Author: Jenn Bennett
Series: Arcadia Bell, #3
Release date: May 28th 2013
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Buy: The Book Depository
In the third book in this beloved and “riveting” (Romantic Times) urban fantasy series, demon-friendly tiki bar owner Arcadia Bell discovers more about her own evolving, and possibly destructive, magical abilities when her bar is the target of a demonic crime wave.Renegade mage and bartender Arcadia Bell has had a rough year, but now the door to her already unstable world is unhinging. When a citywide crime wave erupts, Cady's demon-friendly tiki bar is robbed by Earthbounds wielding surreal demonic abilities that just flat-out shouldn't exist. With the help of her devilishly delicious boyfriend, Lon Butler, Cady sets out to find the people who wronged her—but her targets aren't the only ones experiencing unnatural metamorphoses. Can Cady track down the monsters responsible before the monster inside herdestroys everything—and everyone—she loves? If she survives this adventure, one thing is certain: it's last call for life as she knows it.
In Binding the Shadows, things are coming at Cady’s little family from all sides: Lon’s extended family is in town, his ex-wife shows up to make their lives miserable, two teens rob Cady’s bar and hurt her partner in the process, and on top of it all, a strange drug is being distributed around town and Lon and Cady must get involved.
Bennett achieved the perfect balance between action and character development, blending the two seamlessly. To be fair, Cady didn’t need much in the way of personal growth, she was quite amazing from the beginning, but by facing personal issues in Binding the Shadows, her own insecurities and fears, she’s shown that she’s just as mature as her (much) older boyfriend.
Jupe is still the highlight of this series. Without him, it wouldn’t be nearly as heartwarming or entertaining. I love his relationship with Cady and Lon, the honesty and affection that pour out of every page. With the addition of a few more secondary characters, Bennett completed a picture of a large, loving (if slightly disfunctional) family that will find its place in your heart between one heartbeat and the next.
The only thing I didn’t appreciate was the giant cliffhanger we were left with. I. Do. Not. Like. Cliffhangers! I understand that it’s all part of a larger story arc, but I think it could/should have been done differently. With a whole year between installments, cliffhangers are unnecessary and a bit cruel to the fans.
Nevertheless, this is a series I count among my all-time favorites and Jenn Bennett keeps proving her worth as a writer over and over again. Crossing the AEthyir can’t come soon enough.