I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Bound by Blood by Margo Bond Collins
Published by Bathory Gate Press on Nov. 2014
Genres: Adult, Horror, Sci-Fi
Source: the author
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Sometimes the monsters in the dark are real...
As a child, Lili Banta ignored her grandmother's cryptic warnings to avoid children outside their Filipino community in Houston. When many of those other children fell ill, Lili ignored the whispers in her community that a vampiric aswang walked among them.
Years later, Lili returns to Houston to work for the Quarantine Station of the Center for Disease Control—but she is plagued by dark, bloody dreams that consume her nights and haunt her days. When a strange illness attacks the city's children, Lili is called in to find its source, and maybe even a cure.
But in order to save the city, she must first acknowledge the sinister truth: A monster stalks the night—closer than she ever expected....
So the cover to this novella is awesome. So, so, so, so awesome! It seriously looks like it was made to appeal just to me. What is even more awesome is that the story inside is just as good. I’m usually not a fan of novellas. I mean, I like them to a point, but then when they end I usually feel like I haven’t read a full and complete story. A lot of times I’m left feeling like I’ve read a rough draft of a novel. THIS IS NOT THE CASE with Bound by Blood. The world building to put it simply was outstanding. I was so seriously impressed with the amount of depth Margo Bond Collins was able to put in such a short amount of words. That’s good writing. Each word in something this short had a purpose, it drove the story forward, and it painted a picture. Color me shocked when I finished the novella and felt satisfied. Not so satisfied that I’m not incredibly interested in what happens in Sanguinary. In fact Sanguinary and Waking Up Dead are sitting pretty high on my 2015 TBR lists. But I wasn’t left feeling like I had just read something half finished. There is a fine line in writing between telling your audience too much or not enough. Writers have to balance the info that they are giving us. Trust me, they know everything that is happening in a scene, but sometimes giving everything makes no sense. A good writer gives the reader just the right amount of info to satisfy them, but also to keep them turning the page. Margo did fantastically at this.
How do you tell us who someone is in 15k? How do you let us see their motivations, their feelings, and make a reader like them? I liked Lili, I sympathized with her, and I cheered her on. I felt like I knew her, I felt like her choices made sense given the situation she finds herself in. It’s sort of not fair that not only is the world building on point in Bound by Blood but the character building was there too. Usually when you read something even a full length novel an author will be really good at one or the other.
I’ll be the first to admit that vampires, and other world beings aren’t necessarily something I’m drawn to in general even if it is horror. I’m more likely to have my head stuck in a book about zombies, ghosts/demons, or real people who do very bad things. This book doesn’t fall into either of those categories but I still enjoyed it. It didn’t hurt that there are some scenes in the book that are hard to stomach because they are violent and bloody. Like I’ve always said, a story is always better with a body count.