Title: Dragon Bound
Author: Thea Harrison
Series: Elder Races, Book 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Half-human and half-wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful-and passionate-of the Elder races.
When I first saw this book, and read that it was going to be about dragons - one of my favorite things to read about - I was excited and anxious to get my hands on it. Then the awesome reviews started...just one or two here or there.
Then the flood came. Review after glowing review saying this was the best thing since the literary version of sliced bread. Me, being well me, I became skeptical. I just couldn't believe that something that had NO (at the time) critical reviews pointing out anything that was wrong could possibly be true. I tend to avoid trends, fads, and anything that gets glowing praise unless it's from a good friend that knows my tastes. It wasn't until several people, whose opinions I usually agree with, gave it fantastic reviews that I decided to give it a shot.
It started off fairly good, and I was excited again. Pia, a good girl caught in a bad situation, is running for her life. She made the mistake of trusting an ex-boyfriend and everything is now spiraling out of control. Dragos, alive since the forming of the universe apparently, has a ton of power, money, influence...and is bored out of his mind. That is, until someone breaks into his very guarded horde and steals something from him.
After that it started to go downhill. I think the biggest problem for me was the characters. Pia and Dragos just never completely settled into character. Pia switched from being submissive, scared, unsure of her place to yelling out orders, smoothing things over, and generally becoming a 'queen.'
For example - she's just been brought to Dragos' penthouse. She's not sure of her place there, is she a prisoner or a guest. She's naked in bed with Dragos, conflicted about how she feels in his arms. The "breakfast fairie" (no I'm not making that up) busts into the room to deliver their morning meal, sees them in bed (why isn't the bed in a separate room?) and Dragos FLIPS out about Pia being seen in bed in a less than ideal state. He's growling at the fairie who is stammering out apologies. Pia just takes over. Calms Dragos, apologizes for him to the faerie and asks her to knock before coming in next time. Her FIRST morning there.
Dragos went from very wooden thoughts, actions and dialogue - to slang, street-talk, and things I'd equate a teenager saying. In addition he was a bit too possessive, demanding and protective. Almost the entire 2nd half of the book takes place in Dragos' Cuelebre Tower....and the one time Pia decides to leave it, well of course she gets kidnapped.
The mystery of what type of Wyr Pia was intrigued me for a little bit, until I realized that the first thing I guessed was the truth. Dragos apparently didn't know until she'd changed though. That doesn't do a lot to convince me of his superior intellect.
Then there's the whole problem with the evil Dark Fae King. He's supposed to be smart, ahead of the game, and calculating - apparently evading Dragos for a very long time. Yet Pia manages to fool him, outright lie to him, escape from him (in a very unbelievable scenario) and get almost all the way home before he catches up.
Lastly I'm going to address the dragons (and gryphons, thunderbirds, and harpies) that make up most of the shifters we've met to this point. There's nothing especially special about them. They're like every other shifter I've read - that's not a bad thing necessarily, but it doesn't make them special either.
In the end, I think part of my grade is because of the insanely high expectations that all the glowing reviews set for me. If I had gone into this book with normal new-to-me-author expectations I may have thought it a good book. As it was, it felt fairly average with little to make it stand out from the crowd.
Though I probably will check out the sequel because Tricks was the one character that I thought was supremely interesting.
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