Bound (Cage of Lies #4) by Susanne Valenti (2016)
-eARC Review-


YA Fiction | Dystopian Sci-Fi4.5 starsBlurb:

With the impossible returned from the dead, Maya must reunite with her family as their enemies line up each vying for the kill shot. But with life and hope restored nothing will keep them from completing their original goal: setting the truth free. They just have to make sure they survive long enough to strike. 

Maya must rely on her friends and get acquainted with patience because they cannot afford any mistakes this time. They’re going back in to rescue her parents but this is their last chance. Succeed or die.
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Expected Publication Date: March 19, 2016

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pooled ink Review:

Thank you to the author for submitting this book for review!

Holy. Cannoli. So much went down in this book! With Coal back everything is right again as we’re back to the usual. Ya know, running into the face of danger time and time again but with that good ol’ fire in the belly and determination to live through it. Chained piqued my interest, Linked took me prisoner, Broken made me rebellious, and now Bound has me jumping in my chair desperately needing to read the series finale.

Seriously though, so much has happened in this book but with so much left to do. The creepers swarm for an attack of unprecedented strategy, the horsemen and their people have their philosophies shaken up, Maya and Coal are tortured but reunited, Taylor speaks with a despondent ally, the dwellers finally receive a face, and the city slumbers unaware of the total 180 their world is about to flip.

The pacing of this plot is fierce. Even the slow moments keep you hooked as it pulses forwards full of life. Characters unite and fight enemies on multiple fronts, they continue to evolve and grow matching the obstacles blow to blow, and with every moment they are advancing slowly upon their ultimate goal made way back in the first book. A lot may have happened to blow them off course but they’ve never forgotten.

The beginning is overrun with Wardens and soldiers from the city while later on it’s the creepers that pose the biggest threat. It really doesn’t matter though because our family of warriors has been training for survival, it’s what they’re good at. Ah man though, those scenes with Rat were insane. Nothing but severe disgust emanated from me for that twisted guy. And the Creeper King? Ugh, he gives me the chills. You’ll just have to read this book so you can join me in my revulsion.

Besides the obvious obstacles, the main characters continue weaving their way through other obstacles a.k.a. relationships. I really wanted to smack Crystal in the beginning, I felt pretty bad for Taylor but I love the return to stasis he’s reaching with Maya, I’m truly loving watching how Alicia is changing, I’m worried about Blane, Luca is once again surprising, I’m glad Laurie and Hunter are climbing out of their rough patch, and I am forever dancing with happiness for Maya and Coal. It’s been fascinating and quite crazy to see just how much Maya has changed over the course of this series. And I’m glad that Valenti has been able to balance a sweet softness with all of the hard edges she’s been sculpting into her. Coal is made of fire same as always but his world shifted the moment he met Maya. Their relationship is one of my favorites I’ve read. (Also I definitely picked up those hints that have been dropping. Just saying… #curious)

Scene Spotlight: I hate to give anything away but really you have to see it coming, I mean, it was inevitable. Okay so basically we get to learn more about the people who live in the mines with Lee and we unhappily discover just how antiquated their ways are. The women sashay around as little more than servants and baby-makers with a hobby of man-stealing/spitting hate fire towards the ‘warrior women’ (Maya, Alicia, Laurie, and Crystal). Obviously knowing these feisty women as we do, we know that their patience is not infinite so when the first blow is struck I am positively grinning with glee. The showdown that I witnessed was amazing. It was definitely a favorite scene (amongst many others) in this book. One thing that I did find interesting was how fascinated the men were of them. The women were jealous, disapproving, afraid, and disgusted, but the men were more curious than anything – an interesting point of view in my opinion.

I apologize for my review probably coming across as rambling but I just finished reading Bound and I didn’t want to wait any longer for my thoughts to reach better cohesion. I just wanted to write everything down because it was awesome. From start to finish Valenti had me trapped in her story with every gunshot, kiss, run, and smile. I had no idea the adventure I was signing up for when Valenti sent me that first book, Chained, but it got me hooked and I’m no longer capable of walking away until I see it through to the end.

Bound swings open running and knocking down anything in its path as it charges right up to the cusp of the series’ climax and then stumbles its toes hanging over the edge of a cliff leaving us to hang until the next and final book rescues us with its conclusion. A dystopian series that nudges us on a year-long journey then tosses us down an ever undulating current of twists and turns we are finally deposited at a door and if we dare to open it, the ending will rush us until we fall. The Cage of Lies series is not one you’ll want to miss.


amazon icon_tiny Purchase here: Bound 

P.S. I haven’t read the novella Cut Glass (Cage of Lies #0.5) yet but I have read Embers (Cage of Lies #3.5) and I definitely recommend it. It adds so much to this book that I’m incredibly glad I had the chance to read it beforehand and I really think you should too because it fills in a lot of blanks you’ll be wanting the answers for and it adds more depth (love, hatred, understanding) to the events that follow it. I mean you’ll be fine without reading it buuuuut you really should. 🙂

Check out the rest of the series: Chained (book 1), Linked (book 2), Broken (book 3), Embers (novella/book 3.5), Free (book 5)

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