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In the heart of Ohio Jessie Shimmer is caught up in hot magic drenched passion with her roguish lover Cooper Marron who is teaching her how to tap her supernatural powers When they try to break a drought by calling down a rainstorm a hellish portal opens and Cooper is ripped from this world leaving Jessie fighting for her life against a vicious demon that's been unleashedIn the aftermath Jessie who knows so little about her own true nature is branded an outlaw She must survive by her wits and with the help of her familiar a ferret named Palimpsest Stalked by malevolent enemies Jessie is determined to find out what happened to Cooper But when she moves heaven and earth to find her man she'll be shocked by what she discovers—and by what she must ultimately do to save them all

10 thoughts on “Spellbent

  1. says:

    Jessie Shimmer lives with a man who excels in magic and uses that supernatural talent to bring in the rent money Cooper Marron helps Jessie tap into her very unskilled powers as both her mentor and lover She also has a spirit guide a familiar ferret named Palimpsest or Pal as she nicknames him who doesn’t talk to her just yet Cooper has been having some bad nightmares and she’s concerned He doesn’t think it’s a big deal and has them working on their next score that will net them easy money Cooper along with Jessie as his aid will bring forth a rainstorm to break a drought that’s causing major problems for the farming community outside of Columbus As Cooper goes through his typical ritual something goes very wrong and he ends up opening a portal to Hell Cooper is pulled in leaving Jessie alone to fight a demon that has come out of the portal Suddenly Jessie's dead aunt calls her on her cell phone and Pal starts talking to Jessie It’s up to Jessie to subdue the demon formerly known as Smoky Cooper’s familiar fox terrier and stop it from causing destruction in the downtown area But Jessie is still a novice and barely stops the demon and ends up almost dying and losing an eye and part of her left armEven though it seems things couldn’t get worse for Jessie they do The leader of the governing circle of the seven powerful witches and wizards Benedict Jordan places a magical gag order on Jessie to stop her from rescuing Cooper Jessie has to sign a magical binding contract or she will become an outcast leaving no one who can help her She knows something is off with Jordan and along with Pal a ping pong ball she uses for an eye and the help of Cooper’s brother Warlock she’ll channel magic and power so she’ll be able to walk through the fires of hell to get her man back and find the answers she needs With enough willpower she hopes to get her old life back and hopefully grow back a new eye and arm so she doesn’t look like a freak Spellbent should have been another action packed urban fantasy combined with a bit of humor and on the edge of your seat action Unfortunately this debut by Lucy A Snyder was an utter train wreck of unbelievably bad dialogue and badly edited scenes Half the time I couldn’t figure out what was going on Also Pal the ferret who’s a combination of reason and condescension brings nothing mentionable to the plot or with helping Jessie Pal's voice is described as a Canadian Librarian which for the life of me I am still trying to figure out what that sounds like and why would we care?The story is cluttered with descriptions that are so amazingly over the top and not in a good way I thought it was bad enough when Jessie goes rooting through the garbage can for a used maxi pad for a magic spell but I was mistaken because it gets worse When Warlock and his girlfriend Opal end up making some special creatures due to the combination of Opal’s menstrual period and Warlock’s sperm that was mixed together in a toilet that was it for me Among other scenes like this I couldn’t figure out if Snyder was going for a dark comical fantasy tale where she tried to succeed in writing something differently that stands out from the normal urban fantasy series being published If so she hasn’t accomplished that in any wayJessie is annoying and very immature There is really nothing to recommend her The villain Jordan makes a very forgettable appearance Warlock had his moments but he was written as such a sad sack and as close to a drugged out hippie character as you can getThe overall plot of Spellbent is in a word dull The motions Jessie goes through to find Cooper don’t deliver in any way and has a major lack of focus and the push needed to keep the reader interested The writing is very much surface writing as in there is no meat or depth and by the time I finished reading I couldn’t remember half of what happened Spellbent is a very weak book that strives to be something and fails in every way

  2. says:

