to confusion, to trying not to think about his impossible interest, to jealousy. And through it all, he remained the sweet guy, who was ready to protect a woman's honor at all costs. I think I fell in love with him - the way he carried himself, the way he risked his life for the sake of the clients he was taking on the Grand Tour. And the elderly couple he helped on board of Olympic... he was really someone special.

*Mr.Kensington - I don't think I ever hated him. True, he had an illegitimate child, but his wife knew, and he decided to do the right thing by both his family, and the maid he'd fallen in love with. I was honestly proud of the man! You can't see a mine-king of his class do all the things he did for Cora and her parents.

*Pierre de Richelieu was the charming man, for whom it was always easy to steal a woman's heart. I loved how he treated Cora, the special attention he showed her. I truly hope he'd fallen for her. But I don't believe she belongs with him. Anyway, he wasn't some stupid aristocrat, completely spoiled with no sense of responsibility or honor. Indeed, he was the exact opposite. And I have the feeling that he's being true to Cora.

I'm so curious as to where this story would go. What turns it would take. What adventures it would lead the characters to encounter. I can't explain just how much it moved me. So I'll definitely be waiting for the sequel. My rating can be nothing but 

NOTE: This book was kindly provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Lies Beneath" by Anne Greenwood Brown

Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath, #1)

NOTE: I received this book to review from Netgalley.

I was very excited that I was given this book, and I'm really glad it didn't disappoint me. Granted, it wasn't anything superior, but it was a nice, light read, and I enjoyed it very much. I'm sure I could've finished it in one day, had I not been busy with a ton of other things.

Like I said, this was a very light read. Sure, there were monsters, several murders and such, but they weren't presented in a grotesque kind of way. We didn't get to see people's guts getting spilled out, or hear them scream in terror or agony or something. That was not disappointing at all.

What was slightly disappointing was that the concept didn't seem original to me. I mean, bad boy goes good, good girl goes bad, love spurts where it shouldn't. It's all sort of cliched.

Still though, I enjoyed the story, and had fun getting to know the characters.

*Calder was sweet, and those little urges he had from time to time didn't really mark him as a killer in my book. Honestly. Besides, he was trying to fight it, so that should count for something, right? What I couldn't accept though was how susceptible he was to his sisters and what they wanted of him. And the way he went on stalking Lily... it was creepy. Sort of.

*Lily wasn't the clueless girl who suddenly finds herself in the midst of trouble. She's quite aware actually, and she always seems to ask the right questions. I liked that about her. I also liked her love for poetry, and how she always found those verses that strung a chord in Calder's heart.

*Tallulah, one of Calder's sisters, was just so obvious. And that transformation she went thru... that was so... so... mermish I guess.

*Maris, the eldest sister, was the most ruthless one. I didn't like her, her coldness or her decision to pursue the unnecessary revenge.

*Pavati, the third sister wasn't impressive in any special way. I guess she was beautiful, but I didn't really feel it, nor did I care.

*Jack Pettit, the guy who had fallen in Pavati's nets... his appearances were just so random. I hope we find out more about him in the sequel.

All in all, I would recommend this book to readers who aren't afraid to let their imagination roam freely, and who want to read something light.

My rating for this novel is

Thursday, June 14, 2012

"Ghost Crown" by J. Gabriel Gates & Charlene Keel

Ghost Crown (The Tracks, #2)
NOTE: I received this book to review from Netgalley.

Finally! I'm done with this book, and I can tell you, it feels like a huge weight was just taken off my shoulders. Now, you may think this means I didn't like the story or something. But then, you may notice my rating, and you might get slightly confused.

Truth is, I really LOVED this book. The only thing about it that sort of exhausted me was the count of its pages. 480 pages!!!!!!! To be honest, not a single one of them could be taken out, but still, that number sort of weigh a whole ton.

