Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Review: Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland

Vengeance Bound
Publication Date: November 2012
Hardcover, 320pages, Simon & Schuster
Genres: YA, Paranormal

The Goddess Test meets Dexter in an edgy, compelling debut about one teen’s quest for revenge… no matter how far it takes her.

Cory Graff is not alone in her head. Bound to a deal of desperation made when she was a child, Cory’s mind houses the Furies—the hawk and the serpent—lingering always, waiting for her to satisfy their bloodlust. After escaping the asylum where she was trapped for years, Cory knows how to keep the Furies quiet. By day, she lives a normal life, but by night, she tracks down targets the Furies send her way. And she brings down Justice upon them.

Cory’s perfected her system of survival, but when she meets a mysterious boy named Niko at her new school, she can’t figure out how she feels about him. For the first time, the Furies are quiet in her head around a guy. But does this mean that Cory’s finally found someone who she can trust, or are there greater factors at work? As Cory’s mind becomes a battlefield, with the Furies fighting for control, Cory will have to put everything on the line to hold on to what she’s worked so hard to build.

My Review

Escape from an insane asylum run by a madman. Check. Travel around the U.S. to evade detection from the system. Check. Meet a cute boy. Check. Make questionable friends. Check. Have homicidal Greek revenge deities telling you to kill evil men? Check. Check. And check. Cory Graff, aka Amelie, is forced to judge the sins of men, and to carry out their sentence she uses three Furies’ power. But Cory doesn’t really want them inside her head anymore. That’s where this story starts off, with Cory trying to fit in at a new school, make friends, and keep the voices in her head content.

The plot of the story is unoriginal, but the way the story is pitched, as “The Goddess Test meets Dexter,” made me want to pick it up. While I have never seen Dexter, I have read The Goddess Test, a young adult paranormal book about the Greek gods, and I loved it! It had a fun premise, an interesting love interest, and a great background. Vengeance Bound lacks all of that. I can’t find myself connecting with the main character at all. Perhaps it is because Cory was keeping secrets from not only her school friends, but the readers of the book as well. You are not able to learn why she even has these loco Furies in her head until the last third of the book! And Ireland never mentions if there are other gods and/or goddesses out there.

Since the background of the book isn’t built up, I imagine the world Cory lives in to resemble some sort of magical realistic Earth—with the Furies being the only magical element in the world. And because the world isn’t really built up, the plot falls flat too. Throughout the story you’re waiting for something to happen and for some answers to come into play, and waiting, and waiting… Until finally they do, and it’s uneventful.

Perhaps I’m just not in the mood for this dark, paranormal thriller, or perhaps its dark, paranormal thriller-ness needs a little more in order to meet expectations.

*Note: I received a copy of this book to review from Book Review Board of Missouri. This in no way altered my opinion/review.

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