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Spellbound: Book II of the Grimnoir…

Spellbound: Book II of the Grimnoir Chronicles (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Larry Correia (Author), Alan Pollack (Cover artist)

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Title:Spellbound: Book II of the Grimnoir Chronicles
Authors:Larry Correia (Author)
Other authors:Alan Pollack (Cover artist)
Info:Baen (2011), Hardcover, 448 pages
Tags:alternate history, magic, magic users, dictatorship

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Spellbound by Larry Correia (2011)




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ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

??Youƒ??re Heavy Jake Sullivan, arenƒ??t you?ƒ?
ƒ??I was afraid of that.ƒ?

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 Teslaƒ??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 theyƒ??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 thereƒ??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, Iƒ??m surprised to find myself enjoying Larry Correiaƒ??s testosterone-pumping, gun-toting, blood-spurting, heads-rolling story, but thereƒ??s a lot more here than guns, guts and gore. Thereƒ??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.

Thereƒ??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 Johnsonƒ??s career (ƒ??Gotta keep the sport pure, yƒ??know?ƒ?).

Bronson Pinchotƒ??s performance in the audio version of Spellbound is nothing short of brilliant. Thereƒ??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 donƒ??t read audiobooks, you might consider starting with this series. Itƒ??s a perfect example of how good audio can get.

Thereƒ??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 Fayeƒ??s ties to it. Iƒ??m looking forward to the next GRIMNOIR CHRONICLES book. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
For the record, and I think I keep saying it for each of Correia's book, I don't like Urban Fantasy. Nor do I like the WWI and WWII era for the most part.

And yet, I love this author and his books.

This was a great sequel to [b:Hard Magic|8643407|Hard Magic (Grimnoir Chronicles, #1)|Larry Correia|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1327951330s/8643407.jpg|13514467]. I have to admit, when I started the book, and the OCI agent Crowe showed up, I had to put the book down for a few days as I had one of the most intense reactions to a character that I've ever had.

I hated him. You know how those fangirls will discuss for hours, ad nauseum, the different merits of various book hotties that they wish were their boyfriends? All that "squeeing" and "OMG" and "HAWT" and other such various phrases that teengirls use? I had the polar opposite reaction. A manly hatred for such a disgusting piece of filth that it went soul deep and burned with a vengeance that was Hell worthy. Kind of like an anime character actually ;)

But then I came back. And my goodness, this was one grand slugfest. A good bit is revealed about the Chairman, the Cthulhu'ic hunter and Faye.

A good frenemy for Jake is introduced. And speaking of anime characters, Toru is awesome. Of course, I think any superpowered being with a sword is awesome.

And then the ending? A god of demons?!?! Seriously, how freaking cool is that? I'm not sure even MHI has moved into territory that big. But that is a different story. One thing that makes me like this series even more is the fact that I know that the story wraps up in [b:Warbound|16130317|Warbound (Grimnoir Chronicles #3)|Larry Correia|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1359402972s/16130317.jpg|21955621]. So unless that tanks, this series is getting bought by me in hardcover. ( )
  Bookstooge | Sep 26, 2013 |
This was another fine ride in the Grimnoir universe! All the favorites are back, Jake, Faye and the rest of the bunch. The Grimnoir are being framed for all sorts of horrible crimes. Someone wants all the actives rounded up, tagged and controlled. Sound familiar? Too many times in the real world for sure.

This story has it's own adventure but also serves to push the plot forward for the final installment with an epic battle with an enemy that threatens the Earth. I loved how we see a little more of Jake Sullivan's character in this story. In the first book you get a glimpse that he is lot smarter than those with his ability usually are, but in this book you really see the depth of his intelligence. Faye learns something huge about herself. HUGE! Our little girl is growing up.

I can't say how much fun this series is. If you want a fast paced fun and exciting story then this is for you. I am listening to the book and the narrator is honestly spot on with all the characters. 5 stars for his narration. ( )
  luvamystery65 | Jul 3, 2013 |
The story in this book could have been an X-Men story arc, and I mean that in a good way.