Anyway. So, when I began reading I had no idea "Ghost Crown" was book 2 in a series. It took me entire 20 pages to realize that. And then it took me another 50 pages to realize that I didn't actually need to know much about book 1, because the author did his job well. What I mean is that Mr. Gates and Ms. Keel placed the right reminders at the right spots, so as a new reader such as myself won't get confused at who is who and what had happened and why these people were together or not. You get the idea.

Now, with a hand on my heart I can say (or write) that the story was really great. It had just the right amount of paranormalcy, enough action to have your head spinning, and pretty good romance. Drama wasn't lacking, nor was danger. There was darkness and light and lots of confusion (for the characters, but not the reader). And that last scene with the battle... well, let's just say that I breezed through it like I was reading LOTR!! Yes, it was that good.

There was one thing I didn't like about the structuring though, and I hope that the hard copy version lacks this problem. It's that the POV's got switched without notification. It would've been nice to know that we aren't in Raphael's head anymore, or in Aimee's or Zhai's. Just a nice prompt as to who's POV we'd be switching to would've been enough. But sadly, that wasn't the case. Not in this eARC anyway.

I am thrilled to say that the characters here were VERY realistic. The good guys had flows of their own: some were selfish, others were too jealous. The bad guys - well at least some of them - had a good side as well, though the truly evil characters stayed evil to the end.

The only personality that I truly disliked was Jack Banfield, who was a ruthless man with no consideration to anyone, even the members of his own family. Everyone was a pawn in his grand scheme to control all good assets in Middleburg and nothing was important enough to keep him from his path of dominion. Perhaps the only good thing about him was that he had no supernatural powers. I can't even imagine him with powers. *shudders*

Not even the snake men repulsed me as much as Jack. Perhaps because they were just cold evil merciless killers, of whom nothing else could be expected but brutal murder no matter who the victim was. But I totally understood them - they're pure evil. They'd lived for centuries, and they were thirsty for wealth and life. But Jack? He was human, he was a father, and he was still as ruthless as them, as cold as them.. That just gave me the creeps.

There were a lot of characters in this book, each one with his/her own story and I was intrigued by each of them. Their transformations, character growth, hopes, desires and so on.

I must say that even though Raphael was sort of the lead male, I had my sympathies on Zhai. Not that Raph wasn't a nice guy or anything, I just liked Zhai better. He had this shyness about him and that sense of honor and he totally stroke a nerve in me. And when he was forced to transform into a ruthless person... well I ached for him, but at the same time I was glad that the author made his transformation realistic. I was expecting transformed Zhai to show some sort of compassion or something, but no. He was so well developed, it was obvious the author didn't want to spare him some hardships or truths or misery just because he loved the character. I love it when authors don't protect the characters. It's how it should be. So when Zhai was Zhai - he was really good, and brave and gentle. When he was transformed, he was like an evil indestructible force. It was amazing!

Raphael didn't do so bad as a character either. He just had the good fortune to remain himself 100% of the time. He was a strong character, but he also showed weakness. I think his job was to show that in love, even the strongest men become weak. That was cool. I loved his kung fu skills, and how he protected those he cared about. I loved his altruism and his concern for his family and crew and Aimee. And I was really glad he didn't just desert Aimee without getting an explanation from her for her spending time with Orias. I was impressed that he didn't just run into Maggie's open arms. It's rare to see such devotion in a guy.

Which brings me to Ignacio, who was also in a bad position - standing between his ex-gf Clarisse and Dalton, the girl he was in love with. Even though Clarisse was doing everything in her power to take Nass back, he never gave in to the temptation. He was a true and honorable guy, who didn't desert his leader (Raph) or his girl (Dalton) even when things looked and got bad.

Orias - well, what can I say about him? I thought he was just evil. Until Aimee actually stole his heart. And then the good in him sort of shone through. He was still evil in a way, but I could see that he wasn't two-dimensional. He had his own hardships, his own troubles, his own cares. But he still managed to get over them and open up to the brightness of love. We'll see exactly how true his intentions are in book 3 I guess.

