Spellbinder by C.C. Hunter
Series: Shadow Falls: After Dark #2.5 (Novella)
Published by St. Martin’s Griffin on June 30, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal
Rerated: 3.5 Stars
4.5 Stars, Completed June 21, 2015
– SPOILER free –
Do you ever feel like you can never get enough of a series? If so, I think that’s where prequels and novellas come in. As much as I love certain series I don’t tend to pick up their novellas. I’ve actually only read a few (Midnight Sun and some Princess Diaries fillers). Usually, I just kind of let the book hangover treat itself and move on. So Spellbinder is the only novella I’ve read in the past 5 years or so. And instead of following my usual system of rating books that strictly follows my rating guide, I’m just going to rate Spellbinder with feeling and how I think loyal C.C. Hunter readers will take it.
Spellbinder takes place after the events of the second Shadow Falls: After Dark installment, Eternal, and this time Miranda is the narrator. Miranda has always tried to earn her mother’s approval by competing in witch competitions. This time around, her incentive to becoming head priestess are tickets for she and her friends to take a trip to Paris for the next Wicca tournament. In being able to go, she hopes to meet and reconcile with her sort-of boyfriend, Perry, who recently decided that the couple should take a break because of his studies in France. Miranda has never won any of these competitions before, so winning will be a challenge. It doesn’t help that this time around things are much messier when blood and secrets are spilled.
In one of my previous Top Ten Tuesday posts, I mentioned that C.C. Hunter was my favorite underrated author because of how engaging her writing is. She really reminds me of Keirsten White and Kelley Armstrong in that respect. All three authors have use simplistic, easy writing that manages to be unique and engaging enough for readers to want to read the next books in their series. It’s a very comfortable style. And strangely, for all three, I wasn’t a fan of the main protagonists (Kylie in Shadow Falls, Chloe in Darkest Powers, and Evie in Paranormalcy) but the story line really made up for them. The supporting characters are wonderful (that’s probably why I really love the Shadow Falls spinoff with Della’s story). The friendships and teenage stuggles are also realistically portrayed, and most of the characters are relatable. There are a few that come off a little annoying but they’re usually more of a realistic-portrayal-of-a-teenager than I-want-to-choke-this-person-for-her-stupidity nettlesome. Spellbinder, as a novella, is shorter but was no exception to any of these usual Shadow Falls characteristics.
And honestly, I was a little hesitant with Spellbinder just because I categorized Miranda as one of those characters that I personally didn’t care for, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed her story and voice in this. Miranda still isn’t one of my favorite characters but I definitely got a new perspective of her. I also really liked that other characters like Tabitha and Shawn had larger roles, and that new characters were introduced. The last couple of scenes had a lot of action (something I love) and it really showcased Miranda’s strong character (a total surprise for me). My only complaint was that a few events were obvious and predictable, so I had to deduct half a star for that.
I wouldn’t say Spellbinder is a book that glowed on it’s own. However, it is a great pick-up for Shadow Falls and Miranda fans. And it’s a nice one to satiate your thirst until the final installment of the Shadow Falls: After Dark is released.
I received this from the publisher (thanks, Michelle!) in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book. Thank you St. Martin’s Griffin for sending me this review copy!
Did you guys notice how short this review was? I mean Spellbinder is a novella, and I would have felt weird if I wrote a review that competed with the novella’s length (I don’t think that’d happen though). So I did pretty good length-wise, right? 😉