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Posted December 19, 2014
Escape from an insane asylum run by a madman. Check. Travel around the U.S. to evade detection from the system. Check. Meet a cute boy. Check. Make questionable friends. Check. Have homicidal Greek revenge deities telling you to kill evil men? Check. Check. And check. Cory Graff, aka Amelie, is forced to judge the sins of men, and to carry out their sentence she uses three Furies’ power. But Cory doesn’t really want them inside her head anymore. That’s where this story starts off, with Cory trying to fit in at a new school, make friends, and keep the voices in her head content.
The plot of the story is unoriginal, but the way the story is pitched, as “The Goddess Test meets Dexter,” made me want to pick it up. While I have never seen Dexter, I have read The Goddess Test, a young adult paranormal book about the Greek gods, and I loved it! It had a fun premise, an interesting love interest, and a great background. Vengeance Bound lacks all of that. I can’t find myself connecting with the main character at all. Perhaps it is because Cory was keeping secrets from not only her school friends, but the readers of the book as well. You are not able to learn why she even has these loco Furies in her head until the last third of the book! And Ireland never mentions if there are other gods and/or goddesses out there.
Since the background of the book isn’t built up, I imagine the world Cory lives in to resemble some sort of magical realistic Earth—with the Furies being the only magical element in the world. And because the world isn’t really built up, the plot falls flat too. Throughout the story you’re waiting for something to happen and for some answers to come into play, and waiting, and waiting… Until it finally they do, and it’s uneventful.
Perhaps I’m just not in the mood for this dark, paranormal thriller, or perhaps its dark, paranormal thriller-ness needs a little more in order to meet expectations.
*Note: I received a copy of this book to review from Book Review Board of Missouri. This in no way altered my opinion/review.
Posted June 20, 2014
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***
Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Rating: 3 stars
Source: Copy won from a giveaway
Summary (from Goodreads):
Cory Graff is not alone in her head. Bound to a deal of desperation made when she was a child, Cory’s mind houses the Furies—the hawk and the serpent—lingering always, waiting for her to satisfy their bloodlust. After escaping the asylum where she was trapped for years, Cory knows how to keep the Furies quiet. By day, she lives a normal life, but by night, she tracks down targets the Furies send her way. And she brings down Justice upon them.
Cory’s perfected her system of survival, but when she meets a mysterious boy named Niko at her new school, she can’t figure out how she feels about him. For the first time, the Furies are quiet in her head around a guy. But does this mean that Cory’s finally found someone who she can trust, or are there greater factors at work? As Cory’s mind becomes a battlefield, with the Furies fighting for control, Cory will have to put everything on the line to hold on to what she’s worked so hard to build.
What I Liked:
I'm not too sure how I feel about this one. On the one hand, I enjoyed the story. It was a fun, fast-paced book, with plenty of action and even a cute romance. On the other hand, I'm a little meh about this book. I don't feel like I should be gushing about it, or sharing it or recommending it or such. I liked it, but I didn't love it, how about that?
Amelie/Cory is the third Fury - she replaced Alekto. Cory is human, but she has the other two Furies with her, sort of. They inhabit her mind, and when they are ready to execute judgment on guilty men, they pop out, and with Cory, punishment is given out. Cory has been running from her past - she used to be in an insane asylum of a sort, with a crazy doctor who wanted to study her for his own means. So Cory has been on the run since she was twelve. She ends up back in Pennsylvania, trying to go to high school, while search for that doctor, to kill him.
The inclusion of Greek mythology is really nice! It's just the three Furies, but still, Greek mythology nonetheless. I love Greek mythology.
I have to say, I don't think I was too bored for too long at any point in the book. I wanted to know how Cory would get rid of the Furies inside her - you know that will be a conflict, you just know it will be. And as soon as she meets Niko, in high school, my attention perked up. So there was the internal battle with the Furies, finding the doctor, high school drama, and Niko.
I like Niko. I honestly think he was a little flat and underdeveloped, but I liked him - or at least, the idea of him. Cory and Niko are a cute couple. I wasn't really feeling the romance, even though I really wanted to be invested in it. I feel like it was brought on too quickly, and then the snowball rolled down the mountain. I'm not saying there was insta-love, but it felt like the romance was a bit detached.
Anyway. I liked the story. That's good. I liked the voice of this book - Justina Ireland definitely has a distinctive writing style and voice. It was the same voice I noticed in Promise of Shadows. I wonder if all of Ireland's books will have this voice and tone? I suppose I will see - if I choose to read any more of her books. So far, I haven't been super impressed.
