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Blood Bonds

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Two years after a virus began turning the population into zombies, the survivors are hearing rumors of a safe city -- Sean Doberman and his newly reunited lover, Aaron Cambelle, among them. However, their years apart have changed them. Is the bond between them strong enough to overcome any obstacle -- including blood?

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Two years after a virus began turning the population into zombies, the survivors are hearing rumors of a safe city -- Sean Doberman and his newly reunited lover, Aaron Cambelle, among them. However, their years apart have changed them. Is the bond between them strong enough to overcome any obstacle -- including blood?

37 review for Blood Bonds

  1. 4 out of 5

    Fabiano

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. There are some things here that could work in a longer narrative. As it is, it felt a bit rushed and a bit thin. Not to mention a few things that bothered me (view spoiler)[for example, Sean deciding to kill himself after he was bitten even if there was a chance he would not turn or Aaron robbing an elderly couple's van and practically bragging about it (hide spoiler)] and some other details that didn't make much sense. The book's premise is quite interesting and I think the author should take the There are some things here that could work in a longer narrative. As it is, it felt a bit rushed and a bit thin. Not to mention a few things that bothered me (view spoiler)[for example, Sean deciding to kill himself after he was bitten even if there was a chance he would not turn or Aaron robbing an elderly couple's van and practically bragging about it (hide spoiler)] and some other details that didn't make much sense. The book's premise is quite interesting and I think the author should take the time to expand it (a novella, maybe).

  2. 5 out of 5

    Joyfully Jay

    A Joyfully Jay review. 3.75 stars I wasn’t sure at first what to expect of this book. Based on the blurb and knowing that it is a short story, I was interested to see how the world would be built and what Bain-Vrba could do with a lovers reunited story in such a short space. All in all, I was pretty well entertained. There is plenty of action, lots of time seeing Sean and Aaron reconnect physically, and because the story is told from Sean’s perspective, no small amount of doubt that grows into fu A Joyfully Jay review. 3.75 stars I wasn’t sure at first what to expect of this book. Based on the blurb and knowing that it is a short story, I was interested to see how the world would be built and what Bain-Vrba could do with a lovers reunited story in such a short space. All in all, I was pretty well entertained. There is plenty of action, lots of time seeing Sean and Aaron reconnect physically, and because the story is told from Sean’s perspective, no small amount of doubt that grows into full blown angst over some of the choices Aaron makes. First, you gotta love a story that doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to the main pairing getting together. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed being privy to their reunion love scene (not terribly graphic, but not just fade-to-black, either) given that this happens almost immediately after the story starts. Maybe it was the pull of two seemingly competent, strong, capable men who just happened to be lovers in a past life—I guess that was all the background I needed. Read Camille’s review in its entirety here.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Willow Scarlett

