Only the most recent posts pop up on the HOME page. For searchable lists of titles/series reviewed on this Blog, click on one of the Page Tabs above. On each Page, click on the series name to go directly to my review.

AUTHOR SEARCH lists all authors reviewed on this Blog. CREATURE SEARCH groups all of the titles/series by their creature types. The RATINGS page explains the violence, sensuality, and humor (V-S-H) ratings codes found at the beginning of each Blog review and groups all titles/series by their Ratings. The PLOT TYPES page explains the SMR-UF-CH-HIS codes found at the beginning of each Blog review and groups all titles/series by their plot types. On this Blog, when you see a title, an author's name, or a word or phrase in pink type, this is a link. Just click on the pink to go to more information about that topic.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Author: Lucy A. Snyder 
Plot Type: UF, bordering on horror
Ratings: V5; S3—book 1; S5—book 2 & 3; H2
Publisher and Titles: Del Rey
        Spellbent (2009)
        Shotgun Sorceress (2010)
        Switchblade Goddess (2011)

     This blog entry was revised and updated on 1/16/12 to include a review of the third book in the series: Switchblade Goddess. That review is located at the very end of this entry, following this brief summary of the series so far:

     Jessie is an apprentice sorcerer, and her love interest is her master sorcerer, Cooper Marron. The couple's talents lie in ubiquemancya mixture of chants, spells, and magical objects and substances. Warning: Some of the substances used in the spells in Spellbent are pretty disgusting. Ubiquemancers are nicknamed Babblers because of their incomprehensible chants in archaic magical languages.

     Supporting characters include Palimpsest (Pal), Jessie's familiar, who starts out as a ferret and ends up as something else; Mother Karen, Jessie's white witch friend; and the Warlock, Cooper's brother. 

     In Spellbent, Jessie and Cooper are hired to cast a spell to provide rain for central Ohio farmers, but when things go terribly wrong, Cooper winds up in hell, and Jessie finds herself in big trouble with the head wizard of Columbus. The plot focuses on Jessie's adventures as she attempts to rescue Cooper while staying out of the clutches of the wizard and his thugs. By the end of Spellbent, Jessie is an outlaw on the run.  

     In Shotgun Sorceress, Jessie makes peace with one of her pursuers, but then gets in more trouble while being chased by an even more powerful enemy. Jessie, Cooper, and the Warlock escape through a portal and land in a small Texas town that is being terrorized by a Miko, a lethal and powerful demon. Of course, they are destined to free the town from the demon's grasp, but there is plenty of bloody violence before that task is done.

     As Switchblade Goddess opens, Jessie and Cooper are being tortured by the demonic Miko (the titular switchblade goddess). After a few pages of pain and shame, the action flashes back several days so that we can see exactly how they got into this horrible situation. Miko caused a lot of trouble in the previous book, and she continues her terrible deeds in this story. Miko is the daughter of the Japanese death goddess, Izanami, and she lives only to hurt, torture, and kill humans, particularly Jessie and her friends. Under Miko's demonic influence in the previous book, Jessie and Warlock engaged in some up-close-and-personal activities that both are so ashamed of that they are still not speaking to each other. Jessie is still in the Texas town that Miko decimated, helping some of the other Talents clean it up. Cooper, Warlock, and Randall (Jessie's long-lost brother) spend much of the book back in Ohio with Cooper's brothers and their foster mother. The brothers are giving everyone a hard time, and so the guys go back to deal with them, leaving Jessie and her familiar, Pal, to handle things with Miko. Jessie and Miko have a number of battles as the plot progresses, with Jessie taking the physical and emotional brunt of the attacks. Then, Pal gets very ill from the bites of were rats (in the previous book) and Jessie must take him to an old woman in the bayous of Louisiana to be healed. Eventually, Jessie and Miko have one last knock-down, drag-out fight as they settle things once and for all. Before that, though, Miko puts Jessie through several sessions of horrific sexual torture that are actually quite painful to read. The high sensuality for this series is not necessarily for hot and heavy love scenes; it is more for the frequent scenes of extremely graphic sexual violence. The book concludes in an open-ended manner, with Jessie, Cooper, and Pal pledging to go off on yet another quest to Hell. Click HERE to read a free 55-page excerpt from the beginning of Switchblade Goddess.

     This is an extremely dark series, bordering on horror fiction. Don't look for the usual sarcastic repartee or angst-filled monologues that you usually find in UF novels because Jessie and her friends are way too busy thinking about and fighting off the monsters who are constantly after them. They really don't have time to sit around and worry too much about their relationships. Like Rob Thurman's Cal Leandros, Jessie is frequently attacked by a variety of weird and horrible creatures. Like Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan, Jessie must constantly battle her dark side. Like Charlie Huston's Joe Pitt, Jessie loses some critical body parts along the wayalthough her missing bits get magical replacements. And like many UF heroines, Jessie's mysterious parentage turns out to be extremely important. 

     Violence levels in the all three books are high, with beheadings, severed limbs, and lots of blood. Sensuality levels are particularly high in Shotgun Sorceress and Switchblade Goddess, with scenes of autoeroticism, rape and near rape, sexual threesomes, graphic and gross postcoital details, erotic scenes with an ambisexual demon, and various other types of sexual aberrations. 


  1. There's a Kickstarter running for the fourth novel in the Jessie Shimmer series.

  2. Ms. Snyder is Kickstarting new books in the series: