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*I received a free eARC of Bound by Night from Pocket Book via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*
This and all my other reviews are originally posted on my blog (un)Conventional Bookviews
Bound by Night first got this reaction from me when I finished reading: This. Book.Was. Made. Of. Awesome! That was all I was capable of thinking and feeling and sharing. It has taken me a little while to actually form coherent thoughts, I just fell in love with the characters, the mythology and the completely different take on vampires that were depicted in Bound by Night.
The prologue explains how vampires are slaves in this universe, they are snatched by humans and forced to work for them, taking care of mundane tasks as being a nanny, prepare food or care for the garden. The only thing they get in exchange is room and board. As well as violence. Their human bosses use them in every way - their blood is used to cure disease, help people stay young and generally to control the vampires. They are treated worse than animals, and most of the humans think they have no feelings, and no soul. Not so for little Nicole, who really loves her vampire nanny, and believes the vampires are not treated right. At eight years old, nobody wants to listen to her, though, and when her whole family is murdered in the vampire rebellion, she is sent abroad to be groomed to take over her parents company. Because of that fateful day, plus another episode when she was privy to vampire violence, Nicole grew up not feeling as friendly towards vampires as she were when she was a child.
Little does she know that the vampire who scared her the most - because she saw him bent over her dear nanny with a knife the was she was killed - is on the warpath, and Nicole is the prize he is looking for to save one of his own. Bound by Night has it's share of violence, but it is really easy to understand where the hatred comes from. I especially appreciated having vampires who are not really seen as a threat, even if they evidently are a very big threat. The humans think the vampires only act on instinct, and when Nicole is kidnapped, she is surprised to see how organized and protective they are of each other. While in captivity, Nicole realizes more and more just how right she was when she was a child, but it seems like there is really nothing she will be able to do to convince people how they should be dealing with vampires through cooperation rather than coercion. And she is in for a lot of difficult twists during Bound by Night, as she understands the vampires better and better, all the while learning that the few people she thought she could count on to have her back would rather stab her in it than help her out.
An emphatic and strong female protagonist doubled with a physically strong, but emotionally broken hero, Bound by Night caught my attention from the very first line of the story to the end. I loved the character development, especially how both Nicole and the vampires had to re-adjust their beliefs when they got to know each other. The mythology is a mixture of native American and something that might be made up, and I was really intrigued and drawn to it. The way the vampire leader communed with spirits, the ancient language he could speak, and the sacrifices he was willing to make for his clan made for a secondary character that is truly worthy of notice as well. There is plenty of action, both in the bedroom and out, and I enjoyed learning more about how the clans are not working together, but are still able to protect all vampires when the need arises.
The scientific parts were well done, too, even if I am no science-geek myself. Nicole explained things very well to her new friends, and as a reader, I was thus able to follow the more complicated things that happened. With plenty of serious things happening throughout Bound by Night, there is still a certain playfulness among the vampires, and I love the characters' sense of humor as well. If you're a paranormal romance fan, you should definitely run and get your copy of Bound by Night when it is released in ten days! It's well written, the pace is great, because the story slows down then speeds up when needed.
The intricate world-building is well done because everything is explained little by little, even if the most important part is shown to the readers during the prologue. I know I have a new favorite series to add to my list now, and I really look forward to seeing where Ms. Ione will take this wonderful new world of hers in the future.
Like all the servants, he'd always kept his eyes downcast - "secured his gaze," as her father called it - in the presence of humans, but not this time. This time, he looked at her the way her dad looked at the Thanksgiving Turkey.
Nicole's therapist was a huge fool if she thought vampires were more afraid of humans than humans were of them. Dr. Bhatia was so fired.
Dear God, what would sex with him be like, if just holding him still gave her muscle strains? And why in the world would her mind go there? "Can Riker come out to play?" Myne asked. "Depends," Riker narrowed his eyes at his friend. Myne often had a skewed view on what was fun. "What are we playing?" "Poach the Poachers." Cool. Riker liked that game.