    45 starsIt’s just a routine rain spell Jessie and her teacher and lover Cooper head to the city park to call up a storm and make a few bucks But something goes horribly wrong By the end of the night Cooper has been sucked away into a Hell realm and Jessie has suffered devastating injuries 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 SpellbentTogether 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 nextIt’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 Spellbent is dark enough that it won’t be for everyone; an reviewer compared the gore level to that of Ilona Andrews’ first Kate Daniels book Magic Bites and that’s a pretty accurate parallel This comes in part from the horror elements and in part from the magic system that Jessie and Cooper use ubiuemancy the art of finding the magic in everything This sometimes means unsavory ingredients like bodily fluids It can get a little gross But at the same time it adds a verisimilitude that I can’t help but respect Ancient and medieval “spell recipes” often called for ingredients that would make most of us sueamishA minor aside There’s an odd little editing glitch in my e ARC it may be corrected in the published book Jessie remarks that she’s “not afraid of some third string football player rapist” which had me rereading earlier pages to make sure I hadn’t missed anything I hadn’t; we meet the football playing rapist in the next scene It has no bearing on the plot so all it did was make me scratch my head for a few minutesJaded urban fantasy fans should consider giving Spellbent a try Snyder adds together a determined yet flawed heroine fun secondary characters a plot with tons of forward momentum and one seriously creepy Hell and the end result is a visceral powerful modern day Orpheus myth

  3. says:

    FYI I know the author Reading this was a bit like being on a roller coaster You strap yourself in and away it goes pretty much from page one and drops you back on the platform breathless and giddy on the last page It's also something different than I've read in a lot of urban fantasy Yes there's the kick ass heroine Jessie Shimmer But she never really whines despite the unfairness of the situation she finds herself in nope she puts on her big girl panties and plunges on Because her goal free her lover Cooper from hell is the thing that drives her Jessie has some pretty horrific things happen to her right away and life just doesn't get any easier after that She's tough but not above listening and learningI should say that this is a dark urban fantasy it's gritty and blends a lot of the things I like about horror into fantasy It's not a fluffy happy UF It's a gritty these things will really kill you rompBut it's a delightfully fun romp with a lot of humor and a uniue magic system And devils and things that make you go ew And a well crafted world With a ferret familiarAnd who can beat that?

  4. says:

    I'm not sure about Spellbent On one hand I loved the action the magic and the story but on the other hand some of the characters bothered me and parts of the plot were strange Our heroine Jessie is strong tough and doesn't take crap from anyone She has a good sense of humor overcomes adversary uickly and makes the best of any situation She is not impervious she can and does get hurt and she isn't cold and unfeeling In other words she has everything I could want in a heroine including an interesting back story that was only touched on in Spellbent One of my favorite things about this novel is that it made me laugh out loud a few times The humor may not appeal to everyone but I certainly enjoyed it The magic system was also a plus Everything was explained really well with no holes it felt realistic and it wasn't too easy to cast a spell The plot was fairly simple and involved a rescue mission but I enjoyed everything I read Some may have been bored by the fairly straightforward one event leads to another storyline but I wasn't During the journey from lost to found we meet some interesting characters such as Jessie's familiar Pal Warlock Opal and some college kids I'm on the fence as to whether I really like Pal Part of me thinks the story would have been just as good without him but part of me liked his conversation with a kitten and his ability to point Jessie in the right direction and help get her out of bad situations For a few hundred year old being from another realm he acted a bit airheaded at times but as he said he has had a long time to learn human customs so his character didn't bother me too much Those who did bother me however were Warlock and Opal When Warlock was first introduced I expected him to be sophisticated intelligent and helpful not cowardly burnt out and immature His girlfriend Opal was just as unlikable and Jessie's college roommates were pretty bland Also none of the characters were as interesting or as strong as Jessie even the bad guy was weak In the end it doesn't really matter how much I liked Warlock and everyone else because they may have only been included in this book to serve a purpose If their presence continues in the series all I can hope for is that they grow but personally I don't think that supporting characters don't have to be as likable as the main characters My last issue is that the place Jessie visits to rescue her lover is not as scary or dangerous as it should be The entire thing was just a bit too easy in my opinion Maybe with a bit danger a bit less help and some better supporting characters this book could have been a five Still Spellbent is an exciting urban fantasy with no vampires or werewolves and a likable heroine I would definitely recommend it

  5. says:

