Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “I want the possibility of you.”
Adam, King of the GIMs, was cursed by the Queen of the Fairies, Mab, and given 700 years to find his soul mate to break the curse or his soul would be hers for eternity. When Adam meets Eliza May, he knows she is the other half of his soul but in his haste to break the curse, he alienates her and any hope of help she may have given him. When Eliza is rescued from Adam, Adam’s time runs out and he is taken prisoner by Mab.
Eliza May is half human and half fae. Discovered to be a niece of Mab’s, she finds refuge in with her Aunt when she is freed from Adam only to discover that she has escaped one cage for another. Finding Adam in the basement, a victim of torture and abuse, only reinforces Eliza’s feelings that she is once again being used as a pawn in someone else’s end game. Eliza helps Adam escape and soon they are running for their lives, looking for a legendary weapon that Mab is willing to kill them all to possess.
Tempers flare as do passions when Adam sets his mind to courting Eliza and proving to her that they are meant for one another. Eliza isn’t sure if Adam truly loves for her or if it’s the fact she is the only one who can free him from Mab’s clutches forever, but when the end draws near, love may not be enough to save any of them.
Soulbound is the sixth book in Callihan’s Darkest London series and brings a long and convoluted storyline to an end while opening the door to new adventures. I wouldn’t recommend starting the series here as each book is a building block, referencing previous scenes and characters, using them to further expand the world and the long standing arc. Taut suspense, delicious deception, and dangerous antagonists continue to create fascinating reads that capture me from page one. Strong complicated characters drive this series, each installment using the exploration of one couples’ romantic and dramatic journey to love as the key element on which this series is built.
Callihan expands on the subplot that was introduced in Evernight. Similar in the set up in Shadowdance, Callihan used Evernight to introduce an antagonistic relationship then proceeds to examine the reasons why, setting the stage for a reconciliation. Callihan does a fine job of intertwining the conflict with the romance, using the protagonists’ individual stories to further the arc and tie up loosely threaded storylines.
Fans will remember that Eliza May came to London find her cousins, the Evernights, and was the victim of a fatal mugging. She was found by Mary and Daisy and given the choice to die free or live under Adam’s rule. She choose life and found herself bound by chains to Adam’s side. Literally. Soon her independent nature chafed at her bonds and her gratitude turned to hate. Given the chance to escape leaves her free but within the sights of someone far more dangerous. Eliza is forced to reconnect with Adam and this is where the story truly begins.
“He felt her pain. He felt everything. Finally. Freedom. Finally, it was in his grasp. All he had to do was keep Miss Eliza May by his side. Forever.”
Adam has a lot to atone for to Eliza. He ruthlessly chained her to his side with no explanations when he discovered she was the key to his freedom. Determined to use her break his curse, he tricked her of her free will and was left with an angry, uncooperative woman who uses her wits and stubbornness to thwart him at every turn. When Adam’s backstory is revealed, you understand his impetuous reasoning but, like Eliza, are not very forgiving. Weak and brutally hobbled by Mab, Adam gets a nasty taste of what Eliza felt. Adam is genuinely remorseful for what he did and wants to begin anew.
“I want my peace, Eliza. To feel whole, happy, and free. That is all I’ve ever wanted. Seven hundred years, I’ve searched for it. And if there is even the slightest possibility that you can give it to me, then I am willing to risk everything to get it.”
Eliza is not one to forgive and forget. Already having been taken advantage of by others and by Adam himself, all Eliza wants is to be free to live her own life without being forced to depend or answer to anyone. She doesn’t believe in soulmates or everlasting love which causes even more of a riff between her and Adam. Yet she is intelligent enough to know that without Adam’s help, she will never be free of her Aunt and her machinations. Though it takes awhile, Eliza is able to eventually open her mind and heart to the possibilities of what could be.
“A heated dizziness threatened to send her crashing down. He claimed to be her other half. She, who’d crept through life, escaping the notice of everyone.”
Adam and Eliza have a love/hate relationship; both needing the other and parts of them resenting that need. Their chemistry is as explosive as gasoline and dynamite. Bright, hot, and burning everything that stands in its flames. As they work to stay one step ahead of Mab and find the weapon she desperately wants, they take the time to get to know one another without the ever present antagonism. Adam’s sexual innuendos and volatile nature is the perfect foil against Eliza’s more reserved and cynical nature; adding humor to this otherwise dark tale of betrayal and heartbreak.
“Ah my lovely, it’s been far too long.”
“Shall I leave you to alone then?” Eliza’s lips twitched. She had never seen such a look of reverence mixed with old familiarity. It was nearly indecent.
Adam spared her a glance. “Quiet woman, a man’s relationship with his sword is a sacred thing.”
“So I’ve heard.”
Callihan blends the conflict of the story with the emotionally intense journey of Eliza and Adam; using external subplots to heighten the danger and suspense that surrounds them. Steady pacing and plentiful action speeds the story along as the big picture begins to reveal itself with the addition of new storylines. With each scene we watch Adam and Eliza face and overcome their fears while dealing with the external factors that try to defeat them. Neither plot nor romance is sacrificed. They balance and complement each other through the entire story; merging together towards the climatic and arc twisting ending.
“I’ve always wanted you. I always will.”
As always, the supporting characters are intense, well developed, and intertwine with our protagonists to give us a rich, full-bodied story. Much that played out behind the scenes continues to be revealed, offering even more insight into this rich, intriguing world and its inhabitants. Sin (St. John Evernight) plays a larger role in here as do the reasons for what he has done. We also see more of Augustus and learn just how far reaching his power actually is. I look forward to book seven-title and release date to be announced-which looks to be Sin’s book.
Callihan continues to engage readers with her strong characters, intriguing storylines, fantastical world, and romantic journeys whose rough starts lead to incredible rewards.