"Unbound," Kay Danella

Pros: Good premise; some interesting concepts
Cons: Careless execution; meh characterization
Rating: 2 out of 5

Review book courtesy of Penguin Group


Asrial is a Rim Rat, a scavenger who finds rare artifacts on abandoned worlds and sells them off to the highest bidder. She’s also the last heir of the deposed (and deceased) hereditary ruler of a distant planet—not that this fact has ever done her any good. During an expedition to the planet Maj, Asrial finds a secret cavern recently uncovered by an earthquake. There she finds a perfect, whole piece of pottery, a flask that could make her very wealthy. However, it turns out to have something far more valuable inside of it—a djinn, a powerful warrior imprisoned long ago to act as a weapon against his own people.

Romir finds an unexpected and somewhat elusive sort of freedom when his prison is brought on board Asrial’s ship. His prison still tugs at him, however, and the only thing that seems to solidify his connection to this world is Asrial’s touch. For herself, although Asrial can’t bring herself to believe that Romir is an actual djinn out of children’s stories, she’s happy to have her unusual stowaway warming her bed. Soon, however, she finds she wants more. She wants Romir’s freedom, and that means braving the dangers of her homeworld.


The concept of a djinn in a science fiction (really science fantasy) setting could be a good one if handled well. The setting itself had some nice touches to it that I enjoyed. Unfortunately, the negatives in Kay Danella’s Unbound quickly overshadowed the good ideas. The excuse for having the hero and heroine jump into the sack at every opportunity was not only completely transparent and silly, but it robbed many of the supposedly erotic scenes of their sexiness. In addition, it hindered the development of any chemistry between the characters. I’m pretty sure there was supposed to be romantic tension and a building relationship there, since marriage got mentioned eventually, but I just didn’t feel it. (The ridiculous purple prose that littered some scenes didn’t help, nor did the fact that I couldn’t help referring to Romir as Emo Djinn after a short time.)

The author was so busy shoehorning sex scenes into every halfway-reasonable spot and then some that too many plot points got hand-waved away. I felt like I was looking at a tattered, moth-eaten shawl rather than a carefully-woven story. If you’re looking for hot sex that doesn’t have the kind of typos you’re used to seeing on the internet, with just enough story that you can feel you aren’t reading porn, then you’ll probably enjoy this one. If story and romance really matter, however, I can’t recommend it.

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