Lucy A. Snyder
Del Rey, Dec 29 2009, $7.99
In Ohio, Jessie Shimmer and her lover Cooper are magic practitioners commonly called Talents. They come under the authority of the Circle who police witches to insure they remain insider the rules. The two go to the Grove in Taft Park to perform a spell chant that farmers are paying them to end a debilitating drought. The spell misfires and Cooper vanishes into an intradimensional portal that opened up. Cooper’s familiar Smokey returns to his true form of a dragon and tries to kill a demon, but Jessie stops the malevolence at the cost of an eye and an arm.
She awakens from her unconscious state to find Mr. Jordan, head of the Circle forcing her to sign a contract that orders her not to search for Cooper if she wants to remain as a legal member of the magic community. She refuses to sign so he places an anathema spell on her that repels Talents away from her. With the help of her familiar Palimpsest the ferret and Cooper’s half brother Warlock, she seeks the portal that leads to Hell; sheenter knowing the probability is that they will not return especially since Mr. Jordan makes the odds exponentially worse.
This opening act of a wonderful urban fantasy is filled with intrigue, romance and plenty of magic that blend together to make an enticing Spellbent tale. Lucy A. Snyder makes her realm feel genuine as she mixes a Donna Quixote - Joan of Arc heroine into a world that has a Lovecraftian feel to it. Jessie goes “willing to march into Hell for a heavenly cause”(The Impossible Dream) with her courageous adorable sidekick Pal; each knowing if they fail they are condemned to remain in Hell for eternity while if they succeed they are condemned to live in a hell outside the Circle of their peers.