Unbound by Lori Devoti
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was a book that I struggled to finish, but it turned out to be a decent read. Below is the bad and the good of Unbound:
*The premise was somewhat interesting, and I loved the incorporation of Norse mythology. However, the execution was too sketchy for my tastes. There was just enough folklore there to tantalize me as a reader, but the story left me wanting more. There was a part near the end that just got kind of weird, with a science fiction vibe that seemed incongruous.
*The witch aspect was sort of weak. I'm no big fan of witch storylines, but I think this one could have been expanded to give this book more pizzazz. The villain was along the lines of the White Witch of the North from the Narnia books, mixed with the Snow Queen. Not bad, but could have been better with more characterization.
*There were parts where I was almost bored. I felt like my reading time really got me nowhere with this book, at times. I put it down several times to do other things out of boredom.
*I never really fell in love with the heroine. She was alright. I didn't hate her, but I didn't love her. I wasn't quite sure why Risk fell in love with her, and was willing to give up so much for her.
*I loved Risk, the hero. He was quite the man/hellhound. Very sexy and interesting. I wanted him to get his happy ending, and it if was Kara, so much the better. The poor guy was often between a rock and a hard place, forced to make very difficult decisions on the spur on the moment. He proved his mettle, his intelligence, and his worthiness, ten times over. I found him very admirable, and I fell in love with him.
*Interesting secondary characters. The hellhounds as a group intrigued me. I liked the sprinkling of characters from the Norse myths, such as Kol, the gorm (a wolf in human form who acts gatekeeper to the portals between the Nine Worlds--the gate being the bar Guardian's Keep), and Venge (a young hellhound who has a pivotal relationship with Risk--I want to see more of him).
*Good descriptions of action and fight scenes. Magical parts were interesting.
*Great chemistry and love scenes.
All in all, not a bad read, but it could have been better. On the good side, I am invested enough to continue this series. I hope Ms. Devoti expands her world-building in the next series to do such a good premise based on Norse Mythology justice. I will recommend this book to paranormal romance fans who want a quick read based on Norse myths, but with the above reservations. Also, I think it's worth reading for Risk.
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