Author: Jacob Z. Flores
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 216 Pages
At a Glance: I can easily recommend this book for a wonderful escape for a few hours, with the bonus of more to come.
Reviewed By: Janet
Blurb: Mason Blackmoor just can’t compete with his brothers, much less his father. They represent the epitome of black magic, strong, dark, and wicked, and though Mason tries to live up to his respected lineage, most of the spells he casts go awry. To make matters worse, his active power has yet to kick in. While his brothers wield lightning and harness the cold, Mason sits on the sidelines, waiting for the moment when he can finally enter the magical game.
When a dead body is discovered on the football field of his high school, Mason meets Drake Carpenter, the new kid in town. Drake’s confident demeanor and quick wit rub Mason the wrong way. Drake is far too self-assured for someone without an ounce of magical blood in his body, and Mason aims to teach him a lesson—like turn him into a roach. And if he’s lucky, maybe this time Mason won’t be the one turned into an insect.
Not surprisingly, the dislike is mutual, and Drake does nothing to dispel Mason’s suspicion that the sexy boy with a southern drawl is somehow connected to the murder.
If only Mason didn’t find himself inexplicably spellbound whenever they are together, they might actually find out what danger hides in the shadows.
Review: There was a bit of a sense of trepidation when I opened this book. Jacob Z. Flores has a style of writing that I very much enjoy, but it’s quite down to earth and rather basic, therefore I wasn’t entirely convinced that he could handle a foray into the mystic world – and keep me as a devoted and enthusiastic reader. I have never been quite so happy to have all my fears evaporate. This is a fun, involving story with multiple plots and a wide variety of characters of all ages.
The main characters that are the focus of this story are senior high school aged boys, but this is not a YA book in that sense at all. Or, to be more accurate, the book does start out YA and then grows into a New Adult classification as the story unfolds. As the first novel in a series, there are lot of characters to be developed and a serious plot line to layer as a base to the overall series, but it’s still relevant to this book. It sounds complicated, but it is actually a very smooth unfolding that Jacob treats us to. I never felt that the story I was reading was incomplete, and I was very involved in the characters right away. The maturity that the boys developed grew in direct proportion to their relationship and their realization that there was a much bigger drama/mystery unfolding in their lives.
Because the witches and warlocks in this story are an unrealized part of the regular world, I was able to be a part of the story very easily. The world that Flores built was already familiar to me, so the mystical elements were realistic and easy to believe. I think this was a very clever process used by the author, and it will carry forward to the remaining books in the series as well. My only point of conflict came from the first person narrative. It is not my favorite style and although it suited this story, I would have enjoyed the extra depth that a multiple person POV offered.
Mason and Drake are two very vibrant characters, and I thoroughly enjoyed their journey towards a future together; I can’t wait to see where they will end up. I also am intrigued by the rest of the Blackmoor warlocks, and the relationship that Mason has with his family is a big part of the book. There are many directions the author has opened up for us as possibilities for future stories, it remains to be seen how many there will be, but I am looking forward to reading them. Spell Bound is a delicious appetiser for a new series, but it packed a punch on its own. I can easily recommend this book for a wonderful escape for a few hours, with the bonus of more to come.
You can buy Spell Bound here: