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review 2017-04-02 15:00
Bound Review
Bound (Alex Caine) - Alan Baxter

Bound wasn’t an easy book for me to read. I had some initial reservations about it, but as I do love the occasional dark fantasy book, I decided to give it a shot. Alas, Bound and I never quite bonded. It is the perfect dark/urban fantasy read for readers who love the Chosen one spiel. It is also absolutely absent of even a whisper of a love triangle.The epic quest is, indeed, epic, and the evil guys are very evil. The Chosen one, as one might expect, does have trouble coming to terms with his powers, but eventually begins to master them. Soon he is a force to be reckoned with, but you know everyone’s going to try.

 

Alex Caine is the macho man with the dark past that he doesn’t talk about. His companion is a feisty, sexy female who attaches herself to him for non-epic reasons. Actually, most of the men portrayed in Bound come across as strong/macho characters except for a few bit-player parts. Sex and sexuality play a large role in Bound. If you like your ‘adult interactions’ to be on the violent and/or demeaning side, you’re sure to be pleased. Unfortunately, sexuality is part of the problem with Bound. All the female characters ooze sex appeal and/or seek validation through it. That, combined with Caine’s macho-man persona, give the story a ‘teenage boy fantasy’ air that is not particularly appealing.

 

But, Bound is not awfully written and I don’t want to give the impression that is. While I do think the author has some more skill development to do, it’s obvious the talent is there. Bound is held back by a bit too much introspective weight around its middle, and a cup full of ‘struggle for control and temptation’ where periodic dashes would do better instead. However, mostly this is simply not a book that appealed to me. I prefer, when I dabble in fantasy, to deal in ghosties, ghouls, and things that go bump in the night. My urban fantasy needs wise-cracking anti-heroes that you want to smack even as you can’t help but root for them. Bound is a more traditional fantasy read in an urban/modern setting.

 

Still, I have no doubt that there is a large market out there that would enjoy Bound. The action sequences were fun to read and easy to visualize. Alex Caine is the book version of the on-screen action hero. As the series develops and Alan Baxter has a chance to refine his writing and flesh out his characters, I think there’s a pleasant surprise awaiting. (There are two other books out in the series as of the time of this review, but I obviously have not read them, so I can only guess.)

 

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for review consideration

Source: www.scifiandscary.com/bound-review
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text 2016-06-21 13:02
Ghoullian's Big Night Out: The Alex Caine release party..
Bound - Alan Baxter
Obsidian - Alan Baxter
Abduction - Alan Baxter

 

I've never said I wasn't slightly crazy! 

 

K.

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text 2016-06-19 23:30
Author Guest Post: Actually, I’m really not a psychopath by Alan Baxter.
Bound - Alan Baxter
Obsidian - Alan Baxter
Abduction - Alan Baxter

 I’d like to thank Book Frivolity for hosting a guest post from me today. Kristy said I had free reign to write about whatever I liked that was writing or reading related, so I thought maybe I’d write about how I’m totally not a psychopath. Bear with me, it really is related to writing.

 

It might seem like a strange thing to write about, but when you’re an author of dark fantasy and horror, you’d be surprised how often people expect you to be Hannibal Lecter, or worse. So many times I’ve had people say to me, “Wow, you’re so normal!” which is actually rather offensive, but I know they don’t mean it as an insult. Normal? How very dare you!

 

Or people say some variant of “You’re so much nicer than I thought you’d be.” It’s weird, because I bet people don’t go up to science-fiction writers and say, “Oh, you’re not an astronaut?” Or approach romance writers with a nervous, “Sorry, are you having sex right now?”

 

Yet people seem to regularly expect writers of horror and dark fiction to be nasty, grim, nihilistic people. We’re not! We’re lovely, I promise. (Well, most of us.) My pal, Kaaron Warren, one of Australia’s most amazing horror authors has a theory. (Incidentally, you’ve read Kaaron’s work right? If not, go and read it now. No seriously, right now. This post will still be here when you get back.) But yes, Kaaron’s theory. She says that the nicest people in the world are plumbers, butchers and horror writers. They all spend so much time elbow deep in shit, blood and… well, horror, that they get it all out of their system. It’s not festering away in there. When you spend large parts of your life in those conditions, any time you’re not buried therein, you’re tip top. Happy to be out in the sunlight, among people who aren’t trying to eat your face.

 

I don’t know if it’s entirely true, but I think Kaaron is onto something. And it’s also why so many people like to read dark fiction. We go on a rollercoaster to experience the thrill of almost certain death – how can this train possibly stay on the rails, we’re all going to die! HAHAHA! Then it’s over and we’re all shaky and grinning at each other like loons, saying, “We survived!” Then we look shiftily left and right until someone says, “Let’s go again!” In the same way that a rollercoaster reminds you you’re alive by artificially putting you so close to death, so does dark fiction help people process the genuine shit in life by putting them so close to fictitious monsters in the safety of their armchair, reading a book.

 

And for those of us who write the dark stuff, while we may put ourselves into the shoes of villains and monsters, killers and demons, we only wear those shoes for a little while and, when we take them off again, we’ve benefited from the catharsis of the experience. It makes us even nicer people than we were before. So honestly, I’m not a psychopath. I just pretend to be one for a while here and there in the privacy of my own study. Hopefully the results are entertaining for anyone who subsequently reads my books.

 

* * *


Alan’s award-nominated dark fantasy thriller trilogy, The Alex Caine Series – Bound, Obsidian and Abduction – lands on bookstore shelves in Australia and New Zealand on June 20th. All three books will be released together on that day. Ask your local store and library to get copies in if they don’t have them.

 

Alan Baxter is a British-Australian author who writes dark fantasy, horror and sci-fi, rides a motorcycle and loves his dog. He also teaches Kung Fu. He lives among dairy paddocks on the beautiful south coast of NSW, Australia, with his wife, son, dog and cat. He’s the award-winning author of several novels and over sixty short stories and novellas. So far. Read extracts from his novels, a novella and short stories at his website – www.warriorscribe.com – or find him on Twitter @AlanBaxter and Facebook, and feel free to tell him what you think. About anything.

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