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Spell Bound: Otherworld #12    by Kelley Armstrong order for
Spell Bound
by Kelley Armstrong
Order:  USA  Can
Dutton, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

At the end of Waking the Witch, Savannah Levine's first real investigative case went awry, despite her best efforts. Shocked at the outcome, she swore to give up her powers if the little girl whose world she'd turned upside down would get a break. As Spell Bound begins, someone - or something - has taken Savannah up on her offer to give up her magic.

Laying aside their differences, many of the most powerful supernaturals (including the leaders of the various Cabals) come together in Miami to try and get to the bottom of who, or what, is out to destroy them. For Savannah, travelling with the ever-indulgent Adam at her side, the trip to Miami is fraught with more dangers than she anticipated. Without her magic to rely on, she's forced to grow up in a hurry and rely on others' help, rather than always flying solo.

Savannah Levine was introduced as a secondary character early on in Armstrong's wildly inventive Otherworld series. I've never considered her a compelling character - she's spoiled, headstrong and much too fond of solving problems with her dark powers. It's clear that Armstrong's focus over the past couple of books has been to beef up Savannah's role and have her learn vital magical and adult lessons, particularly after she loses her powers throughout most of this book. This character growth still did not endear her to me; Savannah continues making foolish and often life-threatening choices and her ongoing crush on colleague Adam might have been more effectively explored in a YA novel.

On the plus side, though, Armstrong unfurls a few more major plot threads surrounding the dark forces working to destroy Savannah, Lucas, Paige, Clayton, Elena and all of the supernatural characters (many of whom have walk-ons in Spell Bound) that Armstrong has introduced over the years.

Supposedly the forthcoming 13th instalment will bring the Otherworld series to an end - and will again feature Savannah as the lead - here's hoping she matures enough to face what could be world-changing challenges ahead.

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