Title: Spell Bound
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: The Otherworld Series (Book 12)
Publication Date: July 26, 2011
Format: Hardback, 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0525952209 (Dutton)
ISBN-13: 978-0525952206 (Dutton)
Reviewed by: Macie
Savannah Levine has grown up to become a paranormal-investigating knockout. As a witch endowed with an array of spells, she is a force to be reckoned with. But, in her last case, innocent lives were lost and a family was torn apart. To put right the mess she helped create, she swears she would give anything…even her powers. Little does she know that someone or something has taken her up on that.
Defenseless and on the run from the witch-hunting assassins who are following her every move, Savannah soon stumbles upon a gathering storm that may tear her entire world apart. The danger is real. The whole Otherworld will have to come together to fight the dark force that threatens its very existence.
Savannah has no idea how to restore her powers just when she needs them the most, facing a host of deadly enemies bent on destroying not only her, but the very fabric of the supernatural world. As dark forces gather, Savannah isn’t just fighting for her life, but for everything and everyone she loves…
Quick and Dirty: The second to last book in the Otherworld series, Spell Bound provides essential character and plot development, but drags a bit and leaves the reader wanting more.
Opening Sentence: He watched the girl stumble from the motel office, room key glinting under the harsh lights of the parking lot.
Spell Bound picks up right where Waking the Witch, the previous book in the series, ends. An unknown figure, outside Savannah’s room, conspires to steal her magical ability at the same time as Savannah pleads that she would give up her magical ability if it would make things right for poor Kayla and her grandmother and the law.
One would assume that the reader will be someone who is familiar with Savannah’s story through some of Armstrong’s other books, not necessarily virginal readers. I would like to note that anyone who has read any of Armstrong’s adult books like the Otherworld Series, there is often at least a few sex or sexually charged scenes that are not found in her young adult works. Returning readers should also consider that Savannah, a character we’ve known since she was twelve, is now twenty-one and active. The book is not risqué, but shows the realities of the consequences of close relationships that form through overcoming death defying obstacles trying to kill or capture you at every turn. That being said, Armstrong does try to allow for anyone to pick up the book and be able to understand the plot without needing excess detail on back stories.
The plot in this novel is kind of scattered and confusing, but I had to chalk that up to the fact that this book is more of a linking novel to bring all of the storylines together in the final book of the series, Thirteen, which is due out in July 2012. Savannah’s magic is missing and there aren’t many leads on how to get it back. You have the witch hunter from the previous book and a group who are concerned with bringing the supernatural world out into the open, which would bring chaos and death to humans. There’s also a kidnapping thought to be between Cabal families that is causing stress and narrow escapes across the country. There is a lot going on in the supernatural world that is about to come to a head in the final novel.
Not only is there turmoil in the supernatural world, but there are sparks between Savannah and Adam. I do like that there is real development between those two now that they are both older and learning more about who they are as adults.
Overall, this book is kind of confusing plot wise, but only because there are a lot of things that need to be explained before the series can conclude next summer. Long term readers will appreciate the development in characters, and new readers will come to love these complex and multi-dimensional characters. Savannah is sassy and the voice for the next generation of supernaturals, and I am eagerly awaiting Thirteen, even more so because of this novel.
I woke tied to a chair. Everything was dark, but when I moved my head, I couldn’t feel a blindfold.
I tried to twist and feel how I was bound, but my hands were tied back-to-back and I couldn’t stretch my fingers enough to touch anything.
I closed my eyes and worked on inhaling and exhaling, struggling to slow my galloping heart.
If anyone else was here, I’d joke about how this made me a legitimate challenger to Jaime’s record. Kidnapped again. Ha-ha.
Only this wasn’t funny at all. When I saw that blackness and felt my bound wrists, panic surged, tugging behind it the memories of kidnappings past.
The first time I had been captured with my mother. They’d come for her and I’d been home playing sick, so she’d had to protect me, which meant she couldn’t get away. She’d died without ever getting away.
The second time I’d been captured by my father. He’d been fighting Paige for custody and unable to tell his side of the story, so he took me. Then Leah convinced me he’d murdered Paige, and in a blind tantrum of spell-powered rage, I’d killed him.
Two kidnappings. Two deaths.
Who would die this time?
The Otherworld Series:
11. Waking the Witch
12. Spell Bound
FTC Advisory: Dutton Books provided me with a copy of Spell Bound. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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