Warning: this review may contain spoilers for Hard Magic, the first book of this series. Be forewarned that some of the instances talked about (which are linked) may give away much of the first book’s plot.
Magic is real and Jake Sullivan, a Gravity Spiker, is one of the best at using it.
Thus begins Spellbound: Book Two of the Grimnoir Chronicles. As a recent member of the Grimnoir Society, Jake has received permission to explore the archives on how the magic which has created many people like him to flourish. Jake, as shown in Hard Magic, has seen the magic for what it truly is and is determined to stop the arrival of an entity known only as the Enemy. Now, using his newfound status as a knight, he is delving through archaic information on more information.
Meanwhile, there is a new threat emerging into the open. Though the Chairman may be dead, he is believed to still be alive in Japan and has been giving orders to the Iron Guard to destroy the Grimnoir. This, naturally, presents a problem, since the Chairman is also giving Jake advice about how to destroy the Enemy.
Also going on at roughly the same time, Faye, a young girl with the extraordinary Traveler magic ability, has been losing her power as of late, which is a surprise to all since she is more connected to the magic than anyone else in the world. Faye, if you recall, is the one who actually killed the Chairman (and dozens of others) during their confrontation back in Hard Magic. Nobody understands why this is and, at the moment, nobody cares, since they are hunting for the powerful being known only as the Spellbound.
The pacing is decent, though the author spends an inordinate amount of time wandering through the central United States (this does enhance the plot, but I missed it at the time because of other revelations), and the action (when it does occur) is strong. Much of the story revolves around the new government entity which is seeking to subjugate and register all Magic users (think Mutant Registration Law from X-Men) and how the Grimnoir Society is seeking to stop them from accomplishing this.
The story is better this time than in the first book, because Larry doesn’t spend much time building up the world this time around, but overall it was not as good as the first novel of the series. It’s still a great read, lots of fun to be had, but overall it lacked something. Thankfully the cover is MUCH better… it doesn’t appear as though the woman is holding a glowing dog turd in her hand, something which caused me to laugh when I saw the cover of Hard Magic.
Overall, I’d rate this as a definite “buy”. I enjoyed the story, the new plot twists and the old characters as they come back to help save the world. I definitely enjoyed the character portrayals, as well as Faye’s “kill ‘em if I have to” attitude which, for a girl who has been through what she has, is easily understandable.
Good book, good fun. Go read it.
–-Reviewed by Jason