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Spellbent Mass Market Paperback – December 29, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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More About the Author
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Her writing has been translated into French, Russian, Italian, Czech, and Japanese editions and has appeared in publications such as Apex Magazine, Nightmare Magazine, Pseudopod, Strange Horizons, Weird Tales, Steampunk World, In the Court of the Yellow King, Qualia Nous, Chiral Mad 2, and Best Horror of the Year, Vol. 5.
She lives in Ohio and is a mentor in Seton Hill University's MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction. You can follow her on Twitter at @LucyASnyder.
You can learn more at her website: www.lucysnyder.com
Top Customer Reviews
My problem lies with the heroine of the book. I just don't get her. And I don't like her much either.
Jessie lives in an unhealthy relationship with her former teacher Cooper. He facilitates her emotional and material dependency, isolates her and hinders her development. Law is a flexible thing to them and the bottom of society is where they want to be. I don't know if Cooper does these things deliberately to Jessie or not. However, if you try to come up with something positive to say about a character and the only thing coming to mind is "At least he doesn't beat her", it doesn't bode well. The worst thing about this situation is, that Jessie begins to see those things, but doesn't deem them important enough and lets them drop.
When Cooper accidentally opens a door to a hell, gets pulled in and a demon escapes, Jessie is the only one who can save her boyfriend. Authorities don't want her to go after him and when she refuses to cooperate declare her anathema. No one in the magical community is allowed to help Jessie, but her newly awakened familiar Palimpsest proves to be quite the wicked one.
I understand why Jessie wants to save her boyfriend. I can't see how a nearly dead person with no resources, no help, no plan thinks she can do the impossible, though. See, while fighting the demon Jesse got hurt. Badly. She lost an arm (it's a green pus oozing mess), an eye (filled by a ping-pong ball), got poisoned and suffered other severe injuries.Read more ›
And I love the magical world Snyder has built. It's authentic, dimensional, convincing, and full of surprises. (Wait until you find out what Jessie does to Mikey!) From the very first pages, you believe in this universe. World building is the hardest part of the fantasy writer's job, and Lucy A. Snyder does the work with a master's touch. Jessie Shimmer is so real and likeable I wanted to call her up and ask her to meet me for coffee. The other characters, from Jessie's familiar ferret, Pal, to the other magic workers live and breathe right there on the page.
Spellbent is a hoot, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It made me laugh, and I really cared what happened to the characters. Snyder has a keen touch for dialogue and for bringing a distinct voice to each of her people. And ferrets. It's hard to believe this is a first novel. But anyone familiar with Snyder's work knows her gifts as a wordsmith, so it's not completely surprising.
I can't wait to read the rest of the books in the series and find out what happens to Jessie, Cooper, and the other folks. Snyder did an excellent job of bring closure to this first novel, and in setting up the situation for the sequels.
Buy this book, go someplace where nobody will interrupt you, and prepare to get down. Don't start it right before you're supposed to go to sleep, because you'll be up until you finish it. Who knew Columbus, Ohio, could be so much fun? Five stars, all the way.
Then, things get *worse*. Benedict Jordan, the leader of the city's magicians, gives Jessie a choice: either she agrees not to rescue Cooper, or else she becomes anathema. Jessie is definitely not the kind of girl who'll leave her boyfriend to rot in Hell, so she chooses anathema. Jordan proceeds to ruin her life and leave her with nothing. Nothing, that is, except her never-give-up attitude and Palimpsest, an uptight ferret familiar who is described as having the voice of a Canadian librarian. (Not knowing any Canadian librarians, my brain has substituted an unholy cross between Rupert Giles' voice and C-3PO's.) Pal provides much of the comic relief in Spellbent.
Together, Jessie and Pal do everything within their power, first to survive, then to save Cooper. Jessie's tenacity and resourcefulness make every step of her journey compelling. Jessie could be forgiven for wallowing in angst, given what happens to her, but she doesn't. She never stops moving toward her goals. I read Spellbent in a single afternoon and evening, unable to tear myself away. I had to know what happened next!
It's a good book even before we get to Hell, and then it's the Hell scenes that really blew me away. I was expecting the usual flames and pitchforks, but Snyder doesn't go that conventional route. Cooper's Hell is an intensely personal one. And wow, is it dark. I think my jaw was on the floor when Jessie (and I) learned about the horrific events that lay at the root of the entire plot.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book started off with so much to give and ended up not living up to it's own potential. In fact, it seemed to get lost after the beginning sequence, at least until it hit the... Read morePublished 12 months ago by xfryx
Loved reading this in paperback but just in case I lose the book I can still read it. Had a hard time putting it down once I started it.Published 12 months ago by Renee Covey
This was a poor effort in almost every respect. Drivel like this clutters publisher's schedules and stands in the way of worthwhile books getting published. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Peter Wake
Urban fantasy is not usually my genre, but Spellbent is well worth the read. I look forward to more from Lucy A. Snyder!Published 16 months ago by Alan Petrillo
Typically I avoid ebooks priced above $3.99, but on the recommendation of Steven Saus (Alliteration Ink), I downloaded the sample and gave it a read. Wow! Read morePublished 21 months ago by Lester Smith
I started to read this then stopped after the first few chapters because a puppy got hurt, yes call me sentimental and girly but I hate puppies getting hurt! Read morePublished on December 21, 2012 by LunaMoth
The Good: Raw, edgy, and mature, excellent characters and story
The Bad: Pacing could be improved, doesn't get really epic until the end, a bit short
I love... Read more
When a spell cast by Jessie Shimmer's mentor/lover, Cooper, goes wrong and pulls him out to some sort of hell, the powers that be want Jessie to not do anything to help him. Read morePublished on March 9, 2011 by Alice in Wondland
Lucy Snyder's first urban fantasy novel, Spellbent, is a hoot because it takes a heroine from the wrong side of the tracks and turns her into a force to be reckoned with. Read morePublished on January 12, 2011 by Mel Odom