Starting a series with the second to last book seems like cheating, doesn't it? It is like starting a race two feet away from the finish line and then running up hill while everyone else is running down hill- and straight towards you. But I decided to take on the challenge anyway because I have only heard praise for the works of Ms. Armstrong. While I enjoyed reading the book and meeting the various characters from previous books, after finishing this Spellbound I do not know if I want to commit my time to reading the whole series.
Spellbound begins were Waking the Witch ended, with Savannah inadvertently giving away her powers in an altruistic-if not extremely na‹ve and dangerous- attempt to better a little girls life. The main plot focuses on Savannah and Adam racing to find out how she lost her spell-casting powers and learning more about the witch hunters that were introduced in the previous book Waking the Witch. Through a series of twist and turns the story evolves into more than just a journey to solve the mystery behind her vanishing powers, there is an all out war is brewing with angry young supernaturals who no longer feel that it is necessary to hide their powers from humans. Led by an enigmatic leader, with a connection to a beloved character's past, they are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that no one gets in their way.
The book read more like the first in the series than the second to last in a series. There were so many plot holes and unanswered questions left to be answered that after finishing the book I felt terribly led on and disappointed. There was no sense of urgency, no action, just lots of talk of danger and an obvious set up for the next and final book in the series. While the author spent an inordinate amount of time setting up the dangerous atmosphere and creepy back story for the main villain, she never gets to the point and explains exactly why he is so dangerous, and what effect it will have on everyone if his plan is successful.
I have come to the conclusion that Spell bound is more about the emotional maturity of Savannah than it is about the bad-ass action chick coming to save the day. She relies on her magic and the hype behind the myth of her parentage to anchor her place in the world that she lives in. Savannah seems like she is constantly trying to prove her worth and only coming up short in her own head. In Spellbound she has been stripped of the one thing that she believes links her to everyone in her life and reacts essentially like a sulky teenager whose iPod was taken away from her, which unfortunately leads into making stupid and dangerous decisions that leave her friends to act as clean-up crew for her mistakes. Savannah's behavior throughout the book was at turns humorous and charming, and other times she was obnoxious and just down-right selfish; yet I felt for her and almost understood everything that she did.
Overall, I did like the book and would recommend that her fans read the book as quickly as they can get their hands on it. For the newly initiated, this book is just a teaser for the next story. It is accessible enough were one is not left playing the "who" game, but to understand who everyone is and why they are important to Savannah you need to read the previous books.
At last, in the novel every Kelley Armstrong fan will need to own, all the major heroines and heroes of Otherworld are united.
It's been ten years since Bitten, the first novel in Kelley Armstrong's New York Times bestselling Otherworld series. In that time hundreds of thousands of fans have ravenously devoured the adventures of Armstrong's witches, demons, and werewolves. Now, in Spell Bound, she brings them all together for her most sweeping tale yet.
Savannah Levine is in terrible danger, and for once she's powerless to help herself. At the heartbreaking conclusion of Waking the Witch, Savannah swore that she would give up her powers if it would prevent further pain for a young orphan. Little did she know that someone would take her up on that promise.
And now, witch-hunting assassins, necromancers, half-demons, and rogue witches all seem to be after her. The threat is not just for Savannah; every member of the Otherworld might be at risk. While most of her fellow supernaturals are circling the wagons at a gathering of the council in Miami, Savannah is caught on the road, isolated from those who can protect her and unable to use her vast spell-casting talent, the thing she counts on most. In a story that will change the shape of the Otherworld forever, Armstrong gathers Elena, Clay, Paige, Lucas, Jamie, Hope, and other beloved characters, who soon learn that the greatest threat to supernaturals just may come from within.