Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Review: Oath Bound

Oath Bound
Author: Rachel Vincent
Published: April 30, 2013
432 pages
5 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

The secret daughter of the head of an infamous Skilled crime family, Sera Brandt has hidden her past, her potential and especially her powers. But when a tragedy strikes her other family, Sera needs justice. And the only way to get it is to reveal her heritage–including a rare Skill–and take the reins of the Tower Syndicate from her cunning and malicious aunt. Kristopher Daniels might have the answer. He's fought the syndicate to protect his sisters, but he'd never realized just how close to the new heir he needed to get.... But there's something between them that can't be ignored. And so Sera is on the run with a man she can't figure out, a target on her back and the new knowledge of just how powerful she really is....

There are some adult series that make you step away from YA because they need to be read right away. The Unbound series by Rachel Vincent is definitely one of those. I've been a fan of Vincent's since I first picked up My Soul to Take and it's been a great journey since then. Though I still need to sink my teeth into her Shifters series, I've thoroughly enjoyed her new adult series about a world where crime families rule and those with Skills (special abilities) must do whatever they can to survive. The first book, Blood Bound, followed two characters from opposite sides beating the odds and coming out alive (and in love). Shadow Bound follows a Tower syndicate member falling for the guy she's supposed to be bringing in and thus both escaping. Now, in the final chapter of the series, we find Sera, the illegitimate daughter of Jake Tower trying to figure out her loyalties after being "kidnapped" by Kris, a man part of a group trying to take down the syndicates. 

What I loved about this book was that we got to see our old favourite characters helping out Sera and Kris. Blissfully happy (thank God) and ready to see the fall of some empires, the group joins together with Sera to see the end once and for all. The usual formula works like magic: Sera hates Kris at first, thinking he'd kidnapped her, but gradually realizes that he's a good person. Told from alternating perspectives, the tension is high and I just couldn't wait for them to get together. Vincent knows exactly how to get you excited about characters and anticipating the next chapter. If I didn't have to sleep and work, and well, live, I'd have read this book in one sitting. From the first page of this series, I've been drawn in, and I certainly wasn't ready to say goodbye.

The world building in these books is spectacular. Right away, we're thrown into this city atmosphere, futuristic yet vintage, where the mob rules and one can be free. Careful to clean up all your spilled blood. Careful not to tell anyone your full name. Trust no one and try not to get yourself into an oath you're not willing to live through. The relationships are twisted, entwined and realistic. People are brutalized, killed, forced into oaths they do not want in order to save those they love. Relationships are tested, found, lost, and found again. Each book sits on its own, but as a whole the story is compelling and doesn't let you go until the last page. Even then, I gripped the book and prayed for pages to pop up out of nowhere so that I could see our group of misfits get all the revenge they deserve.

From the outside, this may seem like a confusing series to start. A lot of perspectives, a lot of characters, and a lot of back story. But it sucks you in and before you know it, these characters are real, they are your friends, and you're rooting for them the whole way. Each book shows a new set of crazy characters to fall in love with (and watch as they fall in love with each other) and trust me when I say this, but you will not want to let them go when it's over. Vincent writes characters, relationships and friendships that will stay with you and leave you eager for more. I know I want to see more of these guys, but knowing that I won't, I can't wait to read Shifters (sitting on my bookshelf too long) and her new series to come. She is still one of my top authors, and I'm forever impressed with her words and stories. 

“I liked that about her. I liked how laid back she was, when she wasn’t trying to stab me.” 

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