3 out of 4 stars
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Spell Bound is the first book in the Aldivar Island series by Nikki Mose that tells the story of a young witch named Lacey. With her eighteenth birthday approaching, Lacey finds herself the target of local witch hunters as well as of an evil creature who is torturing her in the shadows. In order to protect her, Lacey’s father wants to send her to Aldivar Island, a safe haven for witches and other non-human creatures. In order to be accepted onto the island, Marrik, the son of the dragon who runs the island, must interview Lacey and approve of her; unfortunately, Marrik seems determined to dislike Lacey without even giving her a chance. With more monsters, hunters, and evil coming after Lacey and her family, it’s looking less and less likely that she will live to see her birthday.
The story is told from a variety of perspectives. Lacey is often at center stage, but sometimes we get to see the viewpoint of one of her brothers. Her father even tells portions of the story that happened in the past when he was younger. Each shift in perspective expands the story and the world within the book, and all of the pieces get put together as their stories connect and weave together.
There are a couple of warnings that I have to give about this book. First of all, this book is not for those who are squeamish or have sensitive stomachs. It is quite violent and filled with blood and gore. Second, there are also many characters that appear throughout the book. Lacey’s family consists of her father and her three brothers, and each of them have their own friends or girlfriends who appear as secondary characters within the book. Hunters, monsters, vampires, werewolves, and friends expand the cast to an even larger number. It becomes extremely difficult to keep up with everyone in the story, and at one point I gave up trying to match names to specific characters.
Despite my mild frustration with the large number of characters, I absolutely adored this book. The gore matches with the expected themes of a horror story. It is very fast-paced and action-packed from start to finish, with lots of twists and surprises all over the place. There were actual moments when I gasped from shock, and I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the pages. It was almost impossible to put this book down so that I could go to sleep each night.
Overall, I give this book a rating of 3 out of 4 stars. It’s easy to overlook the large number of errors within the book due to the fast pace of the story, but it could still use another round of editing. Fans of young adult horror or fantasy will enjoy this book. There is only mild profanity throughout the book and a few vague references to sexual content.
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