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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb start to a new urban fantasy series, 14 Aug. 2010
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This review is from: Spellbent (Mass Market Paperback)
A secret magical world exists alongside the mundane. Normal mortals remain oblivious to both Talents; humans able to wield magic, and the supernatural creatures they interact with. Part of this secret world is 23 year old Jessie; who at the start of "Spellbent" appears to have a pretty decent life. She's madly in love with her mentor Cooper, she's just obtained her familiar (Palimpsest the ferret) and she and Cooper make ends meet by using magic. Yet things get very ugly for Jessie in a very short period of time.

A simple spell for a rainstorm becomes a fight for survival. Cooper accidentally opens a portal to Hell, he's sucked into it and leaves a relatively magically inexperienced Jessie to battle alone the demon that breaks free. With no help from the governing circle of wizards Jessie is lucky enough to kill a demon and survive, but she loses an eye and an arm doing so, and her facial scarring isn't pretty. Her new disabilities and disfigurements could easily be healed with magic, yet there is one condition; Jessie must give up searching for Cooper. Unwilling to sign such an agreement Jessie is left incapacitated, hindered by a curse and no one in her magical world can help her. She's determined to find Cooper, yet someone more powerful is equally determined that he remains confined to Hell.

This is a very impressive start to a new series. Jessie is one heck of a heroine as she adapts in the mundane world with her disabilities, but she is still (illegally) able to utilise her own magic under the guidance of ferret familiar Pal. The plot line is explosive from the start, yet I admit I wasn't fully drawn into the story until Jessie started making some monumental stands against the magical governing body. The ideas this author introduces are creative and clever and I liked how the story line flitted between the perspectives of Jessie and Pal. Some may quibble about Jessie's relationship (Cooper being 15 years older) but what little is shown of it before Cooper disappears is rather endearing and I could completely understand Jessie's determination to rescue her man. I found some of the "supplies" Jessie needed for her spells somewhat icky, but this is balanced by some genuinely dry humorous moments (the "Ganja Goddess" scene immediately springs to mind) whilst the range of characters LAS introduces are carefully crafted. I'm delighted to have stumbled across this author, and equally delighted a sequel "Shotgun Sorceress" is scheduled for release in October. I've just put my order in for a copy.
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