Paradox – Bound By Blood. First reviews
As readers of Ms Roberts’ work will be aware, this is the third book in a series about fallen angels, and a love that transcends space and time.
My remarks are primarily about Bound by Blood, but in a more general way can be taken to apply to the series as a whole as published to date, comprising the first three books.
The story is gripping and well told, and it seems clear that Ms Roberts has carefully planned out the whole series before starting. The world in which the action takes place is convincing and believable, provided that one can accept the idea of fallen angels as vampires. Some readers may find this theologically questionable, but in a work of fantasy fiction these things are perfectly allowable. With all of the vampire fiction that is constantly spawning these days, it was refreshing to find a genuinely original take on the subject.
The action moves swiftly and the book is a real page turner. The characters are beautifully drawn and quite believable. I was quite delighted with it, and will certainly look forward with pleasure to the advent of further books in the series. This is in spite of the fact that in general I find vampires appallingly tedious.
In the few places where sexual activity is depicted, it is treated with delicacy and restraint. I wish more modern writers would exert such control.
Ms Roberts is a seasoned writer and has quite obviously spent many years developing her craft. To me, this book is like a richly embroidered sampler, demonstrating her mastery of many techniques.
The voices of the different characters use different language and are most believable. The tone of the writing varies according to the subject matter, and at different times we are treated to low comedy, spine-chilling horror, romance and at times the true Gothic tone. Ms Roberts’ descriptions of scenes are a particular treat, and in my opinion her ability in this area stands with that of Dickens. At different times we see used past tense, present tense, first and third persons, all with equal facility, and, which is even more rare, used appropriately to further the impact of the work. I was glad to see no instances of the egregious second person narrative.
I have only one serious criticism to make of this work, and that is that the suspense ending prevents the book from standing alone, as a truly perfect novel must be able to do.
Overall, I was delighted with the book, and its preceding books, and I believe that in this writer we have a truly major talent.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Bound By Blood is the third instalment in the Paradox series, and what a sweet treat it is! If book one – The Angels Are Here – was a promising beginning and book two – Progeny Of Innocence – a tantalizing dip into this gloomy and mysterious realm ruled by the Grigori, the Fallen Dark Angels, Bound By Blood connects the dots and gives depth and understanding to how this whole world came to be.
“The world, and heaven, are a little off-balance at the moment,” Patti Roberts says through the mouth of little Tia Lilly, the Angel of Death. How true. Events, characters and emotions have the ring of authenticity. Patti is very generous in her descriptions and she has the gift of being an incredible storyteller. The ultimate Scheherazade, Patti layers story over story, and nestles myth and legend into each other, so that at every step you’re tempted to wonder – Ah! Is that what happened? Take the legend of St. Valentine, for example.
But I don’t want to give you spoilers. I will say only that the characters are beautiful, very well developed. There is no question in my mind when I read the dialogue as to whose words they are. The storyline takes us back in time and explains in intricate detail the cause and effect, taking the reader full circle, and at the same time Patti continues to develop current events and takes the story forward. The style is smooth and trance-like in places, sharp and dramatic in the battle scenes, enigmatic and sly when Weasel goes about his business, and back to normal contemporary conversation in the human world. Don’t try to guess the outcome – you’ll get it wrong. I’ve never met an author so able to send me on a wild-goose chase, only to make it perfectly clear I should be looking elsewhere for my answers.
I wholeheartedly recommend reading the first two books in the series, if you haven’t already done it. Read them all back to back, but take your time. This is one of those stories you could lose yourself into, a tale to savour and dream about, not something you could cram in a hurry. There is a lot of hidden wisdom in Patti’s words, and it would be a pity to miss it. You never know, you might find in there the odd question you haven’t yet thought to ask, or even the odd answer.
I love this world, I love the characters, I love the entire concept. There is a lot to love in Paradox, and the picture is vivid and real. I would like to point you in the direction of the Paradox site, where you can see the map of Altair, the sigils of the six tribes, family trees, characters, answers to frequently asked questions, and much more:[…] This alone is huge proof of the author’s dedication to her work and also her readers.
This book, and indeed the whole series, is fully deserving of the five stars I’m giving it, and well worth spending some time immersed in its magic. Well done, Patti Roberts.