What I Did Not Like:
I said above that I thought the romance was detached. Here's the thing about me and romance: if you're going to have the romance in the book, then don't make it detached or informal or basically not there. If the story is marketed as having a romance, then make it in the story, with FEELS romance and whatnot! In this book, I can think of one scene that gave me a butterfly or two in my stomach. Maybe. That was it. BUT the romance in this book is supposed to be monumental, earth-moving, window-shattering, or whatever. It is because of Niko (Cory's feelings for him, really), that Cory questions her duty with the Furies. But I really was not feeling the romance.
Also, I didn't really connect well with Niko. He seemed a little one-dimensional, like there wasn't much to him besides him being a love interest to Cory and best friend to Cory's best friend. Which was weird. That chick is whack, just saying.
I think I could connect with Cory, but I didn't necessarily like her. I'm not sure why, but I didn't really like her very much. I think she's a little messed up, but she's supposed to be. Maybe I didn't really connect with her after all. I don't know, I just didn't get a positive vibe from her.
Overall, I was a bit meh about this one. I liked the story, but I didn't necessarily like it enough to re-read it or recommend it to someone else. And honestly, while there was plenty of action, this book had a fluffy tone to it. I expected more kickbutt, dark vengeance... nahh, it wasn't that dark.
Would I Recommend It:
Nahhh. Maybe it's just me, but I'm not a huge fan of Justina Ireland's books. I LOVE Greek mythology, and I love that Ireland chooses to incorporate it into her books, but the execution is so mehhh.
3 stars. Good, but not amazing. I read it because I had a copy, not because I was about to break my neck trying to read it. Otherwise, ehhh, it would have flown under my radar.
Posted April 14, 2013
When I first read the synopsis for Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland, I was beyond excited! Furies (squee), Dexter-esque feel (double squee). Put that together and you’ve got a recipe for a pretty kick ass book!
The beginning opens up with so much action and suspense. Main protagonist, Cory Graff (aka Amelie Ainsworth) is trying to escape her confines at Saint Dymphna’s where Cory has been drugged up the wazoo to suppress her “multiple personalities” under the direction of one Dr. Goodhart. But rather than try to help Cory, he is using all sorts of experimental drugs on her. Not to help her, but rather for the money.
But it’s these “multiple personalities” that end up being Cory’s saviors… on more than one occasion. Locked up within Cory’s mind are two furies, Tisiphone (the hawk like Fury), and Megaera (the snake like Fury). And it seems Tisiphone and Magaera has chosen Amelie / Cory to be their third. And they are using her human body to ground them to this world to wreak havoc upon the male populace seeking justice. If it weren’t for the old #3, Alekto, Cory would most likely have been already lost. Alekto is one who has managed to escape the hold of the Furies, and only Alekto has the answers that Cory seeks to be rid of the Furies.
And it’s in the first few pages of this book that we are introduced to these Furies, and witness their strength and magnitude. The Furies use Cory as their vessel to seek vengeance on the male bottom feeders of the world; murders, rapists … those who have been aggressive against females. And poor Dr. Goodhart has become enemy number one on all three of their lists.
But with each killing / justice, Cory’s hold on the Furies is slowly slipping and so is her grasp on humanity. The Furies enjoy hurting men who hurt woman. They feed off their fear and pain, and are in constant need of the hunt. Although Cory has managed to escape Saint Dymphna’s, she is constantly on the run and looking over her shoulder. But it seems Dr. Goodhart is also on the run and is hiding from Cory, and every town that Cory and the Fury’s settle in, their work is never done for vengeance is always around the corner…and the hunt for Dr. Goodhart will not stop until he is found and dead by their hands.
But Cory never thought that she would find someone who can make her want to change as much as she has since meeting Niko. Being around Niko makes Cory want to be a better person, and seems to suppress the hunger to kill that the Furies so crave. For Cory, the real question is whether she will pick revenge, or if she will choose love…
I thought Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland had everything I was hoping for. Action, death, revenge… But one of the things that held a sour taste in my mouth was the insta-love between Niko and Cory. I loved the slow build up to the relationship in the beginning where there were still figuring each other out, but it seemed like in a matter of weeks, they had declared their love and devotion to one another.
I did love the Furies and their personalities. Is it wrong that I enjoyed the scenes of vengeance that were acted out in the book? I loved when the three were at their full power and had the scumbag cowering on the floor and Cory tells him that he is being judged. And I was thrilled to see the guilty verdict and see what sort of justice these three were going to give. After the descriptions of the heinous crimes that these asshats did to bring them to this point, the deaths even seemed too quick. I wanted to see them suffer for the pain that they dished out during their life. Pretty dark I know, but read the book and I’m sure you’ll feel what I felt.
