Do you know what happens with people who cannot govern themselves? That’s right. Others come in to govern for them.
Spellbound – Book II of the Grimnoir Chronicles – by Larry Correia – A Science Fiction-Fantasy Book Review
“Spellbound” is the second book in this series. Obviously since I am reviewing this second volume, I enjoyed the first installment “Hard Magic” (see my review of it here).
In this story the main characters Jake Sullivan and Faye Vierra are once again swept along in the cataclysmic ricochets of real magic altering the world of the early 20th century. It’s 1933 and FDR is coming into office and one of his priorities is dealing with the ‘Actives.” This is the term for humans that have major magical powers. This includes “Brutes” who are inhumanly strong, “Travelers” who can teleport, “Healers” who can cure almost any disease or injury and numerous other special types. In the first book we learned how the Japanese had harnessed Actives as a spearpoint for their war machine in Asia. And we met Jake and Faye. Now they are veteran “knights” in the Grimnoir Society, sworn to use their powers to protect the innocent and destroy those using magic for evil.
But forces within the United States government are conspiring to discredit the Grimnoir and turn the American public against the Actives through a series of false flag operations. This book is the story of the Grimnoir fighting against that operation. But it also builds on the conflict with the Japanese Iron Guard, (enhanced military Actives) from the first book and then clarifies the nature of the forces that had originally unleashed magic into the world and how that will threaten the whole world in the very near future.
Okay, so that’s the setup. Larry Correia is a very good story teller. He paints a very rich picture with his characters and the action of the plot. Even the villains are well written and the story is peppered with historical personages like J Edgar Hoover and Buckminster Fuller who are adapted to fill their roles in this alternate universe. Each chapter begins with a quote from some person, mostly historical, saying something that illustrates how real magic has impacted the alternate universe of the story.
I find this alternate world very entertaining. The Jake Sullivan character is one of Correia’s competent man heroes. He is a brawler who has been treated badly by the world but refuses to abandon the good. Even his enemies have learned to respect his abilities and this allows him to form alliances that otherwise would be impossible. Faye is a powerfully gifted “Traveler” who possess abilities that far exceed what other Actives can do. She is also a very young woman from a sheltered small-town environment who is still trying to figure out how she fits into this strange world she finds herself in.
These two characters are the twin focuses around which the other characters and the plot revolve. The whole story is a straight forward action adventure. There are plenty of good guys, bad guys and even some good bad guys and bad good guys. It’s a combination of Buck Rodgers, The Untouchables and H. P. Lovecraft with some film noir thrown in for good measure. If that sounds like something you might like then pick up the first book Hard Magic and start at the beginning. If you’ve already read it then know that the series is still getting better in book two, Spellbound.
Sorry for the posting drought but it couldn’t be helped. I have off for the next week and had to pay the piper for it. In other words the day job. In addition, nothing grabbed my attention enough that I had to write. The waking world has taken on a strange dream-like or nightmarish quality that disorients the chronicler. What formerly would have been astounding events has now become mundane. More riots? Sure. Statues toppled? Check. Cities burned? Are there still any un-burned? Supreme Court outrages? Whatever.
I just finished Spellbound, the second volume in Larry Correia’s Grimnoir series. I’ll write up the review but right upfront I’ll say it’s very good. I’ve always liked his Monster Hunter books but this historical urban fantasy is even better. I’ll rave about it soon in a post but now I’ve got to get the third volume on order to see how it turns out.
Believe it or not, I haven’t done my taxes yet. Actually this is my signature move. I always wait until the deadline. It’s a family tradition. But this year my laziness has actually driven me to take advantage of one of the tax services to prepare my forms. I can only imagine how painful this will be. But they say suffering is good for the soul.
A week off in July is the high point of my New England year. It is the least likely place in the calendar for snow and full of the things that are most likely to make me smile. There are lightning bugs (or fireflies if you like), fireworks, watermelon, barbecue, ninety degree days, dragonflies, butterflies even a swimming pool if I want. I might even find a preying mantis in my garden. I can spend hours trying to get a good shot of a hummingbird or a fox or a tiny golden bee. I can watch favorite old movies way into the night and make believe I’m a kid again.
So forgive me if I’m a little delinquent here at the site. I’m sure to have some good stuff this week.
“If I had my way, I’d remove January from the calendar altogether and have an extra July instead.”
But there are no absolutes in human misery and things can always get worse
If you think about some of the things that are being talked about by thoughtful, intelligent scientists, you realize that in 100 years the human race won’t even be recognizable.
There’s a difference between quittin and knowin when you’re beat.