    Zombie apocalypse stories can be divided into the hopeful and the despairing. Despairing tales use zombies as an analogy for the worst of human nature and desires, and the apocalypse event as a symbol of human limitations. It may be a symbol of greed when a big corporation puts profit before proper medical testing and accidentally creates zombies. Maybe the apocalypse event is a condemnation of scientific exploration and the 'danger of playing God' and pushing science too far, or maybe it's the Zombie apocalypse stories can be divided into the hopeful and the despairing. Despairing tales use zombies as an analogy for the worst of human nature and desires, and the apocalypse event as a symbol of human limitations. It may be a symbol of greed when a big corporation puts profit before proper medical testing and accidentally creates zombies. Maybe the apocalypse event is a condemnation of scientific exploration and the 'danger of playing God' and pushing science too far, or maybe it's the opposite and shows the helplessness of science to protect humanity from a natural sickness. Then there are hopeful zombie stories, which use a post-apocalypse setting to show human courage and strength and the will to survive. Hopeful zombie stories are generally light on backstory - they're not condemnations of human greed or a comment on scientific understanding - the characteristics of the zombies or the nature of the apocalypse event are vague and very secondary to the central character-focused plot. Blood Bonds by Kayla Bain-Vrba is very definitely a hopeful zombie story. The apocalypse event is described in a page and a half of broad brushstrokes, and the zombies aren't described in detail. It's not a horror, it's never trying to scare either in description or theme. Blood Bonds is a romance first and foremost. I absolutely love zombie apocalypse stories. It's the diversity that I love: Critics of the genre say there's only one kind of zombie story that you can tell, and that it's already been told and every new work is just a repetition. I believe the opposite. The zombie apocalypse concept allows an endlessly diverse range of stories, and every new work adds to or reinforces the lore. I especially love stories like Blood Bonds which rely on an existing understanding of zombie lore, or tropes. Blood Bonds is a short story - 11.5k words, or about 38 pages - which doesn't leave room for long expositions. Short fiction is as much a craft as long fiction: it requires a masterful hand to fit a satisfying romance story into a fifth of the space of a short novel, needing intense and immediate show of character and setting and motivations. A writer can't tell everything in a short story, they need to carefully choose which elements are important. The pop culture understanding of zombies and what a zombie apocalypse involves is essential to the story - it's fast-paced and character-focused, because it doesn't need to spend time in backstory and explanations. In Blood Bonds, Bain-Vrba directs the camera on a period of a few days, two years after the downfall of society. Sean is reunited with his old boyfriend with whom he lost contact when the zombie virus spread. The key theme and conflict of Blood Bonds is how people are changed by harrowing life experiences, and whether there are personality traits that exist within a person (a sense of 'self') which aren't changed by time and separation (and a zombie apocalypse). The story line is great for a zombie apocalypse framework. There's a sense of intense emotional connection between the two protagonists, which is made more believable by the extreme setting. Instead of a tale of romance formed on the road while escaping zombies, Blood Bonds is more akin to a 'soulmates' story, about two people who are destined to be together forever and are drawn together almost supernaturally. While the focus on character and plot is excellent for the central story, the reliance on zombie pop culture to supply the background and world does mean there are some tropes which don't make sense. I love that the limited page space isn't spent on exposition, but I would have preferred a deeper understanding of how the characters were affected by the zombie apocalypse. Where do they find food, water, guns and ammunition, two years after the collapse of society and in competition with other survivors? What are the psychological and physical impacts of walking constantly for two years, always in fear of attack? Is it really that easy to kill a creature that looks exactly like a human? Would previous social distinctions have any meaning without a society to construct them? These questions are fascinating to the readers of zombie fiction, with answers that can flesh out and enrich a story without bogging it down. They're not essential to the central love story, but they would have satisfied my love for zombie stories. In a story this short, pacing is everything. Bain-Vrba did an excellent job of keeping the story quick and page-turning, and balancing emotional and physical action. One scene in particular is edge-of-the-seat tense, combining great action with swift emotional changes to devastating effect. After that scene, I barreled through to the end and couldn't put the book down. This ebook first caught my attention because of the beautiful cover - it's simple, bold, and very effective. It's my favorite cover of the year so far. London Burden did an amazing job, and I'll keep my eye on her art with interest. Blood Bonds is a short story about true love overcoming all, and as such the zombie apocalypse framework is a great one to lend believability and immediacy to the story. Bain-Vrba has managed a lot in a short space - a short span of time, and few words. This short story is everything it promises: true love in the time of zombies. But ultimately, the message of Blood Bonds is one of hope, of love in the face of adversity, and of a hope for survival and a good life even after everything we know has fallen apart.