I mentioned in my review for the first book in this series what I loved most about the Grimnoir Chronicles world, the fact that it's this unique blend of noir steampunk urban fantasy-sci-fi set in this alternate history of 1930s America. The Grimnoir are a secret society of magically empowered individuals, or "Actives", who exist to protect their own people against anti-magic violence as well as the "Normal" population against magical threats from more hostile and dangerous Actives.

Like X-Men, amirite? In fact, that's how I eventually came to think of the characters, as these dark superheroes, except their abilities are all derived from magic. "Heavies" can alter and manipulate gravity forces, "Torches" can control fire, "Travelers" are like teleporters, "Movers" have telekinetic abilities, etc. etc. etc.

In this book, anti-Active sentiment has reached an all time high and a government has initiated a push to have all Actives registered in order to keep tabs on them. Things get worse when an assassination attempt is pinned on Actives, and the Grimnoir become fugitives on the run. Meanwhile an insane government agent is rabidly trying to hunt them down, and if that's not enough Jake Sullivan also has to figure out how to put a stop to an otherworldly threat that would destroy the world if not stopped.

The series is just pure non-stop action and excitement, and it's getting better and better. ( )
  stefferoo | Mar 9, 2013 |
“Spellbound” is the second installment in Correia’s “Grimnoir Chronicles”, and it’s every bit as good as the first volume, “Hard Magic”. Set in an alternate early 1930s America, Correia’s world is one where magic works for certain people- Actives. They have superhero like abilities: some are super strong; some can manipulate fire, ice, gravity, mechanical things or electricity; some can read minds or compel others to their will; some can raise the dead or summon demons to do their will. While these talented people have been more or less accepted by regular homo sapiens (especially the really useful ones- Cogs like Edison, Tesla and Browning are valued for their inventions, while Brutes are very useful for heavy labor), that is changing as certain Actives strive to take over the world. A movement towards mandatory registration of all Actives is growing stronger- and after registration, confinement would almost certainly follow soon after. A special government agency has been set up to do this- but it’s going well beyond what it was created for.

Along with that danger, the alien entity that powers the Active’s abilities is being pursued by its enemy, which will destroy earth. The Japanese government keeps trying to take over the world. One of the Grimnoir- a group of Actives who strive to protect the earth- may be connected to something evil. That’s a lot for a group to deal with, even a group as talented and able as the Grimnoir.

The books feature a true ensemble cast- there is no one central character and the POV moves from one to another. There is no guarantee that any cast member, even a very important one, will survive a book- many died in “Hard Magic”. This creates a real suspense that doesn’t come in a lot of books, where one can assume that a main character will survive because there are more books in the series planned. I’ve really come to like the main characters in these books a lot; they learn, they have heartbreak, they grow.

“Spellbound” is nonstop action that combines magical powers, Japanese fighting techniques, hand to hand and enough gunfire to make Remington richer than anyone. It’s intelligent- the many plot strands are woven tightly with none forgotten. And it features the creepiest interrogation scene ever, one that will feature in my nightmares for some time. HIGHLY recommended! ( )
  dark_phoenix54 | Feb 15, 2012 |
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The Grimnoir Society's mission is to protect people with magic, and they've done so--successfully and in secret--since the mysterious arrival of the Power in the 1850s, but when a magical assassin makes an attempt on the life of President Franklin Roosevelt, the crime is pinned on the Grimnoir. The knights must become fugitives while they attempt to discover who framed them. Thing go from bad to worse when Jake Sullivan, former p.i. and knight of the Grimnoir, receives a telephone call from a dead man--a man he helped kill. Turns out the Power jumped universes because it was fleeing from a predator that eats magic and leaves destroyed worlds in its wake. And that predator has just landed on Earth.… (more)

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