Mr. Hines takes no prisoners when it comes to writing a boldly wild tale about passwords, clues, and magic. Unbound is a novel just swirling of characters (old and new), far out places (not the ‘60’s kind), as well as having a plot that screams for more as I read my way from the first word down to the last dot on the last page. This book builds on the tension and the plot devices as some historical people influence many past events so they can come forth and destroy current happenings are devious.
After Isaac Vainio was stripped of his Porter’s ability, he soon became downsized at the library due to his inability to work without his powers. Instead, he took the library’s part-time position and a leave as his friends needed him. The Lena-Nidhi-Isaac love triangle still exists with a few bumps. But it’s not until Isaac realizes he needs to help a former student (Jeneta) and some students of Bi Sheng as he still feels responsible for their current troubles. And all roads lead back in time to Rome, Germany, and China, Johannes Gutenberg, Pope Sylvester II, and a woman called Meridiana. Issac and his friends have little time to waste as the dark forces (Meridiana and her cronies) gather. All wait on Isaac to decipher a puzzle in a bronze artifact, an item which could change the world forever.
Similar in style to Jim Butcher when it comes to twists and turns filled with a lot of action, Mr. Hines makes me feel full of the spunk and joy for the love of reading. There is a wealth of information, action, and subplots to aid in this novel. As for Unbound being a standalone or not, it could be. Since I’ve read the previous novels in this series, I’m more complacent with saying Unbound is not really a standalone novel. And yet, this novel can be a standalone as Mr. Hines does an excellent job catching a beginning reader of this series and propelling them into the storyline whether they’re ready or not. In fact, he has a habit of enticing the reader to push further into the story. Definitely call in sick and take the time you need to recover slowly as you read this novel: it’ll bedazzle you!
For five hundred years, the Porters have concealed the existence of magic from the world.
Now, old enemies have revealed the Porters’ secrets, and an even greater threat lurks in the shadows. The would-be queen Meridiana, banished for a thousand years, has returned in the body of a girl named Jeneta Aboderin. She seeks an artifact created by Pope Sylvester II, a bronze prison that would grant her the power to command an army of the dead. Michigan librarian Isaac Vainio is powerless to stop her, having been stripped of his power and his place among the Porters by Johannes Gutenberg himself. But Isaac is determined to regain his magic and to rescue his former student Jeneta. With no magic of his own, Isaac must delve into the darker side of black-market magic, where he will confront beings better left undisturbed, including the sorcerer Juan Ponce de Leon.
With his loyal fire-spider Smudge, dryad warrior Lena Greenwood, and psychiatrist Nidhi Shah, Isaac races to unravel a mystery more than a thousand years old as competing magical powers battle to shape the future of the world. He will be hunted by enemies and former allies alike, and it will take all his knowledge and resourcefulness to survive as magical war threatens to spread across the globe. Isaac’s choices will determine the fate of his friends, the Porters, the students of Bi Sheng, and the world.
Only one thing is certain: even if he finds a way to restore his magic, he can’t save them all?.