    Snyder author of the great short story collections SPARKS AND SHADOWS and CHIMERIC MACHINES delivers her first novel SPELLBENT is another entry in the urban fantasysexy occult genre yet where others lean on the sex and romance Snyder's world is centered around the magic its characters practice as well as the bizarre creatures and situations they faceJessie Shimmer is new to the Craft and lives with her mentorlover Cooper Marron When he's hired by local farmers to summon rain a spell he needs Jessie to complete they accidentally open a dark portal releasing a demonic centipede creature into the world The local overseeing council of Talents manage to place the town under a protective barrier but not before Cooper is sucked into the portal and Jessie is left alone to try and find him with little knowledge of her own skills and a new ferret familiar named Palimpsest Pal to his friendsBarely surviving her encounter with the deadly creature now with one arm and one eye less Jessie attempts to find her man despite the magic community being on the verge of banning her and her standing among them suspended Being a faithful familiar Palimpsest agrees to help her on her uest despite the repercusions As Jessie learns to use her powers with Pal's help we're introduced to all kinds of memorable characters and some of the gifts Jessie learns to use surprise even herselfSnyder's first Jessie Shimmer novel is a lot of fun to read is loaded to the brim with action monsters and surprises around every corner Shimmer is a tough as nails smart female lead who I think most genre fans will take to before the second chapter ends and while Pal is a fantastic side kick I'm hoping he returns in the next book in his creepy post ferret form

  6. says:

    I reuested this book from the author Jessie Shimmer is an apprentice wizard who wants nothing than to spend a pleasant afternoon with her lover and Master Cooper Instead their spell to summon rain goes wrong and Cooper vanishes leaving Jessie alone in a park suddenly torn apart by magic Despite being sealed off and left to die by the other magic users of the city Jessie defeats the demon that came through the tear that took Cooper taking severe damage herself When she wakes in the home of Mother Karen her friend and a healer things only get worse for the magical ruler of the city wants Jessie silenced and Cooper to remain gone permanently With Mr Jordan trying to crush her will and her desire to see Cooper back safely in her arms Jessie must risk losing it all suffer the guilt of her past that she didn't even know about and try to save Cooper from his Spellbent is a fast paced hard to put down novel Somewhere between Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden and Terry Pratchett's magical sections of Discworld Snyder takes readers on a ride through strange creatures powerful magic true evil and personalized hell dimensions Accompanied by her familiar a sometimes ferret sometimes something else altogether and motivated by family and love Jessie is a lead that gets things done Many urban fantasy novels have begun to display themes of friendship or defying the odds Snyder gives her characters a familiar dark past save that the focus is far on their modern life and current survival than on a constantly circling cycle of dealing with the trauma of their pasts A strong enticing debut for Snyder in urban fantasy this one is definitely on my list of must reads for the year

  7. says:

    Phenomenal Dark Urban Fantasy DebutSince this book has already been reviewed in depth my review will be brief This book instantly made it to the top of my favorite authors list Its titillating originality completely stands out within the vast array of novels in the urban fantasy genreThe 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 finishWhen 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 itI highly recommend this book to fellow dark urban fantasy readers; and I am eagerly awaiting the next book Shotgun Sorceress due out 10262010I also recommendOn the Edge The Edge Book 1The Better Part of DarknessBitter Night A Horngate Witches BookHallowed Circle Persephone Alcmedi Book 2Thorn ueen Dark Swan Book 2

  8. says:

    Rating 40Genre FantasyHorrorFull review coming shortlyI had such a good time with this book that I actually had to restrain myself from spoiling things with my updates Jessie Shimmer is a really interesting heroine who doesn't let little things like losing an eye or an arm stop her from rescuing her lover from hellI also adore Pal Palimpseet Jessie's familiar who goes against the establishment to help Jessie and Cooper from those who stand in their way Pal is so much than just a little pesky ferrettI am definitely looking forward to reading about Jessie Cooper Pal Mother Karen Warlock and the Council who was made to look stupid by Jessie and PalLucy A SnyderJessie Shimmer1 Spellbent 122920092 Shotgun Sorceress October 26th 20103 Switchblade Goddess December 27th 2011

  9. says:

    I loved this book Jessie is one kickass heroine and I got sucked into the story right from the start and couldn't put the book down before I finished it I must say that if you really look closely at the story at times there's not much happening besides Jessie trying to figure out what to do next but still it feels really fastpaced and action packed which I think is an amazing feat The one thing I can say against this story is that Cooper disappears uite early in the story before I could really get a feel of Jessie's relationship with him I'd have loved to read a bit about the two of them together and just about Cooper But there's going to be a seuel to this book in Oktober Shotgun Sorceress so I might get my wish

  10. says:

    SPELLBENT is an excellent first novel a well written and fast paced contemporary fantasy adventure The wise cracking and ass kicking urban heroine has become something of a cliche but that pitfall has been avoided here with the inclusion of a very wide range of supporting characters many of whom are in no way good guys of the traditional sense and by the clever twists and turns of plot There are some nasty gritty bits and some uproariously funny scenes and lines that contrast and heighten the effect each to the other very skillfuly; I was reminded of very well prepared Chinese sweet and sour dishes I'm looking forward to the seuel