Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
I read the back-cover of Blood Bound and wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into, but it was a Rachel Vincent novel and that means must-read for me. I’m so glad I did — and I understand why there was so few brief explanations of the plot. It doesn’t fall in any category easily. Yes, it’s a paranormal romance, and there’s a supernatural element, but Vincent has created something new. And it’s brilliant.
Liv lives in a world where some people have enhanced supernatural abilities — of those covered in the book, all are mentally-focused. Liv is a tracker. With a sample of someone’s blood, she can find them. She worked for the police for a time, but the courts don’t yet admit evidence from trackers. Other trackers can find someone just by having his or her full name. In addition, we learn of others, most notably those with the ability to bind oaths. If you make a promise with a binder present, there’s no way out. Should you try to revert on your word, intense pain and eventual death follow.
Blood Bound explores just what would happen if you had to follow through — with no inhibitions, to the point of death — to keep your word. We tackle the theme from multiple sides, including the loyalty of friends, the potentiality of a bond of love and those oaths one will forever regret. Liv is called upon (without any choice) to track down and kill the murderer of a friend’s husband. And she’s tasked to do so with her ex-boyfriend Cam. And he would really like to know why Liv ran off on him six years ago. The answer may put them both in danger, but once reunited it’s hard to fight the deep feelings that bubble up again.
Cam and Liv’s relationship is intense and complicated. There’s nothing easy. He just wants her, wants her to admit she still loves him. Liv would prefer to pretend she’s not melting inside just by sitting the same car with him. And she’s done things she never wants him to know about. She wants to remain that ideal, and that is relatable. Liv wants to be good enough for Cam and wants to protect him, and — as is often the way these things go — it just makes things worse.
Blood Bound promises love with complications, breaking-and-entering, mystery and some kickass action sequences. Vincent contemplates the truth of promises and how one might exploit those oaths. Fans of Jeaniene Frost and Carolyn Crane novels should pick up Blood Bound.
Sexual content: Sex, references to prostitution