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never trust an englishman with a book…

It’s been a long time since I’ve read an honest-to-goodness page-turner. Like the best thrillers, Alan Baxter’s Bound drops you in the thick of the action from the very first sentence and doesn’t let up until the book is closed. But, unlike a simple airport potboiler, the world it drags you through drips with blood and magic and horror, a shadowed underworld of cage fighters, of Kin, and of dark powers that threaten to overwhelm all who come within their orbit.

On the surface, Bound is a fast-paced, action-packed urban fantasy about a martial artist with magically enhanced abilities, who finds himself both the prisoner of an ancient and malevolent power, and the focus of a brutal supernatural manhunt. Like a classic kung fu movie, the fights are gritty and authentic, the foes of increasingly insurmountable power and ability. But the deeper Alex Caine gets drawn into the book’s central mystery (and, yes, that’s a pun, but no spoilers here), the less he can simply fight his way out, the more he needs to draw on inner resources: his training, his will, and his wonderfully messed up relationship with the beautiful and monstrous Silhouette.

No matter how fast the plot compels you to rip through it, there’s a dark depth to Bound that will resonate long after you put it down. And this resonance comes on the one hand from the book’s central theme of control, and on the other from the fact that Alex Caine is himself a monster. Alan Baxter has penned a truly unique protagonist in Caine, at once superhero and antihero; and perhaps something beyond even that, something darker still. As Caine’s power increases, so too does his capacity to commit unspeakable atrocities, horrors that are far from heroic, that threaten to engulf him and endanger those he loves.

Not for the faint of heart (I’m a calloused horror reader, and at least one scene in this book damaged me), Bound is fantastic storytelling in the vein of Neil Gaiman or Alan Moore, but with a merciless black streak. If you like a double-dose of darkness with your sense of wonder, Bound will deliver. At breakneck speed.

So what are you waiting for? Grab yourself a copy now!

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