• Spellbound

  • Magic in Manhattan Series, Book 1
  • By: Allie Therin
  • Narrated by: Erik Bloomquist
  • Length: 9 hrs and 24 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (183 ratings)

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Spellbound

By: Allie Therin
Narrated by: Erik Bloomquist
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Publisher's Summary

To save Manhattan, they'll have to save each other first....

1925 New York

Arthur Kenzie's life's work is protecting the world from the supernatural relics that could destroy it. When an amulet with the power to control the tides is shipped to New York, he must intercept it before it can be used to devastating effects. This time, in order to succeed, he needs a powerful psychometric...and the only one available has sworn off his abilities altogether.

Rory Brodigan's gift comes with great risk. To protect himself, he's become a recluse, redirecting his magic to find counterfeit antiques. But with the city's fate hanging in the balance, he can't force himself to say no.

Being with Arthur is dangerous, but Rory's ever-growing attraction to him begins to make him brave. And as Arthur coaxes him out of seclusion, a magical and emotional bond begins to form. One that proves impossible to break - even when Arthur sacrifices himself to keep Rory safe and Rory must risk everything to save him.

Contains mature themes.

©2019 Allie Therin (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about Spellbound

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    112
  • 4 Stars
    48
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    4
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    3
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    81
  • 4 Stars
    45
  • 3 Stars
    29
  • 2 Stars
    12
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    3
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    120
  • 4 Stars
    33
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
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    3

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Audiobook Review

This is a review of the actual AUDIOBOOK, because way too many of the existing reviews only talk about the printed book, which I found completely useless when trying to decide whether or not to spend a credit on it. Yes, yes, the book is a five stars if you like paranormal gay romance at all. But we've all read books we love, then go to buy the audiobook so we can enjoy it again hands-free, only to find it ruined by a dreadful narrator.

In this case, the review of the narrator is especially important because the sample is NOT impressive. The guy sounds like he's never been so bored in his life. I am relieved to say that the full reading is better than that. Kudos to the reviewer who said that the reading is greatly improved by boosting the speed. This is, I think, critical to enjoying it. I liked it at x1.25, and that was still a pretty relaxed read.

The narrator doesn't have a wide range of voices, and Mrs. Brannigan sounds like something out of a British 70s sitcom, but it's amusing rather than annoying. (Really. She's very likable and she's read that way.) Even though the range of voices was less diverse than I like, I never struggled to tell which character was speaking. After a minute or two of listening, as another reviewer mentioned (see how important it is to talk about the narrator in an audiobook review??) my initial misgivings about the narrator faded, and I forgot about him and enjoyed the story. Is that a glowing review? No, that's why I gave the book 5 stars and the audiobook 4 stars.

Authors don't always have control over who reads their book, and new authors don't always get a Joel Leslie or Michael Farraiuolo. This guy is OK, like, "I can live with this" OK. No more, no less. I realized after I looked him up that he read another series for which I own all four books. I felt similarly about his work in that series, too. He'll probably read the next in this series, and I'm happy enough with the work to know I'll buy it, too, because he does OK with a great story. I will almost certainly listen to this one again as the next in the series are released.

Short version: 3 stars performance, 5 stars story, up the speed for better enjoyment.

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

So Glad I Picked this One Up!

It has been 47 minutes and 22... 23... 24... 25 seconds since I finished listening to the audiobook of Spellbound by Allie Therin. I know this because I now mark time by what happened before I was able to experience this book, and how my life has been utterly and irrevocably changed by having finished the experience. This book is... it's finding that last piece of candy at that bottom of your jacked pocket when you thought you were all out (and not the gross, old piece, but a beautifully wrapped, shining piece of your favorite sweet, still glistening within it's beautiful wrapper, filled with sweetness, saltiness, and a taste that you want to remember for the foreseeable future).

Can you tell I really liked this book?

Perhaps it's the books I have been reading recently, which I have enjoyed JUST AS MUCH as this book, but which present emotions in different ways. Perhaps it's my own writing, which is set in a world that acts as a heavy weight before the characters can even get to explore their own emotions. Whatever the reason, the naked sincerity and bold openness of Rory Brodigan stole my breath away (much the same effect it seemed to have on Ace, really). Part of the reason it took me longer than usual to finish this book was that I was constantly worried that something would happen to Rory, the adorable, rough-tough-cream-puff that he is, to rob him of that vulnerability. I can understand Ace's want to protect him, as it surged within me every time Rory might set off on his own or faced something down that was entirely terrifying. I won't lie, ALL of Therin's main characters shared the same level of depth. The ever worrying, compassionate Arthur, the sarcastic, confident, and quick-witted Jade, the caring, stubborn Mrs. Brodigan... I could go on and on, but I really only had eyes for Rory, and let me tell you, my big sibling senses were going CRAZY for half of the book!

