Alex Caine is a martial artist fighting in illegal cage matches. His powerful secret weapon is an unnatural vision that allows him to see his opponents' moves before they know their intentions themselves.
After a fight one night, an enigmatic Englishman, Patrick Welby, claims to know Alex's secret.Welby shows Alex how to unleash a breathtaking realm of magic and power, drawing him into a mind-bending adventure beyond his control. And control is something Alex values above all else.
Shortlisted for the 2015 Ditmar awards - Best Novel
About the Author
Alan Baxter is a British-Australian author living in regional NSW. He writes horror, dark fantasy and sci-fi, rides a motorcycle and loves his dog. He also teaches Kung Fu. He is the author of dark fantasy thriller novels, and has had around 50 short stories published in a variety of journals and anthologies worldwide. He's a contributing editor and co-founder at Thirteen OClock, Australian Dark Fiction News & Reviews, and co-hosts Thrillercast, a thriller and genre fiction podcast.
He is director and chief instructor of the Illawarra Kung Fu Academy.
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Comments about Bound:
It's been a long time since I've read an honest-to-goodness page-turner. Like the best thrillers, Bound drops you in the thick of the action from the very first sentence and doesn't let up until the book is closed. But, unlike a simple airport potboiler, the world it drags you through drips with blood and magic and horror, a shadowed underworld of cage fighters, of Kin, and of dark powers that threaten to overwhelm all who come within their orbit.
On the surface, Bound is a fast-paced, action-packed urban fantasy about a martial artist with magically enhanced abilities, who finds himself both the prisoner of an ancient and malevolent power, and the focus of a brutal supernatural manhunt. Like a classic kung fu movie, the fights are gritty and authentic, the foes of increasingly insurmountable power and ability. But the deeper Alex Caine gets drawn into the book's central mystery (and, yes, that's a pun, but no spoilers here), the less he can simply fight his way out, the more he needs to draw on inner resources: his training, his will, and his wonderfully messed up relationship with the beautiful and monstrous Silhouette.
No matter how fast the plot compels you to rip through it, there's a dark depth to Bound that will resonate long after you put it down. And this resonance comes on the one hand from the book's central theme of control, and on the other from the fact that Alex Caine is himself a monster. Alan Baxter has penned a truly unique protagonist in Caine, at once superhero and antihero; and perhaps something beyond even that, something darker still. As Caine's power increases, so too does his capacity to commit unspeakable atrocities, horrors that are far from heroic, that threaten to engulf him and endanger those he loves.
Not for the faint of heart (I'm a calloused horror reader, and at least one scene in this book damaged me), Bound is fantastic storytelling in the vein of Neil Gaiman or Alan Moore, but with a merciless black streak. If you like a double-dose of darkness with your sense of wonder, Bound will deliver. At breakneck speed.
"I had a lot of fun reading Alan Baxter's BOUND... It's a teeth-gnashing, shadow-chasing, magesign-riddled sexy beast of a thing!" Margo Lanagan
"It blew me away" Kylie Chan
Series: Alex Caine
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 20th June 2016
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.5 x 2.6
Weight (kg): 0.44