His Dark Bond
His Dark Bond is not the best book I have ever read. In fact, it has some pretty serious flaws. However, I can see a lot of potential in Anne Marsh’s Fallen series that is just waiting to be tapped. And I am intrigued enough by the story to hope that the rest of the series lives up to the potential.
Set in Moscow in the year 2090, Nessa St. James is a scientist studying genes. She is looking for a genetic marker that will help find the Lost 13th Tribe of Israel. She has invented the over the counter pee-on-a-stick genetic test in order to help prove her theory. In testing herself, she discovers that she herself has a paranormal past and that she could be a descendant of this lost tribe. But the cost is dear. When she finds out her genetic past, funding for her research dries up, she is forced to turn to the morally questionable Genecore to finance her future studies.
Genecore is run by Cuthah. He is a ruthless Dominion who has made it his mission to prevent the Fallen Dominion angels from ever returning to Heaven after they disastrously challenged the Archangel Michael. As punishment, Zer and the others who rebelled with him are punished by having their wings stripped and they are sent to earth to live. There is a loophole, though. The Fallen can earn back their wings if they find and bond with their soul mate. Fortunately for the Fallen, they have a list of possible soul mates and they are trying to save their potential mates from death at Cuthah’s hands.
One of the women on the list is Nessa. Zer kidnaps her from her university and plans to give her to one of his fallen brothers as a mate. But the more time that Zer spends with her, the harder it is for him to imagine giving her up. And though Nessa sees all the Fallen as gorgeous hunks that most women would dream to call their own, the only one that she wants is Zer. But he has taken himself off her list of choices. He has been fighting so long that he is convinced that he has no soul to share and cannot possibly deserve a soul mate.
Ok, so the potential is there for this to be a great series. The concept is strong. The genetic marker that Nessa discovers that links her to the Lost 13th Tribe also happens to be a genetic marker to indicate the women with the potential to be the Fallen’s soul mates. The Brother Fallen are all tortured alpha males with dark good looks and a lot of problems that some strong heroine could solve. As far as that goes, I liked the world that Marsh built and I liked the potential for future stories. I already see one or two of the Brothers whose future intrigued me.
Where the book goes wrong though, is that at times, it is just all over the place. For instance, the scene when Nessa is at the rave where she gets to pick which Brother she wants. At first, the scene seemed to be stuck on a replay cycle with her and Zer’s Brother, Nael, having the same conversation at least twice. At one point, Nessa is enjoying the party and getting into the idea of picking a Brother. All of a sudden, Nessa is trying to escape, the party is over and it is time for her to pick a Brother. I got whiplash from all the quick changes. And then there is just way too much build up to her picking a Brother. I mean, come on, the reader already knows she is going to pick Zer, so there is really no reason to drag it out.
And don’t get me started on the ending. As the enemy is literally storming Nessa’s lab and the Brothers are fighting to free Nessa from behind enemy territory, what do Nessa and Zer do? They have a conversation about how the only Fallen angel to find his soul mate, Brends, realized he had found her. Was it a kinky sex position that gave him his wings? Was it the number of times they had sex? What was the catalyst? Never once did Zer or Nessa suspect that the catalyst may have been accepting her as his soul mate. It must be the kinky sex positions. And why were they suddenly trying to prove once and for all if Nessa was Zer’s soul mate after they had both been fighting it for 200 plus pages? Because if he had his wings, they could escape, of course. I guess the air duct that Zer shimmied through to get to Nessa wasn’t an option for some reason. Though I haven’t the foggiest idea what that reason might have been. Instead, they need to have rough kinky sex and find out right this minute if she is his soul mate.
So, the book is flawed, but the series has potential. Until the end, the only real problem with the book that I had was that I never really understood why the Fallen were considered Goblins or how exactly it was that they fed off emotions. But I chalked that up to the fact that I hadn’t read the first book, Bond With Me. Up until the big conclusion, I thought it was a decent read in a series with a lot of potential. For me, I have decided to forget the ridiculous ending and hope that the next book in the series is a little more consistent because the world that Marsh is building definitely has potential.