I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (science fiction) - Spellbound is Book 2 in the Grimnoir Chronicles, and it won Best Paranormal 2013 for a reason. Larry Correia continues with the same great set of characters and places them in another extremely imaginative situation. The story is set sometime maybe in the 1940's, with guest appearances from Roosevelt and Hoover. The Grimnoir are "actives," who each have a special power like manipulating gravity, teleportation, mind-reading, etc., and they continually must battle against "normals" who feels they should be subjected to testing and their powers controlled. There are a lot of Grimnoir and I actually had trouble remembering who had what power, but then I'm getting kind of old...
In this book the normals try to pin a Presidential assassination on the Grimnoir, and they even obtain magic of their own to fight them. The Grimnoir face hideous summoned creatures, so be prepared for lots of action. But this book has lots more going on than what I'd call "mindless action." The story is great as well. The planet-jumping predator who eats magic and destroys worlds (mentioned in the Audible summary) is discovered in this book but does not appear. Probably will be in Warbound, Book 3.
PERFORMANCE - Bronson Pinchot (yes, the actor) does a great job narrating. He gives unique voices to the characters, but some of his performance was just "off" enough for me to rate him a 4 instead of 5.
OVERALL - This story stands alone, but you should start with Book 1 and meet the characters from the beginning. Recommended for teens, adults, males, females, almost any audience except children due to some offensive language and all the violence. No sexual situations. I definitely plan to continue to Book 3, Warbound, which is already available on Audible.
I listened to the monster hunter series and fell in love with both the story and the narrator. After getting used to the new narrator I have to say that the grim noir chronicles are going to be my second love, amazingly written, great characters, immersing characters facing unimaginable odds to save man kind and their planet. Highly recommended if you read and liked monster hunter international or just love a good read based on fantasy paranormal
I like a book that mixes horror and comedy - it's an awkward blend of suspense and release.
The first Grimnoir book won me over. The world building continues, the characters continue to grow, and Bronson's narration, wow, I can't say enough about how well he brings the story to life.
The descriptions were fantastic, the battles and fight scenes were very clearly detailed, the whole thing just blew my mind.
After the first book, I was hesitant to try the second one. How could he keep the quality of suspense and plot going in a sequel? I was mistaken, and so glad I checked out this one. I suppose it's time to check out the third one.
I am listening to it for the second time. Pinchot is a very good reader, the story is epic.
It's like Xmen in the 30s.
I'm an avid reader but when driving or exercising, listening to a great book and a great performance makes time fly!
Larry Correia did it again with this installment! Fun and action-packed, this book picks up about a year after the first book's end. Where the Imperium was the focal enemy in the first book, another, more sinister enemy takes the lead in this book.
Mr. Pinchot is perfect. Simply perfect.
I can't wait for the next installment in this series!!!
This is a good follow up to the first book. It allows for events in the 1st book to be better explained and sets up for an interesting finale in the third book.
I did have some reservations about the first book, but to Larry's credit, the 2nd book is much better and builds and augments the scenes from the first book.
A much more polished effort and I look forward to the final book.
An exciting story with great narration! This is a gem, it doesn't fall into the cookie cutter trap of many of the new series. Very creative twists on history.
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
???You???re Heavy Jake Sullivan, aren???t you????
???I was afraid of that.???
Larry Correia delivers another exciting magical alternate history with Spellbound, the second of his GRIMNOIR CHRONICLES. After Jake Sullivan and the gang took care of the German zombies, the Japanese Iron Guard, and Nikola Tesla???s peace ray in Hard Magic, the magicals are needed again to thwart new threats to the country. This is hard to do, though, after they???ve been framed for the attempted assassination of President Roosevelt. Public approval for magicals is low and opposition groups are organizing to march on Washington. FDR decides that magic must be regulated and proposes a new-deal-type law that will require all magicals to register with the government and wear an identification badge.
Meanwhile, after receiving a phone call from Hell, the Grimnoir recognize that there???s a much greater magical threat that the American citizens are unaware of. Only the Grimnoir are equipped to handle it. Frustrated, they must take care of this alien evil while hiding from the government. Fortunately, they do have some really awesome magical powers, an unexpected powerful ally, and a lot of guns.
