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Spellbent (Jessie Shimmer) Mass Market Paperback – December 29, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Snyder combines the best of Jim Butcher and T.A. Pratt in this wildly imaginative and intensely gripping urban fantasy trilogy launch. When an innocent spell somehow opens a portal to Hell, young mage Jessie Shimmer manages to kill the demon about to stomp on downtown Columbus, Ohio, but she loses an eye, a hand, and her lover and mentor, Cooper. Benedict Jordan, ruling mage for the area, forbids any attempts to find Cooper, who may still be alive in Hell, and strips Jessie of her resources. With little more than her ferret familiar, her magic, and the help of Cooper's smart-ass half-brother, Jessie must rescue Cooper and uncover Benedict's motives. Threads of romance, horror, action, and humor weave throughout, serving as the perfect backdrop against which memorable characters and a unique system of magic can shine. (Jan.)
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Snyder’s debut is the first in a new urban-fantasy series starring twentysomething Jessie, an apprentice witch, and her wizard tutor and lover, Cooper. Both Jessie and Cooper have animal-shaped familiars (demons in disguise) to assist with their magic. All hell breaks loose when Jessie and Cooper start a rain spell in the city park, and a reality-shifting portal arrives along with the storm. Jessie barely survives the mayhem and soon finds herself on the outs with the local magic community after she insists on hunting down and rescuing Cooper. This fast-paced urban fantasy has a few twists that make it stand out from the pack. Yes, the plot moves quickly, but that doesn’t stop Snyder from developing her characters and building her world. Fans of Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan series should be pleased with Jessie, another butt-kicking female witch who doesn’t let anyone tell her what to do. --Jessica Moyer
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OK, it starts out she and her boyfriend were out to cast a simple rain spell to help the farmers when, literally, all hell breaks loose from the underground. Well, a portal opened and sucked Cooper into Hell, and his familiar, a cute little dog reverts to its demon self and goes berserk, and downtown is destroyed, and Jessie badly wounded and....
Because Jessie won't play by the rules, and leave her boyfriend in Hell, but wants to rescue him, even though she is wounded, has no real resources, and has had an anathema spell placed on her which warns anyone away from helping her, Jessie is pretty much on her own.
The head honcho of the local ruling circle of Talents wants her to leave well enough alone. Leave Cooper in Hell. Behave herself. Study hard. But Jessie doesn't always play nice with others. Especially when those she knows and loves are being mistreated.
If you're a fan of Jim Butcher, check out this series. Great fun, especially if like me, you have a slightly warped sense of humor. Now, I'm off to read Shotgun Sorceress....
The story and world building were dark, gritty and flowed nicely; the action was intense, magic was plentiful with lots of sinfully twisted humor. I was completely riveted to each page from start to finish.
When the story first began, Jessie was a disciple, a follower, however by the end of the story she transformed into a confident and courageous fierce leader. She never whined, pout or stomped her feet but instead was a tenacious force to be reckoned with. For those readers looking for a novel with an authentic, hardcore heroine, who won't cry over annihilating someone in the name of self-preservation, then look no further, Spellbent is it!
I highly recommend this book to fellow dark urban fantasy readers; and I am eagerly awaiting the next book Shotgun Sorceress due out 10/26/2010.
I also recommend:
On the Edge (The Edge, Book 1)
The Better Part of Darkness
Bitter Night: A Horngate Witches Book
Hallowed Circle (Persephone Alcmedi, Book 2)
Thorn Queen (Dark Swan, Book 2)
A modern-day fantasy where spellcasters secretly work mundane magick for profit, the novel stars Jessie Shimmer, a young magician apprenticed to her lover, Cooper. While attempting to call up a simple rainstorm, Cooper is unexpectedly sucked into an interdimensional portal and a monstrous demon is loosed upon the world. In the aftermath, Jessie is left alone, broke, mutilated, and hounded by the secret masters of magic, who want her either silenced or destroyed. With only her ferret familiar to aid her, Jessie works to free Cooper and uncover the conspiracy that wants him banished to Hell.
This one reads a lot like a comedy-drama-horror-fantasy. You've got Jessie running through Hell armed with a sword, shield, and dragonskin armor. You've got horrific, soul-crushing demons and malign conspiracies using all the powers of magic to destroy the innocent. You've got a ferret who talks like an uptight Canadian librarian, potheads craving a magical marijuana high, and Jessie using a shrinking spell on a belligerent security guard's underwear.
And of course, you've got True Love, Pure Evil, and High Adventure.
You should read it. Go pick it up.