Aimee's brother, Rick was a character I loathed. I really didn't understand why he was always so negative, so decided to fight the poor Flatliners. Well, that is until I saw him through Maggie's eyes. Then everything sort of explained itself. And I truly loathed him. There was nothing, not even marginally, good about him. He was like his father, Jack Banfield - ruthless and determined to have things go his way. I think he was a total waste of space, though he was a necessary character.

Now the girls:

Aimee was sort of the lead female, and I was so disappointed in her when she literally forgot Raph. Gosh, she totally frustrated me! In the last hundred or so pages, she couldn't even remember his face, or his name. True though, she remembered that there was someone important that she was forgetting. But she didn't know who. Which truly sucked. But of course I can't blame her. Being under Orias's influence can do tricky things to a person.

I think I liked Maggie the most of all girls. She had character, and even though she was a bit selfish, she wasn't really bad. She was real actually, and she wasn't afraid to show it. She wanted what she wanted and she was ready to get it however she could. And even though I was frustrated that she didn't do anything to help Aimee, I still understood where she was coming from.
Life wasn't easy on her, especially after she got the ghost crown on her head. What she was able to see and hear afterward - it was amazing that she found strength to handle it.

All other characters were sort of minor, so I won't really stop on them, but they were all really well developed. Not one of them was two-dimensional and that really made this book worth my rating.

I would recommend it to anyone who loves paranormal stories.

My rating is

Thursday, June 7, 2012

"The Other Slipper" by Kenechi Udogu

The Other Slipper
NOTE: I received this book to review by the author.

At first, I thought that "The Other Slipper" would be a retelling of Cinderella. But it turned out that it was the story behind Cinderella's slippers. Which sort of surprised me a little, though I was glad I wasn't reading something I'd read so many times before.

So, this is the story of Jo, an ordinary girl living in an ordinary world, where nothing out of the ordinary happens. Until the night of the ball, when she finds herself in the middle of the road, this weird crystal slipper just a few feet away from her. This was seriously one of the funniest moments in this book, and there were several, where I honestly laughed out loud at Jo's reasoning. Anyway, the fairy godmother sends Jo on a mission to return the slippers to their rightful owner. Little does Jo know that her path to the mysterious Lady of Ould would be full of unanticipated adventures that would take her further away from home.

I mostly liked the voice of this story. It was slightly ironic, and quite funny in certain places. But sometimes it was much too irritating. The inner dialogues of the characters were sometimes ridiculous and way too unrealistic. Some things were repeated numerous times and if I wasn't interested in the development of the story itself, I might've just abandoned the book altogether.

About the characters: I can't say they were oh so deep and all consuming. Umm, no. Sometimes they were just plain dull and shallow. They did have their sparkly moments, but on the most part they weren't anything spectacular.

What I did like about them however,was that they developed over time. Jo became more considerate and understanding; Ron became sure of himself and quite reasonable; Locke turned into a caring guy, ready to offer his services.

All in all, I liked the story, so the

are a very reasonable rating. I'd recommend this book to you if you're into fairy tales and such.

Monday, June 4, 2012

"City of Lost Souls" by Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5)

Okay, so I just finished this book a couple of days ago, and I'm glad I didn't write the review right away, because it might've come out a bit biased (as in, I loved the other 4 books, so by association I loved this one too). Truth is, I so loved the other four books in this series, that I was totally inclined to like this one too. And I did like it, but not as much as the rest of them. Bear with me and I'll tell you why.

So we all know how City of Fallen Angels ended, and what a killer the cliff hanger was. Jace and Sebastian missing, lots of blood splattered on the floor, etc. etc. I could say that it alone made me wait for City of Lost Souls with anticipation. But when I opened CoLS, guess what happened... I found myself submerged into Simon, Izzy, Malec, Jordan and Maya and some Clary. And no Jace. And no Seb. And grrr!!!! That was so totally disappointing. Sure, they were all playing some role in the story, but I missed Jace!!!

