Bound in Blood: A Mythos Novel

Mark Jonathan Runte

NEW ADULT: For the past year, Tristan Gallagher has been cursed. With a dragon dad and a kitsune mom, Tristan can normally shapeshift at will, but now he is trapped in human form by day and forced to transform into a sea otter at night. Martin Carpenter had aimed the curse at Tristan’s adopted older brother, Aran, a thousands-year-old immortal whose vitality is linked to the sea. But even Aran’s considerable skill cannot reverse the witch’s curse. The old man may be more powerful than he appears. Tristan is still resentful that Aran walked away from the family sixteen years ago. Regardless of his reasons for leaving, Aran has returned to protect Tristan and vows to help him undo the curse, even if it will cost Aran his immortal life and soul.

“Bound in Blood” is mythical fantasy with a touch of depravity. It is not an easy read. The plotline is littered with unexplained references between the major characters, some of them remaining a mystery to the very end. Tristan’s new girlfriend, Susannah, is petulant and abrasive. Tristan’s parents seem perpetually detached, leaving one to wonder why he holds Aran, who clearly has his own issues, solely responsible for his loneliness. When Tristan, Aran, and Susannah team up to solve Tristan’s problem, their actions are often disorganized and counter-productive, such as going on an inland hike without enough water or into the underground tunnels without fire. With inscrutable characters, inconsistent decisions, and underdeveloped background, the author’s thoughts are difficult to follow. Further editing to remove errors and clarify how past events affect the present, could transform this into a smoother read.

Joan Lai