Once again, I???m surprised to find myself enjoying Larry Correia???s testosterone-pumping, gun-toting, blood-spurting, heads-rolling story, but there???s a lot more here than guns, guts and gore. There???s a large diverse set of likeable and fully-developed fictional and real historical characters, an interesting historical backdrop, plenty of action and suspense, some blood-chilling moments, and a few quirky elements, too, such as an army of robots and a black hole.
There???s also quite a bit of dark humor, which blends perfectly to lighten the mood just a bit when things get scary. I was always entertained by the scenes in which Lance takes over the body of an animal. I also love the adapted quotes at the beginning of the chapters, which put the story in its historical context. For example, one is from the New York Commissioner of Boxing who explains how, after Jack Johnson beat the Great White Hope, they bribed a referee and snuck in a Brute to end Johnson???s career (???Gotta keep the sport pure, y???know????).
Bronson Pinchot???s performance of Spellbound is nothing short of brilliant. There???s a large international cast here and Pinchot handles all of those accents with ease. He perfectly captures the excitement, horror, and humor of Spellbound. If you don???t read audiobooks, you might consider starting with this series. It???s a perfect example of how good audio can get.
There???s danger on the horizon, American opinion about magicals is unstable (are they public heroes or public enemies?), and many questions remain about the Power, its motives, and Faye???s ties to it. I???m looking forward to the next GRIMNOIR CHRONICLES book.
Molecular biologist. Musician. Lover of science. Lover of music. Dreamer of magic. Thinker of thoughts. ||| "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" - Arthur C. Clarke ||| As a scientist, science fiction and fantasy inspire me to push the line of discovery forward, beyond conventional imagination, beyond conventional wisdom.
The title of my review for Hard Magic (Book I of the Grimnoir Chronicles) was "Simply, the best audiobook I've ever encountered." After getting through Spellbound I have to say that Hard Magic still holds that title, but the sequel is certainly no disappointment. Perhaps it was because Hard Magic just felt more fresh, and upon reading Spellbound my wonderment at the universe had been a bit diluted (I listened to them back to back all in less than a week). But, the best way to put it is, if I give Spellbound 5 stars all around, I'd have to give Hard Magic 6 stars. Although, Bronson Pinchot's performance still gets 10/5 in both books.
Spellbound has the same incredible historical urban science fiction fantasy mojo that is touted by Hard Magic. Most of your favorite characters return and the new characters that are introduced, for the most part, do not disappoint, with a very interesting interaction between a magic-envious academic and a demon possessor; yes a demon summoner that possesses the demons. Clever stuff.
You won't be disappointed by Spellbound if you found Hard Magic worth your time. But, while this seems obvious, definitely get through the first book before even attempting this one. Though, you could probably take a pretty big break in between and have no trouble picking right back up into the universe. And, what a universe it is!
The only disappointing thing about Spellbound is that Larry Correia hasn't finished the last book yet. Right now I'm feeling quite impatient waiting for both Cold Days, the next Dresden Files installment and for the third book of the Grimnoir Chronicles. I'm working my way through the Monster Hunter series now, trying to get my fix of Correia's action packed fantastical imagination.
Comparing Grimnoir Chronicles to Monster hunter:
After finishing the first book, Monster Hunter International, I would suggest that both Hard Magic and Spellbound really represent a definite refinement of Correia's art. The Grimnoir Chronicles series blows, at least the first, Monster Hunter book out of the water, and that's saying a lot because MHI itself represents a fantastic addition to the urban fantasy genre. Though I admit that I am probably speaking too soon since the MH books likely improve with each new installment. I am quite excited to see how Correia evolved as an author.
Plug for Iron Druid Chronicles:
Oh, and one final recommendation for those waiting for the third GC book: The Iron Druid Chronicles. While the series is a magnitude lighter than Larry Correia's writing, Kevin Hearne's own take on urban fantasy with a 2000 year old druid living in Arizona might be of interest to those who have similar tastes to myself, based on my review above.
I'd definitely recommend it. It's a very original story with lots of fascinating characters.
The two main characters of Jake and Faye...the most well-developed and complex characters. Good amount of humor thrown into each of their personalities.
Bronson Pinchot does an amazing job of giving each character his/her own unique voice. One thing I noticed between this book and the previous one ("Hard Magic") was that several of the character voices changed. Jane and Lance both changed significantly from an eastern european accent for Jane and a sort of midwestern accent for Lance in the first book to a midwestern accent for Jane and a country drawl for Lance in this book.