I was really frustrated that from mostly a Jace/Clary story, it was twisted into a Jordan/Maia story, Simon/Izzy story and Magnus/Alec story. I mean, don't get me wrong - I think they are all awesome characters, and I was glad that the relationships between them are developing, but are they supposed to be what we should focus on? I thought it was a bit too much.

I think we were supposed to get to hate Simon's mother even more in this book, though if you ask me, she had all the right to be frightened and freaked out. Her son had turned into a vamp for God's sake! Honestly, wouldn't you freak out? I know I would. Sure, she sort of overdid it, but heck, I understand her! What I don't understand was Becky's (Simon's sister) reaction... I mean, seriously? If you learned your brother had turned into a vamp, would you just say "Umm, okay. I get you're a vamp now. But I still love you. Come, give me a hug." I don't think so. No. It's too unrealistic, especially since Becky has no clue there are real monsters out there. So darn, the realistic reaction would be to run the heck away! Perhaps in a day or two, when she got her wits about, she could brave meeting Simon again. Now THAT would be pretty realistic to me...

Then there was Alec with his insecurities in Magnus. Yeah, I understand him pretty well. If your boyfriend was an immortal, wouldn't you want to be one too, to be together forever or something? Or if that's impossible, wouldn't you want to turn him into a mortal instead? I honestly don't know because of two reasons: 1st - forever is quite a long time, and what if a year or two from now you realize you don't feel the same about that person anymore? So what, you're stuck living forever now? And 2nd - you can't just take somebody's free will away just like that! For your own purposes, and because you couldn't handle a little emotional hardship! It's just silly, and it's enough to break even the strongest relationship. I was just totally disappointed in Alec because he even had the will to consider these options.

And Magnus? Boy, couldn't he tell that something was going on in Alec's mind? I mean, if they were indeed THAT CLOSE, he should've noticed and done something about it, no? So his behavior frustrated me pretty bad. I expected him to be proactive, sensitive and all that, but instead, he just turned into an insensitive bastard and slammed the door on Alec. If that wasn't stupid I don't know what was.

Yet, even with all that, Alec was somehow prone to being insecure. He sort of had it in him. But I would've never expected it of easy going, confident Izabelle, who never gave off the vibe of an insecure girl. And now she just started to show a side of her that must've been buried so deep down inside, that I honestly never saw it coming. And she's insecure about Simon of all people!! Because of... Jace-struck Clary!!! That's so unbelievable, I can't even now wrap my mind around the concept. Sure, feeling a little unstable is understandable. After all she's lost her little brother, and now Jace is missing too, but Izzy's always been able to hold herself together. Why on earth would she feel insecure about Simon?

Then there came Jordan and Maia, who I was totally surprised to see so much of in this book. Perhaps Ms. Clare was trying to fill in the pages.. I honestly don't know, but I think she sort of overdid it with including those two in the mainframe of the story. Yeah, I sure enjoyed their hot passionate relationship, but I didn't think that was necessary to be included in the book. Perhaps an extra would've been a better choice..?

Aaand now onto the characters which should've remained as the main ones but didn't quite make it there...

Clary, and perhaps she's the only character who felt realistic to me throughout the novel, has grown into a brave girl ready to do whatever it takes to save the one she loves. She's not the girl we used to know in City of Bones. No, she's decisive, strong, a bit reckless, and infuriatingly good at kicking monster butt. I loved how she considered the consequences of her actions, I loved how she seemed to think things through at the right moment. How she was able to make traps for Sebastian. And I loved how she made the right decision in the end. Can't tell you what that was, but it was incredibly swift and smooth and she deserves applause for building up the nerve to do it.

