Title: Binding the Shadows
Author: Jenn Bennett
Series: Arcadia Bell, book 3
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Pocket Books
Source: Review copy from author
“Demons sure know how to kill a girl’s buzz.
Renegade mage and bartender Arcadia Bell has had a rough year, but now the door to her already unstable world is becoming completely unhinged. When a citywide crime wave erupts, Cady’s demon-friendly tiki bar is robbed by Earthbounds wielding surreal demonic abilities that just flat-out shouldn’t exist. With the help of her devilishly delicious boyfriend, Lon Butler, Cady sets out to find the people who wronged her—but her targets aren’t the only ones experiencing unnatural metamorphoses. Can Cady track down the monsters responsible before the monster inside her destroys everything—and everyone—she loves? If she survives this adventure, one thing is certain: it’s last call for life as she knows it.”
Binding the Shadows is the third book in the Arcadia Bell series by Jenn Bennett.
Sometimes after reading a first book in a series you can’t believe it’s a debut novel. After finishing it you start to follow the author and look forward to the second book, and then you read the second book and can’t believe it was even better than the first one. After that, you start to stalk the author and start the countdown to the release of the following installment. Then you read the third book and you can’t believe it, it’s even better than previous two books, you are in awe with the author and start to consider moving to the same town where the author lives; if you are her neighbor there is a possibility that you could spy through her window and get a peek to the manuscript of next book. Then it occurs to you that maybe the author writes about demons because she has dealings with them, maybe she sold her soul to one or promise to make them famous in exchange of gifting her with a genius writing style. If that is the case demons could visit her frequently and it would be better if you don’t live close to her.
All those thoughts and more passed through my head after I finished Binding the Shadows. Why? Because this book was made of awesome.
One of the best things about this book and this series in general is how Mrs. Bennett writes her characters in a way that they grow in front of our eyes.
I loved Cady since the moment I met her in Kindling the Moon (first book in the series) and my love for her has only intensified throughout the books. I love that she is not perfect and as any other person has insecurities. I also love that she can ask for help when needed and loves Lone and Jupe unconditionally because in them she has finally found the family she never had.
In Binding the Shadows Cady is experiencing many changes, things she can’t explain are happening to her, and when she look for answers what she learns is not pretty or easy to take. The good thing is that she’s not alone; Lon is there and will be there for her when she needs him.
Lon is a dreamy hero, he’s an alpha and a protector at heart. He feels life has giving him a chance to be happy in Cady’s arms and is willing to do anything to keep her safe and by his side.
Cady and Lon together are stronger than apart, they know this and they won’t permit anything to come between them.
In Binding the Shadows we meet Lon’s ex-wife, his ex-mother in law and ex-sister in law. As is expected this brings some conflict to the story and increases Cady’s insecurities, but Lon as the gentle, caring and loving man he is makes sure that it’s clear to everybody around him than Cady is very important in his life and is there to stay. *swoon*
I usually don’t like kids in books because (usually) they don’t bring anything to the story and feel more like fillers than real characters. That’s not the case with Lon’s son, Jupe. Jupe is as important in this series and as well-written as Cady or Lon. I really could not imagine these books without him.
Jupe is another character that we have seen grow page by page. I really like how awkward (in a good way), funny, different and sweet he is.
I also love how he has accepted Cady in their lives and sees her almost as the mother he has never had and wish he could have.
I like Jupe so much and he is such a great character that I think he should have a spin-off (YA) series just for him.
In Binding the Shadows we also see some characters from previous books like Cady’s best friend Kar-Yee, the demon/drug dealer Hajo, Cady’s mother and the head of the Hellfire Club, Ambrose Dare. These characters played important roles in many of the events in Binding the Shadows. I don’t want to say much about them, let’s just say that one these characters will get what he/she deserves and for the others we’ll have to wait and see what Mrs. Bennett has in store for them in future books.
Mrs. Bennett character and relationships development is top-notch. Her world building is creative, vivid and realistic. Her writing is fluid, spotless and with the perfect balance of drama and humor. Binding the Shadows is not only action packed, but it’s also an emotional rollercoaster-page-turner that you won’t be able to put down.
Binding the Shadows exceed my expectations and left me dying for more. The end may be considered a cliffhanger for some; for me it was actually something I was expecting because there were signs here and there of what it was to come, so it wasn’t a shocking surprise for me but one that left me wanting to move near to Atlanta, more specifically Mrs. Bennett neighborhood.
Binding the Shadows could be read as a stand-alone because Mrs. Bennett does a good job reminding us about events from previous books without being repetitive, still I recommend you to start with Kindling the Moon and go from there to get the whole Arcadia Bell experience. I can’t recommend you enough this book and this series in general.
I’m eagerly waiting for May 2014 to the release of next book in the series, Crossing the Æthyr.
My Verdict: 5 Paws
Other books in the series
Kindling the Moon
Leashing the Tempest (novella)
Binding the Shadows
Banishing the Dark (May 2014)
Other reviews Goodreads