By: Sherry Soule
Publisher: Moonlight Publishing
Publication Date: July 2011
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: September 2011
Shiloh Ravenwolf is a young girl involved in a past she doesn’t quite know everything about. Her father and mother are a bit “odd” and her family has been split down the middle over things she doesn’t really understand. Shiloh has the ability to see and hear the “shadows, wraiths, and spirits” that appear in her room and all around her; including a large “Shadow Man” who tells her that, “Debts Must Be Paid.” Being the owner of a strange scar that goes from her wrist to her elbow, Shiloh seems to be marked by the spirits, hearing and seeing images from the past as they gather around her: Some wish Shiloh to help them, others are simply there to destroy Shiloh once and for all.
Living on the dismal northern shores of California in a place called Whispering Pines, Shiloh is trying desperately to get used to the paranormal figures watching, talking, and following her around - including Easel, the huge ‘Shadow Man’ who is a spirit that wishes nothing more than for Shiloh to make a deal with the Devil.
In Whispering Pines, there are teens disappearing - teens who were all a part of the original Thirteen families who settled the town back in the 17th Century. In this original group were witches who built and ran the town - a town that is lovely during the day but, when twilight settles, is covered with a thick layer of fog that makes the town seem as if it is far away from any location in the country.
One day, at church, Shiloh sits in the pew beside her best friend Ariana - a strong, tough girl who goes to her school. When Trent Donovan appears - a handsome ‘rebel without a cause’ type, he can barely keep his eyes off Shiloh while the rumors begin to abound about him and his family. Long ago, Trent’s mother had been found dead, and his father caught up in a murder investigation of which he was cleared and freed. Where they live is the old Ravenhurst Manor that was once home to disturbed teenagers, murders, and creepy experiences. Now, the Donovan family is restoring Ravenhurst and Shiloh lands a job as an intern to help with the architectural renovations…or so she thinks.
Soon the story unfolds as Shiloh teams up with a “ghost hunter” to try and get the spirits to calm themselves and leave the mansion once and for all. Inside the ghostly building there are shadowy spirits after Shiloh, who try their best to kill her with everything from falling chandeliers to windows smashing down. Shiloh soon learns a variety of historical information including the fact that she must discover and “hone” her ‘gifts’ in order to save Trent Donovan from being the next victim of the “Shadow Man.” And with this war comes a prophecy of the 13th Daughter - a girl who was born to save Whispering Pines and banish the dark souls forever.
A truly interesting story that involves a deep mystery and powerful Wiccan magic. The first in a truly adventurous series of Spellbound novels, for readers to find their way through the darkness as they stand beside Shiloh Ravenwolf and watch her fight for her life, home, family, and true love.
Quill Says: A great horror, thriller, and paranormal book that is a good, solid beginning to a series of fiction that YA’s and adults will love.