The women of the Otherworld return again, so come and join them at the forbidden feast. At this banquet of death and decadence that Gilles de Rais has prepared, you are welcome to eat your fill and be sated. Let’s unlock Spell Bound, by Kelley Armstrong.
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.
With the Women of the Otherworld series approaching a climactic conclusion, details about the mysterious conspiracy which has been recruiting past villains together for one final world-shaking throw-down with the heroes are starting to emerge. It seems they are an organization of supernaturals tired of hiding in the shadows who want to enslave humanity and take over the world. (Say it with me now, M. Bison style: Of course!). Their leadership in particular are shooting for an even loftier goal; they’re immortality-seekers under the leadership of a man who has gone by man names but claims to be Gilles de Rais.
Giles, as he currently calls himself, is noted for his exceptional charisma and oratory prowess, capable of talking around a great deal of average supernaturals who would normally be neutral into supporting his plan to break the masquerade. The book doesn’t include the actual text of his speech, but I’d like to imagine it went something along the lines of this:
“And now once again we raise the blood-soaked flag of salvation! You who are abandoned, gather here! I shall lead you! I shall rule you! Resentment and rage of we the oppressed shall reach up unto the lofty throne of God himself! God in Heaven! With words of condemnation, I praise your holy name! Oh, arrogant God! Oh, cruel God! We shall pull you down from your throne!”
– Caster Bluebeard (Gilles de Rais), Fate/Zero, “The Forbidden Feast”
Hey, speaking of characters with names similar to other characters from anime series I like, you know who gets mentioned in this book? Zoe Takano, naturally. Apparently, Savannah thinks she’s “fun”. Yes, I sure would love to read a fun story about that fun vampire lady Zoe Takano. But instead, this book’s cameo of a character introduced in Personal Demon comes in the form of a scene with Jaz.
Jaz, if you recall, is Jasper Haig, aka that asshole shapeshifter who was one of the worst Women of the Otherworld villains. I jokingly wished in my last review of a Women of the Otherworld book that Jaz would die offscreen by slipping in the shower. Apparently, my prayer was heard – but by a god with bad aim. For you see, it was not Jaz who perished in this manner, but one of the witch-hunters. No, Jaz gets a full scene to himself, where he acts all smarmy and basically announces that he’s got an escape plan in place, and to top it all off, he nearly aborts Hope’s unborn child. Afterwards, all the protagonists are in agreement that they should just give this guy’s skull some lead-assisted ventilation holes, Benicio is still confident that he’s got Jaz right where he wants him and that everything is under control.
You know what? You win, Jaz. Benicio is now more annoying to me than you are. I now hope that Jaz does escape, and in such a manner as to kill Benicio in the process. Benicio’s behavior regarding keeping Jaz alive as a test subject has gone past ignorance, past recklessness, past genre-blindness, into what can only be termed “calling down the thunder”. By this point, Benicio is, metaphorically speaking, standing atop the head of a statue of Zeus and pissing down the thunder-god’s face while lifting a metal rod over his head towards the violent stormclouds above and shouting at the top of his lungs: “Gimme your best shot, pussy! C’mon, I dare ya! I double-dog dare ya, muthafucka!” Once a character has reached that level of stupidity, the only possible satisfactory conclusion is a lightning bolt of divine retribution. Metaphorically speaking, of course. Non-metaphorically speaking, I’d be perfectly happy if Jaz just bashed him over the head with something weighty; at least, so long as all the other characters reacted not with grief but with knowing nods and statements of “Saw that coming.” and “I told him this was bound to happen, but did he listen?”
Final Rating: 3/5