“I am a Traveler. A shadow-walker. I can step into shadow in one room, then out of shadow anywhere else I want to go, within my range. Sometimes I can look into one shadow and see through another one, somewhere else, like looking through a periscope, or one of those paper-towel-roll telescopes we used to play with as kids.”Shadow Bound is the second book in Rachel Vincent’s Unbound series. This is not your regular run of the mill urban fantasy series. Shadow Bound focuses on people who have special skills: Travelers, Binders, Healers, Readers, Silencers, Trackers and the like. These “skilled” workers are recruited to work for powerful syndicates where they remain bound to their masters. These syndicates control virtually everything. Shadow Bound takes the idea of making a deal with the devil and tweaks it. Instead of signing away one’s soul to the dark side, a “skilled” worker signs on to a syndicate for a length of service. Free agents are not tolerated in this world and the competition is especially fierce for the highly talented. Bound “skilled” workers are marked with a tattoo that shows their length of service and their rank within an organization. This is a dangerous world where defiance can cause debilitating pain and death. It is also a world where loopholes are especially significant and knowing the boundaries of one’s binding is of the utmost importance. Written in the first person with alternating points of view, this book focuses on Kori Daniels and Ian Holt. Kori was introduced in Blood Bound, the first book of the series. I can honestly say that Kori did not seem like a very likable character in that book. Here, we learn a lot about Kori and her motivations and I began to sympathize with her character. Kori is strong, a good fighter, a fierce protector, and she has a strong will to survive. She is devoted to her little sister Kenley, the Tower syndicate’s top Binder, and she will do anything to keep her safe. Kori is a traveler and she can pass through the shadows from one place to another. At the beginning of the book Kori is being punished by Jake Tower for Kori’s role in an event at the end of Blood Bound. Jake gives Kori a chance to redeem herself: She is to recruit Ian Holt a powerful Blinder at any cost. Oh, and Kori is no longer allowed to keep a weapon on her. Ian is a curious character. In this world, most unaffiliated skilled people hide their talents from the syndicates in order to maintain their freedom. Ian does the opposite and attracts the attention of not only the Tower syndicate but the Cavasos syndicate as well. Jake is so eager to recruit Ian, either freely or by force. However, Ian is not what he seems. He is not a systems analyst as he claims to be. He is much too attractive, too muscular for a computer nerd. His goal is to kill Kori’s sister Kenley thereby releasing his brother and many others from their bindings. Ian did not count on being attracted to Kori.I liked how Kori and Ian’s attraction was handled. Ian is fascinated by Kori – he did not expect her to be alive when he asked for a woman of her description. Then he thinks he can use her to get to Kenley. Ian then finds himself attracted to Kori, her personality, her sense of loyalty, her ability to fight. He is at odds with his mission and his brother’s condition deteriorates. Kori feels despondent. Being with Ian is the first time she felt something for a man. She craves his touch. Kori realizes that they could never be together as Jake would use it against them. The relationship builds slowly and these two are wonderful together.Shadow Bound is a very different kind of urban fantasy. This book will appeal to urban fantasy fans that are looking for something other than the usual vampires and werewolves. It is cleverly written and will keep you on the edge of your seat. Series Reading order:1. Blood Bound2. Shadow Bound3. Oath Bound (Release 2013)Favorite quotes:“I’m pretty good with knives. I’m so good, in fact, that I could sever your testicles with one hand and slice open your throat with the other, and you’d go into shock so fast you’d die without ever knowing you’d spilled a fucking drop of blood.”“I’m a blunt-force trauma kind of girl, in case you haven’t noticed.”Check out my review at Badass Book Reviews.