Possibly the hardest thing to manage is to be able to trust in someone. Right next to that is the ability to be able to see the worth in one’s self. Both are very fragile things which can be lost, or found, in the blink of an eye. The battle to have both of these is never easy, never simple and many times the battle is held within and to keep that hidden away becomes something all consuming.
When do you stop fighting for the sake of it and instead try to see what which has been there in front of you all of the time? Sometimes that takes more than a leap of faith. It takes an intervention, a struggle, and, finally, a reason to change.
- Title: Spellbound
- Author: Marcus Atley
- Length: 199 Pages
- ASIN: B00O92Q3A6
- Publishing Date: October 6, 2014
- This work at Amazon.com
It tells the story of:
In the realm of Hesian there is Stavros, a detective who has made a name for himself as a dangerous, short-fused cambion; a child of an incubus and a human. Stavros neither wants nor needs a partner, but when the option is taken from him he is left with Elion, a young, cocky elf that knows exactly how to get under his skin.
Exhausted with the butting heads and heated exchanges between the two detectives, the Warden of the Force, Mikhail, takes matters into his own hands; leaving Stavros and Elion bound through magic until their lesson is learned.
With mounting pressures,egos, and jaded pasts hindering them, the two seemingly opposite partners come to realize that maybe the fire that burns between them isn’t solely fueled by disdain, but by something more powerful than anything they will be forced to overcome.
Stavros is part-Incubus, all detective, and very good at his job. But he is also coiled up like a spring, ready to lash out at any moment, and that has caused some issues. Enter Elion, an elf that has heard all of the stories about Stavros, the legends as well, and finds he is attracted. But he’s also frustrated to no end with Stavros’ attitude. After they come to blows and have no choice but to work together intimately a threat appears which will take its toll on them both and leave scars that might never be healed.
The story tells a really involved story about relationships, not just that between Stavros and Elion, but as well echoes of both of their pasts that matter very much as the story is told. The weaving of their past comes at some surprising moments in the story, but in a way that doesn’t really feel like an info dump which I appreciated. The tales told by them both aren’t forced or seem to be wooden, there is a lot of heart, passion, grief and, in a way, this gives a means for the story to develop further than it otherwise would if the past had been told in flashbacks or a similar means.
The work is a mix of detective and fantasy with a lot of sexual tension mixed in. While that is ever present, for the most part it doesn’t overwhelm what is, as a whole, a well written story that tells a captivating tale about two tortured souls trying to deal with their pasts and their futures. There is, of course, struggles, fights, and some real conflict, but there is also the hints of something better and that kept my attention throughout the work.
Stavros is part-Incubus, to be specific, he is a Cambion, and as such he does not have the appearance of horns or tails or really much that marks him as being one save that he is very handsome and, of course, others are very attracted to him. But there is clearly much internal struggle within him about his nature and discovering what that is, why it is there, and what it means to the story as a whole comes to mean a lot by the time that the reveals begin, the climax arrives, and the truth is stripped bare.
I think, overall that Elion’s story is actually the most involved, well told, and detailed when compared to what is told about Stavros. There is much about Elion that isn’t really out in the open at the beginning of the story, but as things change, as their relationship changes, there is a lot of heartache and heartbreak in Elion’s story as well. The two are really peas in a pod, having their own battles to fight, to struggle against, and, at times, with each other as well.
There is some lovely humour in the work, Elion’s mother especially made me laugh when she appeared and that did bring some really needed joy to the story in the darkest part. There are also some moments which feel like they were taken from a “buddy-cop” drama or film, but they weren’t stereotypical, out of place, or wrong. The personalities of Elion and Stavros are very strong, very clear and passionate in their own ways. It’s those personalities that drive the story and when they come into conflict it is a strong one, but when there is understanding the moments are just as strongly felt and matter more.
As much as I liked the story, the author needs one more editing pass on this work. There are several points where “too” is used instead of “to” and as well some other similar sounding words are misused as well. Particularly bothersome for me was the used of “passed” for “past” which happened many times.
That’s very much a shame because the plot, the characters, and the, at times, quirkiness of the players in this work really makes this something special as a supernatural detective story. The work closes on a cute ending that I enjoyed and felt very true to both Stavros and Elion and while there was a bit of silliness that broke into that ending it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the work.
Four out of five pitchforks.
A story about trust, understanding and possibly the hardest thing to do. To be able to say words that one has never been able to say…. truly. A wonderful captivating story that has a lot of promise within its pages. It would be nice to see where the story goes from here.