Sunday, February 24, 2013

REVIEW: "BOUND" (Arelia LaRue, #1) - by Kira Saito

Title: “Bound
Series: (Arelia LaRue, #1)
Author: Kira Saito
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: November 1, 2011
Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance
Reviewed by: Books4Tomorrow
Source: Received as gift from author
My star rating: 5/5


Sixteen year old Arelia LaRue lives in New Orleans where the music is loud, voodoo queens inhabit every street corner, and the ghosts are alive and well. Despite her surroundings, all she wants is to help her Grand-mere Bea pay the rent and save up for college. 

When her best friend Sabrina convinces her to take a well-paying summer job at the infamous Darkwood plantation, owned by the wealthy LaPlante family, Arelia agrees. 

However, at Darkwood strange things start to happen, and gorgeous Lucus LaPlante insists that he needs her help. Soon, the powers that Arelia has been denying all her life, come out to play and she discovers mysteries about herself that she could have never imagined.


The first thing that cemented my interest in this novel was the way it was written. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but the end result is that I absolutely loved this story and I can’t wait to read the second and third books, which the author had also gifted me.

Apart from the flowing- and meticulous writing, the story itself was intriguing and full of interesting facts about hoodoo and voodoo. By the end of the story I understood that there is a difference between hoodoo and voodoo, and I now know why voodoo is shrouded in so much mystery. In this story we also get to know the different types of spirits and what they do. It was interesting to note that a voodoo queen should not view these spirits as gods, or they’ll never allow her to treat them as equals. Right from the start when Arelia and Sabrina arrive at Darkwood Plantation, the story takes on an eerie and sinister feel. The spirits communicating with Arelia at unexpected intervals, added to the suspense.

Everything in this book is unpredictable.  I expected the atmosphere at Darkwood Plantation to send chills down my spine round every corner as the story progressed, but although there is a consistent sense of foreboding, the author keeps the reader riveted by painting this palatial home as an ordinary one; albeit one opulently decorated in rich colors, expensive furniture and chandeliers, and exquisite gardens that will take your breath away. The reader never really knows whether to be afraid or not. The beauty and ordinariness of the house is balanced by a family cemetery, slave quarters and an allegedly haunted swamp - where you can still hear the slaves of a hundred years ago, sing - situated on the same grounds as the plantation house.

A cast of characters varying in personalities also added a lot to the overall feel of the story. There is Lucus, who hides a terrifying secret; Sabrina, the spoiled and annoying rich friend of Ariela; Ben, the cute kid who crawls into your heart and who is ignored by his parents; the obnoxious Mr Dumpty who refers to himself as “a fat guy from New York” and who is every young girl’s worst nightmare; Ivan, the handsome waiter with a bad attitude; and so many more characters who will leave a lasting impression – good or bad – on the reader.

One of my favorite parts – proving again that nothing can be predicted in this story – was when Lucus offered Ariela something to eat in the middle of the night, and she challenged him to make fried Oreos. I was intrigued at this, as I’ve never heard of fried Oreos before, and Lucus’s reaction after he tasted it made for some side-splitting laughter. I recommend this book to all who is fascinated by Louisiana voodoo, its myths, and a story built on the historic slave trade. Although Bound does not build up to a climatic finale, it is filled with enough mystery to keep the reader absorbed till the last page has been devoured. At less than hundred pages it is a wonderful quick read.




Bound by Kira Saito has 200 reviews on Goodreads. Read it here.


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1 comment:

Amanda D said...

I am so glad you reviewed this book. Awhile ago I entered but didn't win a giveaway for either this book or a book in this series (can't remember). I thought it looked good but I have so many books on my to be read shelf I tend to forget about some. Thanks for the link that it is free on BN. I just downloaded it to my Nook.