Rating: 4 Stars
Author: Samantha Combs
Publisher: Astraea Press
Cover Art: Elaina Lee
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Length: 233 Pages
Logan Daniels has always led a sheltered life in sleepy, predictable Lancaster, New Hampshire. But when beautiful Serena suddenly appears at school one day, his comfortable existence becomes anything but as he finds himself falling in love with her. There’s something special about Serena Starr. He realizes what it is when he sees her unleash her spells. Soon, a mysterious and foreboding presence settles over his placid home.
Logan and Serena find themselves battling darkness and evil with an ominous mission: it wants Serena and will stop at nothing to have her. Tearing apart Logan’s town, threatening his friends, even causing harm to his family, the demon will spread its doom over every facet of Logan’s once placid life. Logan matures in ways he could never have imagined as he struggles to protect those he loves, including Serena. But he can't do it alone.
Serena hails from a long line of able and powerful women who will aide in the battle and perhaps settle a score of their own. The strength of the coven and Serena's love will be behind him, but ultimately this is Logan’s fight to win. But, will he?
I usually try to write my reviews in a way that I don't need to give spoiler warnings, but I think with this one I'm going to need to. Not that I plan on giving away anything huge, but comments here and there might be a bit more revealing than I usually like to be. So on that note.....
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This book is different and unique for the Young Adult story - or even, really, for any genre. It is filled with action, romance, mystery, suspense, magic and even a demon or two - all some of my favorite things. It's a fun read that kept me engrossed in the story just to see what was going to happen next.
The author did a great job with the characters in this story and making them sound like teenagers. Having two teenage boys myself, I could (at times) see my kids and their friends behaving like the kids in Spellbound, especially Logan's friend, Dave. The plot has been developed very well and even the history has been well thought out and developed.
Serena came across as that beautiful high school girl that most other girls are prepared to hate, but she was very nice and extremely likeable. She had this odd mix of sweetly vulnerable mixed with fierce and strong. She is also very loyal to her family and those she cares about.
Logan is the typical teenage boy who is into sports and popular at his school. He is a genuinely nice guy and everybody seems to love him.
The book is written in first person and the point of view switches in each chapter from Logan to Serena. I wasn't too sure how I felt about this, and I'm still unsure. On one hand, it was nice to see what each character saw/thought/felt/etc. I did find myself wishing we were in the other point of view at times, just to see how they felt about something. On the other hand, it could also become confusing at times. Especially considering that not only were you switching point of view but also gender. I've never read another book that did this, so it was definitely unique!
The pacing, when there is action, is done very well, though it does tend to lag a bit towards the middle. It picks back up again but there are parts that I felt could have been removed and it would have kept the story moving along more smoothly. On the flip side of that, some things I felt moved too quickly. The intensity of the relationship between Serena and Logan seemed to happen overnight, Logan's acceptance of the fact that Serena and her family are witches and Logan's acceptance of Serena being able to read his mind (which, let's be honest, I think would freak anybody out if you suddenly found your boy/girlfriend inside your head), just to give a few examples. I could list more.
The magic involved in this story was fantastic. I loved the scene in the backyard, when all the coven sisters were preparing for the fight about to come, and you got to see a little of which each individual could do. I completely loved the magic and I found myself wishing I knew more about some of the coven sisters. I could see this becoming a series in the future, not necessarily with Serena and Logan, but instead with the coven sisters getting their own time in the spotlight.
I'm not a big fan of the cover. I love the colors but I find it misleading. To me, with the sea in the background, it almost looks like it should be about mermaids or something. And I'm really not sure why there is a beach on the cover. I don't remember the beach being mentioned in the book and if it was, it was very brief.
All in all, this was a great read. I really enjoyed it and will definitely continue to read the series. This is a great addition to the Young Adult genre.