The third (and supposedly, final) installment in Rachel Vincent's Unbound series, Oath Bound was one of my most anticipated novels of the year. The unusual, mob-style world and distinctive, yet not overwhelming, paranormal elements have made this series one I've enjoyed immensely, and recommend often.
Fortunately, Oath Bound met my expectations and while I didn't love it as much as the second book in the series, Shadow Bound, it equalled the quality of the gripping first novel, Blood Bound. However, for an alleged final book in a series, I was definitely left feeling that there was quite a bit more needed in order for the series to achieve closure (though as with the previous books, the story itself comes to a satisfying ending).
Note: I have made every attempt to not spoil either of the two previous books in this series. While this novel would be best read after reading Blood Bound and Shadow Bound, it could be read as a standalone.
Here's quick primer on the Unbound world: The best comparison I can make is to Holly Black's Curse Workers series (which I also highly recommend). Some people are Skilled, and are able to utilize their Skills for a specific purpose, such as tracking people with just a name, teleporting via dark spaces, jamming tracking skills, binding contracts in a way that they're unbreakable or seeing future events. Like in the Curse Workers series, these talents are often commandeered by crime families, whose organizations exploit the Skilled for the benefit of their criminal enterprises. These organizations are ruthless, and the particular city these novels take place in are ruled by two rival, ruthless syndicates: Tower and Cavazos.
The Unbound series explores the theme of free will quite extensively, as that's the most valuable commodity in this world.
Each of the books in the Unbound series are told from two first-person points-of-view. In Oath Bound, one of those points-of-view is Kris, the brother of Kori, who was a narrator in Shadow Bound, and Kenley, an important secondary character in both this novel and the previous installment. The other narrator is a new introduction, Sera, who's the secret daughter of Jake Tower, former leader of one of the Tower syndicates.
Summer reading tends to be feast or famine for me.
My work schedule gets a bit weird, so I alternate between no free time and loads of it. As a result, I tend to be a bit more random with my reading choices (which is saying something, since I specialize in random and don't keep a reading "schedule" like many folks do) and binge on series or authors and try a lot of stuff out that piqued my interest that I previously passed up due to business, etcetera.
Here are a few (actually, a whole lot) of books I'm thinking about tackling this summer.
Darkest London Series by Kristen Callihan
I picked up the third book in Kristen Calligan's Darkest London Series at ALA earlier this year, not realizing that it was part of an ongoing series (I started reading Winterblaze and was promptly confused). I find myself more and more intrigued by historical fantasy (is that what the sub-genre is called?) and this one while having pretty trashy covers, comes highly recommended by several folks whose taste I trust.
Amazon | Goodreads
The Paranormal YA Series Enders
I have a weird habit with series endings: I kind of hate them. There's so much pressure for series to end "right" and in the case of paranormal YA, since there's not a lot that I love, love, love, with Jeri Smith-Ready's Shade trilogy, Rachel Vincent's lengthy Soul Screamersseries and Kim Derting's Body Finder quartet, it's not just series ending stress I'm facing--I'm also looking at not having a lot left in the genre that intrigues me.
Shade Series on Amazon | Goodreads
Soul Screamers on Amazon | Goodreads
The Body Finder on Amazon | Goodreads
We're back with another installment of the Clear Eyes, Full Shelves podcast! In this episode we ask a lot of questions about the idea of "new adult" fiction.Is it a genre? Is it a category? Is it even a thing in the real world beyond the internet? Why are most of the New Adult novels seemingly contemporary romance with 18-24 year old? What types of books would we like to see come out of this trend?
As an added bonus, we both reflect on what we were like during that tumultuous--and hilarious--time in our lives. We'd love to hear your thoughts on what you'd like to see from this trend.
You can listen by steaming the audio in this post, by control- or right-clicking the "download" link or subscribing in iTunes. (If you're an iTuner, we very much appreciate your rating the podcast--it helps us show up in searches.)
Thanks for listening!
I know, I know... the love triangle is everyone's favorite trope to hate. But sometimes... just sometimes, it's kind of fun/intriguing/compelling.
Here are a handful of like/love/lust triangles that I've enjoyed--seriously.
The "Summer" Series by Jenny Han: Belly, Jeremiah, Conrad
Triangle Type: The Classic - Two Brothers Heart One Girl; Girl Hearts Two Brothers--Yo, It's Complicated!
This series not only features a love triangle (and it's really "love") because Belly really cares about both brothers, Jeremiah and Conrad, and they care about her. Their shared history of summers spent together at the shore makes the complexity of the relationships completely believable--it's achy and the dramatics are irresistible. Read my review here.
Amazon | Goodreads