Review: Unbinding by Eileen Wilks

unbindingReviewed by Jen

I have wanted more time with Kai and Nathan since they were introduced back in “Inhuman,” so I was actually pretty excited about the chance to get some quality time with them as lead characters.  I wasn’t disappointed. This book has a different feel than the others, to be sure, but I think it was smart for Eileen Wilks to take a break from Lily and Rule. After all, they got their big moment at the end of the last book. It was the culmination of their romance. Anything that happened with them was going to be small potatoes after that. So Wilks sent them on their honeymoon, and switched her focus.

Thankfully, this story doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The series supporting cast of characters are in place, reminding us that even without Lily and Rule, we’re on familiar ground. The villain is even a continuation from the last book, which maintains continuity. But the crux of the story is a fae one. I missed the focus on the wolves more than I missed Lily and Rule. The fact that we are leaving the familiar means larger chunks of worldbuilding that do slow things down a little. But I was never bored.

Basically, the bad guy from Ritual Magic didn’t go away with the destruction of the knife he inhabited. He is causing more chaos and targeting Nathan and Kai. They need to figure out his big plan and how to stop him. That’s no small task, seeing as how he is a god and all. Another thing different about this story is that we actually spend a fair amount of time getting to know the bad guy. It made things interesting.

I can’t say there was much in the way of romance, but the bond between Nathan and Kai is real and it’s strong. I never doubted their love or devotion to one another. Kai is quite different from Cynna or Lily. She is not tough the way they are. Her spirit is –I don’t know– lighter, maybe. She isn’t weak. It’s just that her strength is a different kind from the other heroines’. And more so than they, she is trying to figure things out about herself and her future by looking deep within. Meanwhile, Nathan has such a deep sense of self.  He’s like a rock, yet he needs Kai. She fills a void in him he didn’t even realize he had. Good stuff.

It was cool spending time with Arjenie. She and Benedict are underutilized in this series. His role was smaller than hers, but still important. I hope that the friendships established here carry over in future books.

Overall, I enjoyed it. But it definitely feels different than most of the other books in the series. And I don’t think it’s because of the leads so much as the cerebral and cold nature of the Fae as compared to the Lupi. There’s a lot of explaining. A lot of magic theory (though the last book had a lot of that too.) It wasn’t quite as encompassing, either, without the mantles and the clan stuff, the Great Enemy, the Dragons, or Grandmother. Still, I liked it for what it was.  And I’m curious as to where Wilks will take the series next.

Rating: B

Click to purchase: Amazon

by Eileen Wilks
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Berkley Sensation

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