Review of SPELL BOUND by Kelley Armstrong
THE OTHERWORLD SERIES
Dutton, July 2011
Savannah Levine usually enjoys being a powerful witch, summoning up spells on a whim that leave her opponents destroyed and her friends saved. Sometimes, though, powerful magic isn't enough and Savannah is suffering from a case gone wrong--with innocent lives destroyed. On impulse, she makes a blanket offer to trade her magic for the recovery of those lost lives and, even though it shouldn't be possible, somehow that offer is accepted. Now, Savannah can't cast even the simplest glow spell. Worse, she wonders if the family she's adopted--which is centered around magical powers--will have any use for her. Will she be abandoned once more?
Desperate to avoid returning to the safety of the people she fears will no longer be her friends, Savannah impulsively puts herself, and others, in danger. A regegade group of magic users and witch-hunters seeks to overthrow the current policy of secrecy. With their power, they'd rather rule than stay hidden. But Savannah's friends stand in their way... which means that she, and they are in danger. This would be a great time for Savannah's powers to return... but that doesn't seem to be happening.
Author Kelley Armstrong (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of fantasy by Armstrong) creates an intriguing magical world and there's definitely something cool about a kick-rear heroine facing down mad scientists, sneaky witch-hunters, and people who want to kill her family. For me, though, this story doesn't quite pull together. Savannah comes off as a spoiled brat, in denial about her motivation, whining because she's lost power that most other people have never had, unwilling to take advantage of what assets she still has. We're supposed to see her and her team as the goodguys in the story but why should magically talented have to hide their abilities? Why shouldn't they be allowed to use these abilities to claim wealth and power (assuming, of course that they do so legally)?
Too generous? Too stingy. Or did I miss the whole point? Send your comments to email@example.com. I'll publish the best letters I get so let me know if I can use your name.
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