Title: Love’s Heavy Spell (Savage Spells #2)
Author: R.B. Shifman
Freed from a witch’s body, coed Evee Salazar takes a breath, expecting college life in Miami to simmer down. But when tragedy strikes close to home, a bizarre coven calls on her to help fight for their cause.
Evee’s new calling puts a strain on her relationship with her boyfriend and, even worse, thrusts her into a cat-and-mouse game with a narcissistic, billionaire witch.
In this mystical story of love and loss, Evee must figure out how to stop this wicked witch from corrupting a budding AI technology with dark magic, or she could become his next victim.
[Author’s Note: Book 2 in the Savage Spells series contains spoilers for “Everyone Leaves This Place,” Book 1 in the Savage Spells series. The author strongly recommends reading Book 1, “Everyone Leaves This Place,” prior to reading Book 2.]
If you’ve been following me here, you’ll remember I reviewed Everyone Leaves This Place a few weeks ago. I really enjoyed that one a lot and was really looking forward to reading this one, especially since I’ll get to beta-read the third one. That being said, I think book one is my favorite so far.
Love’s Heavy Spell picks up some months after the end of the last one. Evee and Mark are well into college life. Evee, though clearly having matured and grown in the last installment, is still very much herself. We also get to see more of Mark, and get a better idea of who he is as a person. We also get to see more of his family – most notably his sister, Miley, who saved Evee from Agnes at the end of book one.
Right from the start of this one we’re told that, since then, Miley and Evee have become like sisters. Because of the time-jump, though, we don’t actually get to see that relationship grow, and the two of them don’t have enough meaningful interaction for me to really get invested in their relationship. I don’t want to go into spoilers too much, but this kind of colors how I felt about the rest of the story, and how Evee comes into her newfound magical powers.
As the story progresses, I couldn’t quite tell where it was going, but I think that’s part of the point. We’re meant to be a little confused, and maybe kind of blind, which is how Evee approaches her belief in The Way – the magical power that guided Miley and the other “good witches” (for lack of a better term) of this world. I did like that the world opened up in this book, setting the stage for an explosive conclusion to the series. I’m not sure how I feel about Evee’s evolution, though. Where I enjoyed her growth in the first book, I found her really frustrating in this one. In my opinion, she’s too intelligent to blindly believe in something as problematic as The Way, and I’m surprised she goes along with so much – especially given her history with magic. That blind faith kind of rubbed me the wrong way, to be honest, and I found myself siding with Mark for most of the book. The way he was handled by the people around him – from his mother to Evee herself – also struck me as weird and manipulative.
Despite my nitpicks, though, I still really enjoyed the overall story. I liked the change of setting to Miami, and the introduction to Evee’s multicultural heritage. As a native Spanish speaker, I really appreciated the thoughtful use of the language, and how seamlessly it fit with the story. My only wish is that we’d seen more of it in book one, maybe in Evee’s interactions with her dad. Still, though, I really liked how present it was in her relationship with her cousin, and its casual use. Since I believe book three will take place in Miami as well, I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of it.
In the end, I’m only docking one star, mostly because I felt like Evee’s growth went backwards, and though she spoke my native language more in this one, I had a harder time relating to her during this adventure than I did in book one. If the story is going where I think it is, I’m sure book three will resolve these issues. This was a fun read, and though I liked the last book better, I’m still very much looking forward to continuing this series!