Belladonna Johnson, the main character in Spellbinder, can see ghosts. And it’s not creepy, only inconvenient, because she often can’t tell the difference between a dead person and an alive one – and it doesn’t exactly make you fit in with your peers if you often appear to be talking to someone who’s not there. Her gift, which is hereditary, is particularly handy because her parents are dead. And although she still grieves the loss of being able to hug them, they are still waiting for her every day when she comes home from school. The school authorities believe she lives with her grandmother, who also has the sight.
Belladonna’s world is turned upside-down when suddenly the ghosts start to disappear – including her parents. Her father’s last words are, “The doors are closing.” Belladonna, with the help of Steve, a boy from school, and Elsie, one of the only remaining ghosts, goes on a quest to the Land of the Dead to discover why the ghosts are gone – and how to get them back.
I read Spellbinder aloud to my four kids, and although it took a little bit for us to get into it, once the story grabbed us, we were hooked. Belladonna, Steve, and Elsie make an odd team – and their interactions made for some humorous situations. The author has created an unique world with its own history and myths and symbols, and the last few chapters had my kids hanging on my every word, wanting to know how things were going to turn out.
When I said, “the end,” Noah’s first words were, “Is there going to be a sequel?” He was very happy when I checked the author’s web site and discovered that book two has been sent to the publisher and she is currently working on book three.
(I received an ARC of Spellbinder from the publisher for the purpose of review. The above link is an Amazon affiliate link. If you click on it and subsequently purchase anything, I will receive a small percentage in commission.)