BOUND by author C.K. Bryant
Series Book 1 in The Crystor seriesSummary taken from Goodreads
YA Paranormal Romance
When a photo shoot ends in tragedy, Kira discovers her best friend, Lydia, has been keeping a secret. Knowing the truth, and accepting it, will change Kira’s life forever and thrust her into a world of ancient curses, magical objects, and savage enemies. What happens next will challenge everything Kira knows about her world, herself and the shape-shifting warrior she’s falling in love with. No longer the timid mouse her mother accused her of being, but a woman who finds the mental and physical strength to endure and survive. BOUND is a heroic tale of true friendship, infinite sacrifice and untamed love
My review: 3/5
The book follows 3 characters, Kira, Lydia and Octavion. Though Kira is the main character, the story is told from Octavion's point of view as well. It begins with the a modern day setup; a high school gym with Kira having to pass off on rope climbing. She's having difficulty accomplishing this while being harassed by the "popular" clique and being rushed by the teacher. Thankfully her BFF, Lydia, is there as well, to help with encouragement. The two friends are tight. But, not as tight as Kira might think. Lydia's got a secret. As Kira inadvertently discovers her secret, their lives become entwined and not under good circumstances. Due to the life threatening situations they're thrust into and their bond, they make numerous attempts to protect and keep each other safe, but fate has other plans.
One of the things I enjoyed most about this book, were the easy, fun, very believable exchanges between the best friends. I'd catch myself smiling while they teased and mocked each other. I also admired their unwavering loyalty. It was what I hoped for and expected from their relationship early on. There wasn't any cattiness or jealousy on their parts.
You meet Lydia's big brother, Octavion, early on in the story. He gives new meaning to the term "over protective". He's pushy, forceful, stubborn and abrasive. But, you also get to see his softer side. He can be gentle, caring and moved to tears. As you delve further into the story you come to understand why that is. There are good reasons for a lot of his behaviors and reactions, but oftentimes he can't get a good grasp on controlling them. He has great chemistry with Kira. There's a powerful attraction and intensity between them. Their exchanges range from tender to volatile. They have some pretty great scenes together when they're alone.
I'm not sure I ever really warmed up to Kira, even at the end. Her behavior felt inconsistent throughout the book. She starts off weak and helpless, but gradually finds her footing. As she finds confidence, self-worth and her backbone, it's refreshing, entertaining and exciting. When she begins to stand up for herself and take charge of the direction her life will take, you root for her. But, I felt like I got some whiplash as she flipped back and forth between being brave and being a coward, over and over again. I don't fault her for being afraid of different characters or situations, it was the behavior she displayed that perturbed me. One minute she's pointing a weapon at someone and the next she's cowering on the floor like a kitten and can't make eye contact with them. I have to give her credit for her heroics and bravery, when she showed it. I owe her that. She's someone you'd definitely want on your side.
I was delighted with the author's descriptions. It made BOUND a light, easy flowing read. She would set up a scene, describe a few things, then let the reader's imagination do the rest. I make mention of this because there are times I'm reading a book and things are going wonderfully, but then the author decides to use 5 paragraphs to describe a drop of dew on a leaf. At these times, I find that I've stopped paying attention, that I was distracted right out of the story by the sheer amount of description, that although my eyes kept up their side-to-side motion, I quit comprehending what I was reading and checked out. That was certainly not the case with this book.
You can find romance, magic, paranormal elements and otherworldly opposition in this book. Enjoy!