Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Review of Spellbound by Larry Correia


This is part of the review I wrote about Hard Magic, book one in the Grimnoir Chronicles by New York Times bestseller, Larry Correia:

“Imagine X-Men crossed with the 1920’s period show by HBO, Boardwalk Empire . . . The world building is top notch and well researched . . . the alternate history alone makes this worth the read . . . . There’s airships, superhero smack downs, lots of guns, and great writing. If you enjoy lots of action and have a special place in your heart for super heroes, this is the book for you.”

Now onto the review of the even more awesome book two, Spellbound.

I just finished reading Spellbound, book two in the Grimnoir Chronicles, and loved it even more than the first one. The series is so much fun. In Spellbound the heroes from Hard Magic, mostly Grimnoir Knights, are put in serious danger as they are blamed for an assassination attempt on the president—Franklin D. Roosevelt. Those with magic, (called Actives) are then targeted by the government, mostly by the ‘F’ BI, and a secret government organization called the OCI, and soon Jake Sullivan, a kick ass Grimnoir Knight, is public enemy number one.

The opening of this book, and the first few chapters are so entertaining. I particularly loved the scene with the machine that Thomas Edison invented—a telephone that can contact the dead. The man on the other side wants to talk to Jake Sullivan—the man who killed him—and the message he gives Jake is bad, bad news. Something is coming to devour the Earth, and without certain preparations, there is no hope for the world. The hints of this were in book one and now it’s all put on the table.

We knew that Jake was a bad ass. He’s called a “Heavy” and can spike gravity all around him, and ruin anyone’s day, but the big news is that we learn why the teenage girl from Oklahoma, Faye, is so powerful. She’s a “Traveler” who can teleport at will and is the most powerful “Active” on the planet, which we knew because of what she did at the end of book one, a truly spectacular feat that amazed and terrified everyone. I think of Faye as the “Ninja Assassin Queen.” You do not want to mess with her. Ever. She will teleport behind you and put a bullet in your head before you can blink once. Seriously.

The characters are great, and Spellbound is an epic story, and has so much action and lots of fascinating alternate history world building. It’s actually 1933 in book two, and one of my favorite parts of world building was a letter posted at the beginning of a chapter that was from Robert E. Howard to H.P. Lovecraft. I was in Nerdvanna after I read that. Robert E. Howard wrote the Conan stories and Lovecraft invented the Cthulhu mythos.

It’s worth noting that the year 1933 was the year that King Kong (the original movie) came out and Larry Correia’s love of monster movies carries over into this book in a pretty spectacular way at the end of the book. The King Kong parallel was awesome, and all the historical details, small and large, were so great.

The Grimnoir series is the real deal. Hard Magic was no fluke. Spellbound ups the ante with dangerous villains, fantastic characterization, brilliant world building, intense action, and a great story that will enthrall you from beginning to end.

Here’s a link to a fabulous review on Amazon that spells out this book in more detail if you want to learn more about the specifics of the plot.

I highly recommend The Grimnoir Chronicles. Five Stars.

Paul Genesse
Author of the Iron Dragon Series
Editor of the Crimson Pact anthology Series

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