And of all the kids at school, Cory gravitated to the ones that had serious issues. And OMG Mindi scared the crap out of me. I literally gasped in the end when Mindi does something completely crazy, and tells Cory what her crazy plan was really meant to be…in a somewhat normal voice.
I understand that the main point of the story is for Cory wanting to get away from the Furies forever and finally live a normal life, but I was really hoping for more “justice” scenarios. The ones that are in the book were addictively written and played out perfectly in my mind…blood, screams, and all. But I craved more! I wanted to see more wrath from the Furies. I wanted to see more of their power and see them dish out more judgment. Yes, I was in a Dexter sort of mood, and I wish, wish wish there was more.
All in all, Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland was a fascinating read that held my attention quite well at times. Although I wished that there was just a little bit more of certain aspects, the book itself is one that I did enjoy getting wrapped up in. Fans of Greek mythology and The Furies, and fans of darker reads will really enjoy Vengeance Bound.
Posted April 9, 2013
Everyone thinks Cory Graff is crazy and dangerous. They are only partly right. She is dangerous but not crazy. She is locked in an asylum because of the danger she poses and the voices she hears.She has two other people in her head and they really aren't people. They are the Hawk and Serpent Furies. They helped her when she was young if she agreed to let them in and help them get vengeance against evil men. The furies finally help Cory break free of the asylum. She now lives a somewhat normal life. She goes to school during the day wanting a normal life. There she meets Niko who keeps the Furies quiet. She doesn't let Niko know her secret about the Furies or the fact that at night she tracks down and kills bad people to satisfy the Furies. Soon the Furies in her mind become stronger and begin to push Cory more and more to kill and to track down the main person on their kill list. Cory knows she has to fight them and get control or her new life will be over.
Cory is unlike any character I have read about. In a way she is 3 sometimes 4 people in one. She has had a horrible life and has been mistreated by so many people. I think most people would have gave up and stayed in the asylum to escape her old life. She doesn't and that shows her strength. The Furies are like something out of a horrible fairy tale told to bad kids to keep them in line. They are viscous and won't let anything get in there way. They love to kill. Niko you would think would run for the hills at how odd Cory acts but he doesn't he helps her anyway he can and is amazing.
This is a very refreshing book that will make anyone who thinks all YA books are the same old same old think again. I really loved this book and loved getting inside Cory's head. Yeah it is crowded in there but it is so fascinating!! So many twist in this book I didn't see coming. It surprised me and the ending left me shocked. As you read you get to see more and more of Cory's background and what all she has been thru. I love the way it is written. Usually I like straight forward books but I loved getting the little flashbacks. I do have to say some of the people the Furies killed I was glad they did. No I am not a bad person you just have to read this book to see why. I could go on and on but I don't want to give any spoilers. People check this book out it is so phenomenal and you will love it.
Posted April 3, 2013
I love stores about Greek mythology, especially when they occur in a modern day setting, so I was very intrigued when I saw that this book was going to be about furies, something I haven't read too many books about. Seventeen-year-old Cory Graff is the main character and heroine in this novel. She has been on her own since she was 15 years old, since escaping from the mental facility where she was institutionalized after a traumatic event and was subsequently taken advantage of by a not so upstanding doctor. This all occurred after Cory made a deal of sorts, which resulted in two furies, Tisiphone and Megaera, taking up residence inside Cory's head, only appearing to hand out what they believe is justice to men, never women. Cory is always aware that they are there, and try as she may to control them, when their blood lust becomes too strong she knows she must give in and let them out. They are only visible when she lets the out, and they know how to play on her emotions to encourage this. Cory finds herself moving from place to place, trying to live a normal life by day, then at night, when the furies demand justice, she often finds herself in the middle of a blood bath as the furies seek revenge on males they have determined are guilty and need punishment.
Now in a new place, Cory starts a new school going by the name Amelie, and for the first time finds herself actually having friends. One boy in particular, Niko, captures her attention and they end up falling for one another. Meanwhile, the furies are getting harder and harder to control, and her other new friend Amber, who isn't all that mentally stable, is very upset about Niko and Amelie. Amber has a crush on Niko, even though he has made it clear they are only friends, which intensifies the drama even further. Between things with the furies getting further out of hand, the evil doctor making an appearance, her relationship with Niko, and an unstable Amber, things climax into something Cory never saw coming, but will she survive, and will she even have a relationship with Niko after all is said and done?
