Spellbound (Books of Elsewhere, book two)
By Jacqueline West, read by Lexy Fridell
Published 2011 by Penguin Audio
To read my review of book one, go here.
Now that Olive has figured out some of the secrets of the old McMartin house, she's eager to learn more. But it soon seems that Olive may be in deep over her head.
It's funny for me to go back and read my review of book one because I wasn't as enthusiastic about it as I remembered being. This seems to happen to me with alarming frequency - looking back on a series I've begun, I'll remember the first book more fondly than I actually felt about it upon finishing it. After reading the first book in print some time ago, I downloaded the audio version of book two in my (admittedly poor) attempts to finish up some series I've begun.
I loved the chance to visit these characters again, and perhaps the characters are the reason I remember book one so pleasantly. Olive is a great heroine, though she struggles quite a bit in this book. I still loved reading about her and spending time with her and her friends. I love that the cats play an even bigger role in this book - they are absolutely delightful personalities and, as much as I claim to hate talking animal fantasy, I adore these guys. Oh, and I absolutely loved the introduction of Rutherford! I think the narrator's voicing of him may have been the main reason I loved him so much - it was absolutely perfect. In fact, I thought the narrator was all-around excellent - a nice variety of voices for characters, and all believable.
Similarly, I appreciated that book two continued with the dark tone of book one - some kids are looking to be legitimately creeped out (I was definitely one of those kids), so they really appreciate a darker fantasy such as this one. I am a firm believer that kids can handle much more than we give them credit for, so why not get dark and creepy? If it's too much for a kid, chances are they'll recognize that and put the book down.
So, in the end, I really enjoyed this book and am definitely looking forward to reading the rest of the series soon. I'll definitely be recommending this series to young fantasy fans!