  4. 5 out of 5

    mw138

    Surviving a virus that turned most of the population into zombie-like creatures has left Sean alone and fighting for survival. He's come to terms with the fact that he's lost just about everyone he held near and dear to his heart, including his boyfriend, Aaron. When by some miracle he literally stumbles upon the man he's loved since high school, he must now get to know a brand new person. Is Aaron still the man he fell in love with so many years ago, or is that person forever lost due to the de Surviving a virus that turned most of the population into zombie-like creatures has left Sean alone and fighting for survival. He's come to terms with the fact that he's lost just about everyone he held near and dear to his heart, including his boyfriend, Aaron. When by some miracle he literally stumbles upon the man he's loved since high school, he must now get to know a brand new person. Is Aaron still the man he fell in love with so many years ago, or is that person forever lost due to the death and destruction of a zombie apocalypse? As a fan of horror movies and The Walking Dead, I'm always interested in a good zombie story. Add m/m romance into the mix and I'm one happy camper! Overall, I enjoyed this short story. Given it's length, it's hard to provide enough exposition. While I felt I had a clear understanding of Sean's character, since the story was from POV, I felt as though I didn't know enough about Aaron and how he spent his two years after the zombie apocalypse occurred. Sean was a likeable character, but unfortunately Aaron was not. To be honest, I didn't understand how Sean and Aaron were ever a couple prior to zombies. Aaron is a hothead with a bad temper who seems to gaslight his partner, and Sean is way too forgiving of the crap Aaron puts him through. Aaron's friends, especially Steven, also weren't very likeable. I understand that traumatic events can change people, but Aaron and his group of survivors had lost almost all their humanity. Steven seemed to be the perpetual thorn in Sean's side and I would love to see how Sean treated both Sean and Aaron after the ending. This book was provided by the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Keysmash Blog

    Zombies! Boys in love! This had all the makings of an insta-fave, but it was lacking something. Backstory, yes, but I knew how long it was before going in so I expected that. It was lacking a relationship I was rooting for. Sean, the character whose POV the story is told through, is darling, or as darling as one can be while trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. But Aaron, his pre "Z-day" boyfriend whom he ends up finding in a random park in Ohio, is a bit of a shit. He's got a temper, he's col Zombies! Boys in love! This had all the makings of an insta-fave, but it was lacking something. Backstory, yes, but I knew how long it was before going in so I expected that. It was lacking a relationship I was rooting for. Sean, the character whose POV the story is told through, is darling, or as darling as one can be while trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. But Aaron, his pre "Z-day" boyfriend whom he ends up finding in a random park in Ohio, is a bit of a shit. He's got a temper, he's cold, and he's all-around just kind of a dick. He talks sweet to Sean, but I never really believed that he was still in love with him.

  6. 5 out of 5

    ✘Tabby✘

    Received from: Less Than Three Press Received Via: NetGalley.com THE REVIEW Why this book? I read the synopsis and couldn't resist What I thought I enjoyed this little story! The romance was sweet and it had some zombie killing action. Plus I loved the premise. Though it did have some disadvantages. Like I thought Sean was a weak character and Aaron was somewhat dislikable. I also didn't like how Aarons friend always made Sean feel. With that said it was a enjoyable read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    A.M.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Liz

  9. 5 out of 5

    safika

  10. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  11. 4 out of 5

    doug sanford

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jenni Lea

  13. 5 out of 5

    Riayl

  14. 5 out of 5

    Shari

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cole Riann

  16. 4 out of 5

    JustJen "Miss Conduct"

  17. 4 out of 5

    Susan65

  18. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sadonna

  20. 5 out of 5

    L-D

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chad

  22. 5 out of 5

    Adrienne -kocham czytać-

  23. 4 out of 5

    M'rella

  24. 4 out of 5

    Crystal

  25. 5 out of 5

    Darcy Leerhoff

  26. 5 out of 5

    texasmoocow

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jilrene

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nana

  29. 4 out of 5

    ReviewerLarissa

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nimpatan

  31. 5 out of 5

    LT3 Press

  32. 5 out of 5

    Neko

  33. 4 out of 5

    Tj

  34. 5 out of 5

    Gary Jones

  35. 4 out of 5

    Precious Gem

  36. 5 out of 5

    London Calling

  37. 5 out of 5

    Maggie

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