Archive for September, 2014

Review: SPRUNG (Witchbound, #2) by Kelbian Noel

Posted September 3, 2014 By hmccubbin

FinalSPRUNG_coverSMAuthor: Kelbian Noel
Release Date: April 4, 2013
Pages: 336
ISBN #: 9781484044629
FTC Disclaimer: Book was provided by the author for the purpose of an honest review.

Blurb (from author website)

…Follow the Wind

Since she discovered magic, seventeen-year-old Skye Jackson’s life is almost perfect. Almost. Even perfect has its glitches.

What happens when the one with all the power makes the biggest mistakes? Welcome to my life.

Four months ago, I couldn’t have been happier. When my parents got divorced, I wasn’t exactly thrilled. Especially when Mom married a guy half her age. But then I found out I wasn’t the average Joana. Discovering magic existed and, best of all, I could use it, made everything easier to deal with. That is until I got a little too spell happy. But what girl wouldn’t defend her best friend against a world-class creep? Now I’m stuck in a nightmare, forced to make life and death decisions I never dreamed I’d face.

Love the magic, hate the responsibility.



Review **spoilers**

Since she discovered magic, seventeen-year-old Skye Jackson’s life is almost perfect. When Skye’s parents got divorced, she wasn’t exactly thrilled. Especially when her mother married a guy half her age. However, Skye discovering magic existed and figuring out she could use it, made everything easier to deal with. That is until she got a little too spell happy. Now she is stuck in a nightmare, forced to make life and death decisions.

This is the second in the Witchbound series, where we were first introduced to teen girls and boys who have the capability of very powerful magic. I was excited to read this story after reading the first one, but from page one I was very confused. Where were Baltimore and Brooklyn from the first story? This was an entirely different character, in an entirely different area of the country with an entirely different life. At first, I thought I may have missed a book in between these two but only when I got to the last quarter of “Sprung” did I realize this was a story that would eventually weave Baltimore and her brother, Brooklyn, in from “Roots”.

Throughout most of “Sprung” I felt like the rug was jerked out from under me. In the first book, I was thrown deep into Baltimore’s life. All of a sudden, here is Skye and her friends and family. Her Grandmother (known as Nan) is in a nursing home. Skye has been lead to believe it is because Nan is senile. However, Nan is ultimately Skye’s teacher in magic and helps her fine tune her power. Skye’s father eventually comes into play and explains a bit about why Nan is in this home.

I kept wondering when the characters from “Roots” would make their appearance. When one of them did (Ramon finally made an appearance who was a major character in the first book) it felt like the series was finally coming together, but it took awhile to get to this point. This book did not delve deep into Skye’s life; it showed how she misuses her power (she accidentally kills a boy then brings him back to life all because she was defending her friend) and plants a seed of doubt about her stepfather. I did like how she defended her friend and thus shows the reader the power of friendship.

From the way “Sprung” ended, I expected Baltimore to be put on a different journey in “Roots”. I think this second book would have been better served if written from Baltimore’s point of view introducing the reader to Skye that way. We could see how they ‘spy’ on her/protect her and still get a great view of what is going on with Skye and her family.

The storyline is unique and I can see where the author is going. Given what I have read so far, I expect Book 3 & 4 (if there is one) to have a different character and in the end all the Elementals come together to fight whatever evil threatens their existence. I’m looking forward to finding out. If you like magical realism, a bit of mystery, and enjoyed “Roots”, then give this book a try!



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Review: ROOTS (Witchbound, #1) by Kelbian Noel

Posted September 1, 2014 By hmccubbin

Author: Kelbian Noel
Release Date: March 15, 2013
Pages: 288
ISBN #: 9781484044629
FTC Disclaimer: Book was provided by the author for the purpose of an honest review.

Blurb (from author website)

Earth is Solid…

I don’t consider myself a witch, that’s my parents’ thing. I’ve never really believed in magic either. Sure, I tried it a few times. Fell for the whole “magic happens” thing. But it didn’t happen to me. No amount of rhyming stopped my parents from moving me halfway across the country. Not one spell stopped me from being labeled the town freak.

And worst of all, no matter how many times I begged the Universe to bring my twin back, I was ignored. Until now.

He’s back all right. And in a magical bind of his own. Not the magic-won’t-work-for-me kind either. In fact, it’s working a little too well. Too dark. Too deep.

It turns out our entire family’s magical roots run just as deep and my brother didn’t end up where he is by accident. So I’m going to help him. But magic isn’t really on my side. Nope. Once I finally get the craft under control, I’m expected to abandon the one person in the world who’s closest to me, just to save myself.



Review **spoilers**

The summary caught my eye making me wonder how the main character, Baltimore, would get caught up in the magic she knew she had for wont of a more normal life. Shunning something we know is a part of us never seems to work so I knew she’d have to use it to save someone or something.

Baltimore did not keep it a secret her family practiced magic (they are Wiccan) but she never really tried to conjure anything until her twin brother, Brooklyn, left home severing his ties with their parents. After Baltimore contacts him and hatches a secret plan to visit she finds out he has moved in with a group of people and has a girlfriend (Joslin) who uses Brooklyn to try and kill Baltimore. I never saw this twist coming, and it definitely kept me reading. Thus, the beginning of “Witchbound-Book 1” takes you on a roller coaster ride into the magic of Baltimore’s family and new Wiccan friends.

I loved that the story did not star the typical girl looking for love and finding magic on the way. Baltimore missed her twin brother, but since he was not on good terms with her parents, she had to be creative about visiting him. Once she arrives at his house, her life is turned upside down and the reader can empathize with how much of a struggle it is for Brooklyn to embrace her magic and figure out how to use it. She finds out from her Grandfather that her brother is under such a strong spell by Joslin no one can break it. She is determined to prove him wrong.

However, once Baltimore (with help from her new friends in the Mystic Circle) was able to save him I felt the story lost it’s momentum. Her brother was written off as unsaveable because no one had ever found a way to break this kind of binding spell. Even Baltimore’s grandfather wrote off his own grandson. Somehow, in a few pages, Baltimore was able to save her brother and bring him back to reality. With ¾ of the story talking about how hard/impossible this would be I felt the rescue was too easy. On the flipside, throughout the book, all the characters are relatable and it didn’t take long for the author to set up what seems like a ‘love triangle’.

There wasn’t much that interrupted the flow of the story except for a few editing mistakes like “your/you’re” and “there/their”. Also, a few formatting errors came across my Kindle, which may just be the way it is via the ebook.

This book has numerous layers of research supporting the story. The myths/stories/spells are deep and convincing for this genre. The romance is light, believable and definitely leaves room for romantic relationships to grow over the next two books. However, the ending of this book was sudden; the transitions between some scenes were awkward so I didn’t feel like there was much of a cliffhanger at the end making me scramble to find the second book.

Overall, Witchbound –Roots is a unique take on good vs bad. You will become invested in Baltimore and her family and you want to know if they’ll be able to defeat the evil that is trying to harness Baltimore’s powers. So, if you enjoy Magic Realism, Action or Supernatural-like stories then this series is definitely up your alley.



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