BOOK REVIEW: Hell’s Bell, by Keri Arthur
Hell’s Bell is the second book in Keri Arthur’s new Lizzie Grace series. The first book was an excellent introduction to Lizzie and this action-packed instalment did not fail to entice us with more hints at Lizzie’s past.
Lizzie Grace is an odd witch, a disappointment her family claimed. She’s supposedly a low-powered anomaly for a blueblood-witch family but no one has ever considered that Lizzie and Belle, her human familiar, might actually develop a connection so deep that their powers merge. With a new, strangely sentient wellspring open on the Faelan Werewolf Reservation where a witch ban endangers the unguarded more powerful wellspring, the wild magic has taken on a life of its own, merging itself with Lizzie’s spells.
Lizzie and Belle’s power will be tested to the extreme as dark beings are drawn to the small town and as Christmas approaches, a new evil comes to town—one that eats the souls of the living and animates the flesh of the dead. As the body count grows and the trail of clues leads them to the doorstep of the local vampire, Lizzie, Belle, and Aiden must find the killer before death comes calling on them.
Hell’s Bell flowed seamlessly from the events of Blood Kissed. A little time has passed but the slow burn budding romance between Lizzie and Aiden has been frustratingly stagnant, miscommunication at it’s best and Aiden only serves to make it all the worse. The town has a pool going for the night that Lizzie and Aiden will finally go on a date but unfortunately for Belle, people keep dying and the council is too busy deciding if they’ll be evicting Lizzie and Belle to be considerate.
Considering the darker aspects of Hell’s Bell, I thought this comical addition provided a contrast to the town and its people and allowed for some breathing room between deaths, premonitions and attempts on Lizzie’s life.
It also served to paint Lizzie and Aiden’s developing relationship in a very human and realistic light. After all, why exactly would two people rush into a relationship head first without considering the consequences or terms? These are three-dimensional characters with baggage who actively deal with the obstacles thrown in their paths.
Hell’s Bell also provided some much-needed insights into Lizzie past and the guilt she carries for cutting Belle off from her own loving family. There are still a number of questions unanswered, however, and with Lizzie’s gut instinct that they’ll come face to face with her parents someday, I can’t help wondering if that’s going to be someday soon.
With their position in the Reservation under threat, Lizzie has a difficult decision to make: does she trust Aiden with her true identity and risk her parents finding her, or do they pack up their lives and leave Faelan behind along with the unprotected wellspring? I don’t think Lizzie’s character would allow the latter so there’s definitely some drama to be had in future books.
Even so, I loved this book, devoured it in under 8 hours the day of release, and I am definitely looking forward to reading more about these characters. This was a fast-paced, highly enjoyable read.
The third book in the Lizzie Grace series is set for publication in August and will be called Hunter Hunted.
Hell’s Bell, by Keri Arthur
Series: #2 Lizzie Grace
Genre: Urban Fantasy
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