Thursday, 12 April 2012

Review: Bound - Sarah Bryant

Bound by Sarah Bryant, published by Snowbooks on 1st February 2012

Goodreads synopsis:
All Sophie Creedon has ever wanted is a normal life – but normal life doesn’t seem to want Sophie. Strikingly pretty, a top student, with unique musical talent, the London schoolgirl has always stood out from the crowd. But it’s the Revenants that truly set her apart: creatures not quite living, not quite dead, and visible only to Sophie. Hard as she tries to ignore them, her haunting has cost her friends, opportunities, even her parents’ trust.

In a last-ditch effort to free herself of it, she foregoes a university place in favour of a waitressing job in the tiny village of Ardnasheen, on Scotland’s wild northwest coast. Though at first Ardnasheen seems to offer exactly the refuge Sophie has been looking for, she quickly realizes that it harbors dark secrets of its own. Barely a week into her new life, she finds herself caught up in a bitter rivalry between Sam and Lucas, two young landowners. One is charming, the other brooding, and both irresistibly compelling. But the roots of their hostility run deep into a mysterious past that seems to involve Sophie. As they vie for her attention, she is forced to choose which one to trust.

Sophie is about to discover the love of her life – and a secret to die for.

Very occasionally you come across a book which you know almost nothing about but which ends up amazing and surprising you with a story which you fall in love with.  'Bound' by Sarah Bryant is one of those books.  I picked it up to read one evening and curled up in bed planning to just read a couple of chapters.  Those couple of chapters turned into a few more and then a few more and I found that I couldn't actually go to sleep until I'd found out how the plot was going to unfold and what was going to be the fate of all the characters.  Needless to say I didn't get much sleep at all that night!

The story is set in Scotland, in a small village called Ardnasheen.  Situated in the middle of nowhere with a very small population who all know each other, the atmospheric setting nicely fitted with the feeling of isolation that the protagonist Sophie experiences when she first arrives.  The weather is miserable and unwelcoming but Sophie is running away from something that scares her more than being on her own in a strange place. 

She's drawn towards the local Laird, Lucas Belial, who we get to hear about before being introduced to him.  There's a connection between them which is unexplained at first but gradually revealed over the course of the book.  I loved Lucas who is gorgeous and passionate, dark and mysterious and I really liked the theme of forbidden love which is woven into the plot.  The romance in the novel came across as genuine and real and made me believe and hope for the happiness of the characters.  There's a mini love triangle between Sophie, Lucas and another local resident, Sam Eblis, but there was no doubt in my mind who she should pick. 

Angels, revenants, demons and faeries - this book has them all and Bryant does a brilliant job of combining them all into a story which utterly captivated me.  There are so many interesting and surprising revelations that 'Bound' is a genuine page-turner. 

This is Sarah Bryant's fifth book (I've actually read a couple of her adult novels) but is the first which she's written for a young-adult audience.  Angel lovers will adore this story of good and evil and forbidden love and will be gripped by the intricate plot, with layer upon layer of the story unravelling with plenty of exciting twists and turns.  There are still lots of questions which remain unanswered at the end - one of the reasons why I'm absolutely desperate to read the sequel 'Riven' which luckily is due to be published summer 2012. 

Here's the gorgeous trailer for 'Bound' which should have you rushing out to get your hands on a copy of this amazing book!


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