Review: Binding the Shadows by Jenn Bennett

Binding the Shadows by Jenn Bennett
Series: An Arcadia Bell Novel (# 3)
Release Date: May 28, 2013
Publisher: Pocket Books
Pages: 366
Source: book provided by the publisher for review



In the third book in this beloved and “riveting” (Romantic Times) urban fantasy series, demon-friendly tiki bar owner Arcadia Bell discovers more about her own evolving, and possibly destructive, magical abilities when her bar is the target of a demonic crime wave.

Renegade mage and bartender Arcadia Bell has had a rough year, but now the door to her already unstable world is unhinging. 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.


Review:  This third book in the series starts off with a huge action scene and has Cady believing she has seen her mother who she thought was dead. She finally stands up to Dare who has been blackmailing her by dangling her true identity over her head, threatening to let the cat out of the bag. But, there are more than a few odd things going on during this Yuletide season, like a string of robberies that the Tiki bar becomes a victim of and something is really, really wrong with Cady’s magic.

Living under an alias because of the crimes her parents committed has been like dragging around a ball and chain and Cady has grown very weary of it. She now suspects her parents are still alive and has to deal with Jupe , who is receiving visitors for the holidays.

With complete disclosure I will have to tell the truth and admit I have not read the first two books in this series. In fact, I wasn’t even familiar with this author until now. I would strongly advise anyone interested in the series to start from the beginning, which is always the best policy, but it’s not always necessary either. In this case, I did feel like I had walked into the middle of a movie and had to try and figure out what was going on before I could really grasp all the interpersonal relationships and pick up on the jargon. The first quarter of the book was a little slow going for me as a result.

Having said that, once I got going in the story, I was very engaged. There is a lot going on with the characters and many long held secrets are finally revealed to people who will not know how to handle the information. This is a pure Urban Fantasy novel which features demons, angels and all kinds of magik. Cady is very strong and powerful and even scares herself sometimes. Lon is just awesome and compliments Cady perfectly. Even though they have quite the complicated life, they find time to be lovers and Lon apparently knows just want Cady needs in the sensual department. They have a few challenges to face yet, and readers should know there is a cliffhanger. So… stay tuned.

I have not read many Urban Fantasy novels in the last two years or so. I like Urban Fantasy, but for a while there all the series seemed to run to together and I started to feel like I was reading the same book over and over, only with the names changed. This book is nothing at all like that. This is a very imaginative book with action , drama, and well developed characters. The story is told in first person by Cady and the author does a great job of engaging the reader so that we are really concerned for Cady.

So, even though I was a little late to the game I still enjoyed this book and hopefully someday I will be able to track down the first two books and get a real feel for the depth of these very interesting characters.