Characters aside, I loved the magic system presented. It added so much to the overall story that it became a character in and of itself. It made villains identifiable and, dare I say, sympathetic? It made heroes vulnerable and brave and sacrificing in a way that no other setting or environment could have.

I don't know if I can recommend this book highly enough. It's a great adventure in 1920s New York, full of magic, mystery, and love. I have to take my hat off to the author. From the first moment I began the story, she had me...

(should I do it? Should I? Oh, I'm going to do it, you watch me.)

...Spellbound.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Recommend

The story is really good, with real chemistry between the leads. This is definitely on the less explicit side of the MM spectrum, so wouldn’t recommend this if that’s what your looking for. But the plot and characters are great, so if you’re more interested in that go ahead. I was slightly put of by the narrator at beginning, but he really grew on me.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Charming love story, decent narration

Pros: charming love story, I really liked their first kiss scene. It's sweet and sexy and fun. I love the setting, 1920s NYC, with the look into all the different socioeconomic groups. It's also refreshing to have an unapologetically bisexual lead who doesn't decide he's gay the as soon as he falls for a man.

Cons: Rory's class angst is understandable but gets tiresome. Ditto the jealousy.

The narrator has a good voice. He doesn't phrase things the way I would, but he's a competent reader and overall I find it fine to listen to.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Spellbound, equal opportunity magic, mystery and romance..

The story and these characters in this time and place appear to have been written with a lovingly realistic nostalgia for the era, the result is especially charming. However after reading the book and looking forward to the audio version I was initially put off by the sample of the narration. I sometimes read other Audible customers reviews of selections I am interested in and one in particular recommended revisiting Spellbound and changing speed and suggested that the narrator and narration improved over the course of the full listen.. l took this advice because the story is worth it, and I'm glad that I did, the narrator improved from doing a dry reading of material to performing with the warmth and emotion that the story and characters require.....The improvement continues! in Starcrossed..Thanks Audible ..Gwen S.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Wearhouse 13 in a tux

The set up is a copy of Wearhouse 13.
Some of the nineteen twenties detail was way off. If the author doesn't know what a fountain pen is, all else is suspect too.
The reader sounded a bit like Rex Reed (Google it if you're under forty.) The performance is greatly helped by speeding it up.
I got this as a recommended example of Decopunk without knowing it was a gay romance; this is the last time I ever use a credit on the strength of a recommendation alone.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Really flat performance

It’s an okay read. The character’s’ motivations are never clear - why is the Rory so obstinately opposed to every interaction with Arthur? Why can’t Arthur clearly explain even one simple thing about the magic in the world?

What bothered me more was the performance. The reader was almost completely flat. It didn’t matter the what emotion was written, the tone was the same throughout. I can’t call it a performance, only a mostly competent reading.

That said, it’s a cute little story line. Maybe the other parts will improve?

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story

The story was good. Nice character development. That said, the narrator not so much. You couldn't tell the two main characters apart about 50% of the time. He probably should stick to narrating physics text books.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Immature characters

The plot is good and the system of magic is interesting, but wow, the characters are so immature and unconvincing. They are supposed to be 20 and 28, but they have all of the emotional depth of fifteen year olds. When someone else is flirting and smiling at each other they're like: ugh, get a room, gawd. And when they themselves are flirting they're like: You know I'd hang a second moon for you right?.. oh, haha, no, that was a joke, haha lol I take it back.

My eyes hurt from rolling them too much.
I listened to the second book in the series as well, because I had influenza and needed something easy, but I kinda regret it

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Always listen to a sample

The narrator sort of …drones? I think I would like this story a lot but the narrator sounds like he’s reading something that bores him. I’m not sure what it is but it’s preventing
Me from finishing.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • elly gausden
  • 02-05-21

Kind of tedious

It's a good idea, buy lacks pace. Not helped by a very dull reader with no real knack for doing different voices.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs. E. J. Curtis
  • 04-11-20

Interesting story

This is an interesting story. Well written and with likeable characters. The narration is good as well.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mary
  • 03-09-20

Great story.

I adored this story. it was well written and pacy with none of the long info dumps and purple prose one finds in so many books nowadays. My only issue was with the narration which sounded nearly robotic at times. The lack of discernable accents made it tricky to know whose dialogue the narrator was reading sometimes. its a shame as the story itself was wonderful and I am eagerly awaiting the sequel in May 2020.

1 person found this helpful