Friday, June 20, 2014

Review: Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland

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.

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!


  1. I haven't read any of her books, but I haven't really felt too drawn to them either. And after your review, I feel like I can happily go on without reading them.
    Thanks for the very honest review, Alyssa!

    1. Yup, skipping Ireland's two published books is not a bad idea, and won't be the end of the world! You're welcome, Pili, thank YOU!

  2. I haven't read anything by Ireland yet, but I picked up this book used a while back and haven't gotten around to it yet. I'm glad to hear it was entertaining enough if not amazing. Sounds like it might make a good quick, palate cleanser between reads. Thanks for the great review!

    1. Quick read, it is! Since you have it, might as well give it a try! You very welcome - thank you, Kel!

  3. I completely agree with you on this one. I loved the Greek Mythology, the furies and even a bit of the kickass-ness that Cory had, but her character itself wasn't all that great. I liked her, but I didn't love her. And the romance, gahhh You. Are. Spot. On. When I read this, I was like meh, why you even here right now?! lol. I too felt some serious detachment going on. I wish the romance was just more, the action was more and while the book wasn't horrible, it wasn't amazing either, ya know? I love your reviews,btw (:

    1. LOL! Wait I'm so glad you understand, because I seriously had no idea how to explain how I felt about the romance and such. Detachment was the best way O_OI'm glad I read this one, but I wasn't overly excited about it.



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