Review: Spell Bound by Kelley Armstrong

Posted February 18, 2013 by Carmel in Carmel, Reviews, Urban Fantasy / 6 Comments

Review: Spell Bound by Kelley Armstrong
Spell Bound by Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld #12
Published by Vintage Canada
Published on: June 19, 2012
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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The #1 New York Times bestselling author sets the stage for a battle of epic proportions in the 12th installment of her critically lauded Women of the Otherworld series.

Savannah Levine is all grown up. As a witch endowed with an array of spells, she is also a force to be reckoned with. As a paranormal investigator she is finally coming into her own. But her last case tore a family apart, and Savannah swore she’d give up her powers to fix the mess she helped create. Someone-or something-must have been listening.

Powerless and on the run from witch-hunting assassins, Savannah stumbles upon a gathering storm that threatens the very existence of the Otherworld. The danger is real, and Savannah must somehow join forces with old friends like Elena, Clay, Paige, Lucas, Jaime, and Hope to face their world’s greatest threat-and one that just might come from within.



I love Kelley Armstrong’s writing, her Otherworld universe and characters but for some reason Spell Bound just didn’t sit right with me. As enjoyable as this book was to read I struggled with the uneventful plot line, the Young Adult-esque quality of the story and the unnecessarily excessive cameos. In all honesty, the last three novels of this series could have been a separate trilogy featuring Savannah as the main heroine. Spell Bound felt like one giant set-up for Thirteen. I loved this book from an entertainment stand-point but as a long time fan of this series I was disappointed.

I’d originally skipped this installment and jumped straight to the grand finale because I just had to know what Armstrong’s end game was. Looking back now that was a mistake and it also explains why I felt a little lost when I first read Thirteen. This novel does a nice job of connecting previous installments that didn’t really fit the overall story arc of this series, namely Living with the Dead. Adele’s role in the Otherworld is FINALLY revealed but I am a little annoyed that it took Kelley 2 books to shed some light on the black sheep of this series.

The plot was rather lackluster in my opinion. There’s minimal action, no real progress is made relationship-wise between Savannah and Adam and, the ending provides zero resolution. The purpose of this book seemed to be to develop Savannah’s character as an adult and to get all of the WOTO ducks in a row in preparation for the conclusion. Also, Levine’s immature temper tantrums and inability to own up to her mistakes pushed this book into Young Adult territory which was the last thing I expected from this best selling Urban Fantasy author. Normally I enjoy Savannah’s spunk and stubbornness but in this installment she was just… irritating.

Throughout this series Savannah’s crush on Adam has been common knowledge and after the events in Waking the Witch I assumed that a romantic relationship between them was a foregone conclusion. The lack of progression in this area was not only disappointing but also one of the contributing factors to this installment’s YA-like feel. Armstrong doesn’t typically have an abundance of sizzling scenes in her books but some sexual tension or the odd romp is expected.

Spell Bound further reinforced my opinion that the Women of the Otherworld series is past its prime and that it’s time for Kelley Armstrong to move on to bigger and better things.

Books in this series:

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Recommendation: Good for fans of all things witchy.
Like this, like that: The Hollows series by Kim Harrison and the Arcadia Bell series by Jenn Bennett.



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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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6 responses to “Review: Spell Bound by Kelley Armstrong

  1. I liked this one a lot more than you did, I do I agree with just about everything you said, so maybe Johanna Parker had a lot more to do with my enjoyment than I though, although, I always enjoy Armstrong’s style of writing.

  2. After reading Waking the Witch, I expected some development in the Adam-Savannah relationship and was disappointed with Spell Bound.

  3. I’m sorry you were so disappointed in this book. I have read some of her YA stuff, but I’ve found that as an author she’s very hit or miss for me.

    • I’m starting to think that the more books I read/review the more cynical I become. I used to LOVE Kelley Armstrong and I never thought I’d be giving one of her books only 3 stars.