I enjoyed Vengeance Bound. It is dark and very intense at times, with brutal murder justified as violent acts of vengeance, and twists and turns that I didn't see coming. Cory is a strong character and because of her circumstances, is much more mature than most 17-year-old girls. The furies themselves are something else. They are manipulative and hellbent on vengeance, and it was interesting seeing how they interacted with Cory, the inner struggles she went through while dealing with them, as well as seeing how they interacted with one another. I enjoyed the romance between Cory and Niko, which was sweet, but satisfying, and little unstable Amber really surprised me towards the end. Overall, I enjoyed this book, and if you are a fan of Greek mythology with a little murder, mystery, and romance mixed in, then Vengeance Bound is something you might want to check out.
Posted April 2, 2013
I LOVED this book!!!! From the first page to the last, this book had me on the edge of my seat!! Amelie/Cory is such a relatable character--wanting to be a normal girl with friends, a meaningful relationship and a future, but at the same time drawn to a life where the guilty and the wicked are punished and kept from doing harm. Really, that's what makes this book so special: it perfectly articulates that inner struggle we all face, between wanting to lead safe, happy lives, and wanting to stop terrible things from happening in the world. But if we should act on our desire for justice in a violent way, what does that say about our humanity? Do we remain the humans that we were, or do we eventually become monstrous versions of ourselves?
Well, read the book and find out! ;)
I loved, loved, loved the Furies! (Maybe a little too much.) They were so wonderfully drawn. I could really see Tisiphone's massive wingspan, hear Megaera's scales sliding across the floor, and feel the terrible heat that their presence invoked. Ireland definitely does justice to the mythology!! I loved, too, how their grip on Amelie affected her appearance. That was totally creepy and cool at the same time.
I thought that Amelie's relationship with Niko unfolded nicely--layer by layer. I loved, too, how complicated it was for them to be together. Both characters were so affected by their families, their pasts, and their current situations. This book really shows how hard it can be to balance love with our other obligations and relationships. So realistically done!!
The ending of the story was really satisfying to me. Without saying too much, I didn't expect certain things. I love when a writer is able to surprise me, while at the same time creating a conclusion that's believable, and Vengeance Bound accomplishes this in spades. I honestly can't wait to see what Ireland writes next. This was SUCH a great read.
Posted April 2, 2013
It's really saying something that this is not normally my genre. I couldn't wait to see how everything in VENGEANCE BOUND wrapped up. Justina Ireland is a master at building suspense and delivering the goods. Love edgy, gritty fiction with a mythological twist to the modern world? This is your book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 2, 2013
When I started the ARC of Vengeance Bound, I only meant to take a look at the first chapter. I wasn't even sitting comfortably. 3 hours later my butt was completely numb and I found out I had been sitting on a polly pocket doll the entire time. I had no idea that's how engrossed in this book I was. Here's a book with a strong female lead who is absolutely a tortured mess, and I loved her! And my gosh the Furies were just AWESOME! To be honest, I love a good revenge novel, but it is more than that, and that is what makes it such a gripping compelling read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 1, 2013
I loved this! The idea of the Furies is so fascinating to me, and they were as fantastic and horrific as could be imagined. Cory's struggle with them and herself kept me reading. Vigilantism + mythologic possession is a gripping cauldron of trouble, indeed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 1, 2013
Vengeance Bound is several things, and most of them positive, but it leaves little to no lasting impression.
Mythological avengers - Furies - feature in Justina Ireland’s debut novel, adding a touch of originality to this otherwise average story. The main character’s broken mind accommodates these merciless creatures – creatures that are unleashed into their full physical form when justice is ready to be served. With this, we have our teenage heroine, Cory Graff, blending in during the day, and hunting to kill during the night.
On the surface, this is a fairly pleasant book. The plot is logical, thought-out and engaging. The characters, from the main to the secondary, are reasonably well-developed and interesting to follow. Cory is especially fascinating, with half of her grounded in a familiar and relatable reality of school and adolescent drama, and the other half caught up in the unstable brutality of her secret pastime. The romance, although lacking the correct pace to be appropriately emotional, is a mildly likeable one, with a decent love interest.
Decent is perhaps the best way to describe this book as a whole. It is not at all a bad read, or even a waste of time, but it is quite unremarkable compared to other, better titles.
Posted April 2, 2013
No text was provided for this review.