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Spiral Hunt (Evie Scelan) Mass Market Paperback – January 27, 2009

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Spiral Hunt (Evie Scelan) + Soul Hunt (Evie Scelan) + Wild Hunt
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Product Details

  • Series: Evie Scelan
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; Original edition (January 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061662410
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061662416
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,274,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“I loved, loved, loved this book. I picked it up before bed and couldn’t put it down. Fantastic, moving, thrilling -- deeply thoughtful -- and beautifully crafted . . . [T]his was one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.” (New York Times bestselling author Marjorie M. Liu)

“[A] fun adventure, a promising start to a new series and a solid first novel.” (Locus)

“[O]ne of the better books I’ve read based on Celtic matter.” (Charles de Lint, Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)

“[R]efreshing. . . One thing in particular that I found very attractive about this book is that Ronald concentrates entirely on Celtic mythology while building her world . . . SPIRAL HUNT offers a tremendous sense of place. (Elizabeth Bear, Realms of Fantasy)

“[A]n amusingly different urban Celtic fantasy.” (Locus)

About the Author

Margaret Ronald learned to read on a blend of The Adventures of Tintin, Greek mythology, and Bloom County compilations. Her vocabulary never quite recovered. The author of two previous Evie Scelan novels, Spiral Hunt and Wild Hunt, Margaret has also written stories for Realms of Fantasy, Strange Horizons, Baen's Universe, and Fantasy Magazine.

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Customer Reviews

She did a great job of that.
P. T. Hill
There are many plot holes and the plot is overall too complicated with characters that don't grow.
I love mystery with my urban fantasy, and this book had it.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mark Louis Baumgart on September 22, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
New authors appear every month, and while Margaret Ronald is not exactly a new author, she has published several short stories before this, this is her first novel. Some of her previous short stories had evidently starred Genevieve "Evie" Scelan who is the heroine of "Spiral Hunt" and who has the nickname of "The Hound". This is because she has the magical ability to smell things. Not like most people, but she can smell the magic behind them, if these objects have had any contact with magic, and she can track things long lost. Evie also seems to be developing other, as yet undefined, magical powers. Ronald also wisely decides not to explain everything, as references to past adventures and arcane things in Evie's life are constantly made, giving Evie and this novel an established feel to them.

One night Evie gets a phone call from a long-vanished lover, and he seems to be speaking in two voices, and before he hangs up he mentions that she has been targeted. This bothers her and she decides to start her own investigation to find Frank, and as the novel develops we are introduced to some of the major characters of her quest, such as her best friend Sarah, who runs the occult magic shop Goddess Garden, and who knows Evie's abilities and who has some secrets of her own. Other major characters are Nate, a friend and mathematician and his kid sister who he has guardianship of, and who may have some latent magical abilities of her own, and then there is the hunky and mysterious Brendan Corrigan. Brendan claims to be a friend of Frank's and who claims to want to find Frank just as much, if not more so than Evie herself, and who always seems to be there when Evie needs him the most.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jeffmage on February 8, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I thought this book was excellent. The pacing was great and the characters were real and compelling.

I read a lot of Charles de Lint and Jim Butcher and Spiral Hunt has some of the best elements of both. It is a great urban fantasy and reads like a fast-paced detective yarn. A real page-turner.

I really hope that Margaret Ronald will write at least a few more adventures with Evie and her circle of characters. There is a great deal of potential here.

Good job!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Shira Lipkin on June 9, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ronald's debut novel posits a magical Boston that maps perfectly, with a heroine who isn't gorgeous and omnipotent and schtupping a vampire - she's ragged and imperfect and unique. The best urban fantasy stems as much from the personality of the city itself as from the characters, with the city itself as a character in its own right. Evie's Boston lives and breathes, and so does Evie - a deeply believable protagonist.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rachel P. Smith on February 12, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Evie Scelan promised her mother that she would always be careful. She broke her promise when she received a call from an old lover in the middle of the night. She always swore that she would not be drawn into the dark shadowy underworld that lies beneath Boston, but this time, she may not have a choice. By day, Evie tries to lead a normal life as a courier. She is trying to start scrounging out a living by offering her service in "expert retrieval and recovery services."

She tries to keep her old friends out of the undercurrents by not allowing them to hire her for her services. How she goes about tracking these items is by following her nose. She was born with the gift of scenting. By keeping her head down, she would stay out of the underworld, but when she decides to hire herself out, she draws the Bright Brotherhood to her doorstep. She no longer can keep her promise to her mother, but will she be able to keep her friends and loved ones of out harm's way?

I had a tough time rating this book. It had elements that I thoroughly enjoyed, such as being set in historic Boston. While I've never been to the actual city itself, the history of Boston has always called to me and I can easily see there being paranormal elements buried deep beneath the city's surface. I also thought that Evie being able to track things, yet not be a shapeshifter an unusual concept. I think Ms. Ronald has definite promise with this storyline.

My struggle came with trying to follow too many strands of the story at once, and I found myself a little confused here and there. However, I easily believe that the storyline has a lot of potential and Ms. Ronald's plot is unique. On those two factors alone, I have to give this book 4 1/2 tombstones.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on February 3, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Because of how powerful the magical undercurrent that flows through Boston is the Fiana , mages who left Ireland due to the famine and settled in Boston. Massachusetts. Over the decades, their power grew so that they set the laws of magic usage; non-members are frightened by the iron rule of this cartel as much as they fear addiction of excess usage of magical undercurrent.

Frank McDermott calls his former lover Evie "Hound" Scanlon, a practitioner who avoids the undercurrent as much as she can, to help him as he wants to escape from under the dictatorial control of the Fiana. Evie is renowned for her incredible olfactory sense that enables her to locate missing people and things. Her police detective friend Rena asks Evie to identify a strange corpse of a person who has the body of youth and visage of age; Frank was assassinated with his body covered by Celtic looking patterns. Three more bodies similar to the remains of Frank have been found in the past, but in spite of police investigations, the cases have become cold. Evie considers for some unknown reason the Fiana are after her, killing her loved ones. Her theory seems affirmed when they snatch the young sister of a friend; placing her in a difficult situation because a rescue attempt probably means death.

The vivid account of magical Boston in which non-practitioners are ignorant of the swirling undercurrent, the detailed laws of magical physics and vicious Fiana enforcement make for a superb urban fantasy. Readers will admire intrepid Evie who knows the probable outcome of what she faces, but proceeds anyway even as she distrusts any magical practitioners because they could be Fiana operatives; instead she turns to non-magicians for assistance. Readers will appreciate this strong opening tale with a unique vision of Beantown. Urban fantasy lovers have a new star on the horizon.

Harriet Klausner
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