Jace, oh Jace! I missed him so much, I can't even describe the feeling! Sure, his body made an appearance from a certain point onward, but it wasn't Jace in there, not really. It was a person totally controlled by Sebastian. What confused me was that this Jace also seemed to love and want Clary. How did that happen? Then our Jace was back for a little, and I was so glad to see him even for a little while. My heart broke for him, and I ached to comfort him somehow. I could understand his dilemma, his pain and even his decision, even though just the thought of it tore my heart apart to pieces.

And Sebastian... the bastard! I was halfway convinced that he had something good in mind this time, but heck - I should've known better! Nothing good comes out of a bad tree, does it? The Bible says so, and we can see the same principle applied here. But he was so darn convincing, saving Clary from those demons and all... Then again, he did try to seduce her, and killed a bunch of people, and then did all those horrible things to Luke's sister, Amatis. I was just totally grossed out by him in the end. So no, he won't turn good, like ever.

On the story in general, I have the following thoughts: I hoped that the reason behind Sebastian's craziness would be something more intriguing. But in the end it didn't turn out all that great. It almost felt like Ms. Clare was running out of plot ideas, so she decided to wrap up Seb and Jace in this weird plan to ... well I won't tell you more.

So, you might think that with all I've said, I wouldn't recommend this book, but that's not true. I totally recommend it, because my opinion is just this. My opinion. Yours might be totally different. So yeah, you gotta try it for yourself! ;)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

"Shadow Bound" by Rachel Vincent

Shadow Bound (Unbound, #2)

NOTE: I received this book for review from Netgalley.

Gosh, what can I say??? No words are good enough to explain just how embarrassingly marvelous this book is!!! You'd ask why embarrassingly, I'm sure, and here's the answer: Because it puts to shame any other urban fantasy/paranormal novels I've ever read. Then again, Rachel Vincent is one of my most favorite authors out there, so yeah...

I just want to start off with saying that the world building was freaking awesome! And I mean that with no reserve. Even though book one - Blood Bound - already gave us a pretty good clue what things are like in the fictional world of events, it was sort of like one side of the story - Ruben Cavazos's side. Shadow Bound takes it west - to Jake Tower's empire. Seen through the eyes of Korinne Daniels and Ian Holt.

We learn of new Skills, new people involved in the whole business of binding, new life stories. And we learn just how ruthless a man can be. And that's a lot.

I hated chapter one, because as a woman, it made me cringe at every word, every freaking thought of pain. It simply got to me, and I can't deny how fresh and how realistic it all felt. Sure, the weight of the pages kept me on my side of the world, but Kori's side was also there. I could see it. I could feel it. And I hated it.

Until Ian showed with that shining armor of his, ready to conquer to world, just so he could rescue the princess. Who was no princess at all, but a broken thing with no future. Kori had suffered through so much that she couldn't trust even herself. She tried to be strong, and she was good at it, but at night, when darkness took over, the strength abandoned her. All she had left were nightmares that she couldn't escape, couldn't run away from.

Ian had no idea what he was getting when he requested a petite blonde to show him around Jake Tower's world. He'd bargained for one thing and gotten something completely different. But not for one second did he regret it. No, he played his game smartly as far as he could under the circumstances, given that he was slowly falling for the girl whose sister he was supposed to kill. And if that didn't complicate things enough, he was also being hunted down by the other syndicates, because his Skill was just that valuable.

The emotional roller coaster was the size of Hulk in this novel, and I wasn't sure at all how things would end until the last page was turned. And I love it when I can't predict a book's ending. It sort of makes it unique. Makes me think of it.

I also want to say that the characters never got out of their personality. Not even once. They followed their own traits throughout the novel, no matter how difficult it was. For example, Kori did not abandon her attitude, or her fighting spirit, even though she felt like she'd lost herself. Ian kept to his chivalry, even when threatened with death. Tower didn't waver from his ruthless self, despite all the problems that caused him. Nor did any of the minor characters. Rachel didn't even once compromise with their personal traits for the sake of the novel. No, she only described the way she saw them. The way they were. And that was what made Shadow Bound so intense, so incredible and entertaining. So much that I couldn't put it down.