Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Book Review: Arctic Bound by Tigris Eden
Blogger's note: This review contains minor spoilers for Arctic Bound.
Nerina Simpson fled the streets of New York City, hoping to find solace outside the small town of Talkeetna, Alaska. Physically scarred from a fire that claimed both her parents, Nerina keeps to herself while she tries to put the darkness of her life behind her.
When a winter storm forces her into town, she collides with Victor Canidae. An arrogant man who makes it no secret that he and everyone else in the town want her to leave.
Headstrong, and refusing to back down, Nerina finds herself in trouble when her two, four legged companions get lost in a storm, landing her in the path of an angry bear hell bent on taking her life. Until a mysterious white wolf comes to her rescue.
When she wakes up in a warm cave, the last person she expected to see is Victor. Stuck in a cave until the storm passes the two decide there is only one way to pass the time, and quickly when you're getting physical.
The cover is simply eye-catching and as soon as I saw it I wanted to read it. Admittedly I'm not crazy with the model's face half-missing, but the same style is in a lot of books and is a point of debate in the publishing world. Some people like it and others don't, and I am in the latter category. But I do love the coloring, the stock photos and the model herself (the 90% I can see of her anyway).
I also wanted to review it because I am a sucker for isolation stories taking place in the Arctic. That being said, I am still trying to figure out whether or not I ultimately liked Arctic Bound. In the end, I liked some parts of it and struggled with other parts. The book had a promising start-Nerina has a great deal of character development and prefers to spend her time in the isolation away from everyone else. She also has scars, and, in all honesty I wished she had kept them throughout the whole book or at least longer in the story, as they were a very defining trait. That being said, overall it was a very strong set-up with a lone woman in the Arctic facing an unfriendly town.
At first she and the other protagonist, Victor, dislike each other but eventually cannot control their animal desires for each other. There are quite a bit of steamy scenes that work for the romance crowd, but I would have also liked to have seen a bit more of Nerina's submission to Victor expanded upon, as in some respects it seems to be a bit sudden. Along that same thread, having the antagonist Sasha expanded upon would have also made the novel a bit stronger. She seems to be in the story just to have a wedge between Victoria and Nerina, but the character was also arguably mistreated and giving her a sympathetic edge would have given the novel layers.
It was towards the middle that really grabbed my attention with the tribe's interesting traditions and Arctic Bound has a plot twist I didn't see coming at all, so it is always nice to have that happen to a reader. The ending of the story, unfortunately, is by far the weakest portion-it ends abruptly and unfortunately in my copy an entire chapter is repeated. As I had a rough draft I am really hoping this is corrected in the printed version. I understand the book ended this way for an upcoming sequel, but I also felt that it could have resolved a few more things as well.
FINAL GRADE: 3 out of 5. An enjoyable read, but some things could have been dropped to give room to develop the stronger points in the novel.
Arctic Bound can be found here.
UPDATED NOTE: Since the review was posted the author and I have gotten in touch and she did confirm that an older draft was sent to me in error (not from the author herself). Because some of the technical issues have been resolved in the actual published version, I am also updating my score. Please note the author assures me that is not necessary, but I believe this is fair as I would have given it a higher score without the repeat chapter.