Burlington, New Jersey 1734 Something evil has settled here. It lurks in the woods, cloaked by dark magic. Animals have been found slaughtered and men patrol the forest nightly to hunt this unknown malice. They will not find the creature, nor will they be able to kill it. It is not interested in them. It is after me. I am a witch and the creature is the servant of a witch hunter. I am their prey.
Okay, so the summary of this book really doesn’t do it justice. It doesn’t tell you hardly anything about what the book is about. So I will try the best that I can, although I really suck at writing summaries which is why I generally just use the one that is given.
This is a historical novel set in New Jersey in the Pine Barrens, which is famous for one thing: The Jersey Devil. If you are into the paranormal and have never heard of The Jersey Devil, you must literally live under a rock. This book however, has very little to do with that legend. Well maybe a little, but I don’t want to spoil the book for you.
Being a witch is bad. Really bad. That being said, for as bad as witchcraft was, there certainly were a lot of witches in this book. Slavery is also prevalent and I found it to be quite disturbing. Aislin and her family are witches but they try to hide this. There is a very mysterious man named Lamont who wants to kill Aislin because she is a witch, but we don’t figure out his motives until the very end. There is an awful boy named Zachariah who thinks he owns Aislin because he is to be married to her, and he and his family are just awful people. Seriously. His family owns the town so Aislin’s parents are pretty much stuck with having to listen to whatever they say. I was angry for a good duration of this book. Aislin is disgusted by him and she is in love with this guy named Greer who is a very mysterious(but hot)individual who appears out of nowhere to Aislin and tells her she is not safe. From then on, he sort of becomes her protector and a large part of her life.
The story sounds very simple, and for the most part it is, but it’s very well-written and I really enjoyed it. We are left with a bit of a cliffhanger and I hate that, but most of the story from Spellbound is wrapped up, it just opens at the end with a new plot. There’s a little bit of everything in Spellbound. Witchcraft, vampires, shape-shifters, murder, and a really creepy setting to go with it. It was a really fun read.
I have a few criticisms and they are: Grammatical errors. While I try not to pay too much attention to mistakes in grammar, there were a few here that I just couldn’t let slip by. As far as sentence structure goes, I had no issues there. It was the spelling of certain words that bothered me. One thing I noticed time and time again was the incorrect usage of the words past/passed. When past was supposed to be used, the author used passed. And vice versa. Not a huge deal, but something that took away from the magic of the story a little bit since this happened at least 5 times.
Also, some of the dialogue seemed a little bit awkward and forced. The novel was set in historical times, so I think that’s what the author was trying to portray, but I felt sometimes that it didn’t work. I don’t know what I would have done differently to fix it, so maybe I am being unnecessarily picky. Other than that, there really are no complaints.
I enjoyed reading it, great characters, fantastic pacing. I would’ve worked on going a bit deeper with the imagery since the setting of the novel is so creepy, but I was really impressed with the author’s writing skill.