Shadow Marked (Demon Bound #1) by Anna J. Evans
I first heard about Shadow Marked as part of Dark Faerie Tales’ debut urban fantasy authors challenge. (You probably thought I’d stop talking about that now that it’s 2011 but you were wrong.) I didn’t read this as part of the challenge because I was more interested in some of the other books but I decided to purchase it the other day when I was at the bookstore.
Shadow Marked is a paranormal romance set in a New York City that has been partially overrun by demons. Our heroine, Samantha Quinn, has been blind almost all of her life but she’s fairly content with how things are. She has a business and a brother in the neighbourhood but longs for something more. Jace Lu is a bounty hunter, keeping the demons under control in the neighbourhood. They’re drawn together when their paths cross one night, and Sam’s visions of death are stronger than ever.
One of the things I liked most about Shadow Marked is the unusual protagonist. Sam is blind as a result of her parents sacrificing her sight to demons when she was six-years-old. About 15 years later, she’s living in New York, near where the demons came through, so property values are low and risks are high. Sam has made a name for herself as a florist in the area. I love that she’s resilient and determined and does her best not to be affected by her disability, her bad neighbourhood, or the visions she has of people who are about to die.
I’m not so fussy on Jace. He comes off extremely one-dimensional at the start of the book and his darkness seems a bit affected. He eventually develops some depth but he’s not my idea of a great leading man. I like that he doesn’t have any crazy super powers but I wasn’t all that into him.
I thought the idea of where the demons come from and how they live in the modern world was rather neat. I also enjoyed the general plot of Shadow Marked but I was a bit surprised by the BDSM nature of Sam and Jace’s relationship. There was nothing in the back blurb that made me think the book was heading in that direction, so it was a bit of a surprise when it popped up but, as it turns out, Anna J. Evans specializes in erotic romance so I suppose it’s not a shock to readers familiar with her writing.
The next book in the Demon Bound series is out now but I’m undecided about whether or not I’ll pick it up right now. I think it’ll depend on the general release schedule and what else is available at the time. My To Be Read pile is quite daunting right now so I will probably hold off for a bit, and then make my decision.