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Spiral Hunt (Evie Scelan #1)

3.31  ·  Rating Details  ·  659 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
Some people have the Sight. Genevieve Scelan has the Scent.

They call her "Hound," and with her unique supernatural sense Evie can track nearly anything—lost keys, vanished family heirlooms . . . even missing people. And though she knows to stay out of the magical undercurrent that runs beneath Boston's historic streets, a midnight phone call from a long-vanished lover wi

Paperback, 307 pages
Published January 27th 2009 by Harper Voyager (first published January 21st 2009)
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Fire of Stars and Dragons by Melissa PetreshockCold Iron by D.L. McDermottUnshapely Things by Mark Del FrancoDeadtown by Nancy HolznerThe Captain's Door by C.S. Houghton
Boston Fantasy/SF
6th out of 18 books — 18 voters
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. RowlingThe Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinQuidditch Through the Ages by J.K. RowlingThe Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanThe Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
Greenest Books Ever
411th out of 1,380 books — 451 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,791)
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Maybe a 3.75 star book because it doesn't quite have that level of "wow" that makes me want to force everyone I know to rush out out start reading it right away, but it's very solid storytelling that I thoroughly enjoyed. Evie is smart, level-headed and likable, the system of magic is interesting, and the mythological elements are included in an original way. Some of the double crosses I expected and others snuck up on me, and things being more complicated than I expected meant that they were al ...more
May 19, 2009 Reed rated it did not like it
I'm certainly in a reading rut right now, because I cannot seem to find a book that satisfies. My last "failure" was David Willimas "The Mirrored Heavens". I bailed after 150 pages.

I switched to Margaret Ronald's "Spiral Hunt" and it hasnt' gotten any better. Ronald was mentioned to me as a refreshing newcomer to the glutted urban fantasy market. I've read many of these the past few years, and have grown increasingly unsatisfied with the lack of growth in the genre as a whole. Just how many ways
CJ -Doctor can you help me, 'cause somethin' don't feel right
Jan 24, 2010 CJ -Doctor can you help me, 'cause somethin' don't feel right rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: celtic myth fans, people who like good books
First of all I am an amateur Ancient Celtic Myth and Historian and this Ronald did her research and her homework and she owned it. The history and the myths come out strong without sounding like they were planted in the plot to explain something (while sounding like an encyclopedia) but both were woven into the story and the characters and became one.

Evie Scelan is a Hound - her magic is of the olfactory kind. She can smell a 'church by daylight" (to quote Shakespeare) and due to her
Janice (Janicu)
Mar 15, 2009 Janice (Janicu) rated it really liked it
The setting is Boston, where a large Irish migrant population goes hand in hand with this urban fantasy moving away from the usual werewolves and vampires, and takes it's supernatural aspects from celtic mythology. Evie Scelan is a bike messenger with a side business as a Finder. Her nickname is Hound because Evie has an ability to track things with scent. At the start of this book, Evie gets a mysterious phone call from ex-lover Frank. Despite her reservations with who he may be mixed up with, ...more
This was a really great read, totally enjoyable. I was pleasantly surprised, and considering it's a Harper Collins novel had to wonder what sort of marketing they employed, it has so few reads and books 2 and 3 have barely sold on Amazon.

The main character is realistic and I appreciated her sense of confusion with her knowledge constantly evolving, challenged with so much complexity.

The support characters are both useful in the story, and appropriate to the situations they are pulled into.

I abso
Mrs. Badass
Feb 05, 2010 Mrs. Badass rated it liked it
This book was pretty good. I liked the location (Being a Masshole) and I enjoyed, for the most part, Evie's character. The world held my attention, but sometimes felt almost vague, in the magic aspect. I sometimes felt confused on what terms meant, for example Loci(and it's variants used) It was used a lot in the first few chapters, but no explanation given for a while, I found myself thinking.. what the heck is it? and I hate that. I own the next one, and will read that as well. I hope there is ...more
Jun 30, 2010 Joletta rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy and Modern takes of Mythological figures.
Okay, this book was definitely a sleeper. It was sorta/kinda interesting and I would pick it up, read a few chapters and become distracted....until about chapter four, that is.

The main character, Evie Scelan has an extraordinary sense of smell. In magic rich Boston this equals a side job as a PI of sorts, known to a few as the Hound, finding lost objects. She has to be careful how she exhibits her talents, there are supernatural baddies who make magic users of all kinds disappear.

This book owe
Dec 14, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
The author is a friend, and boy can my friend write! This starts out as "Oh, okay, this is pretty good, where is this all going?" and quickly turns into "I know I have to go to work/sleep, but just 5 more minutes of reading!" The character has a great voice, the mythology holds up, the urban setting is used beautifully, the doubts and suspense are well-placed.

I agree with posters who compared it to Neil Gaiman's work, such as American Gods and Neverwhere - Spiral Hunt is similarly able to place
Mar 13, 2009 Nancy rated it it was amazing
I have to admit: this book is written by a friend, so my opinion may be biased!

The two best things about this book are the protagonist, who I find to be a very solid, believable character; and the world, which I'm hoping Ronald is going to continue shaping in future books. I also appreciate that the book involves a healthy amount of mythology that I'm not really familiar with--but didn't feel I needed to be to understand the book.
Jun 28, 2015 Raye rated it it was ok
Shelves: own
I honestly don’t have a lot to say about this book. It was just an okay read. I had no idea what was happening in the beginning and I don’t know if that was my fault or the authors. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right mood and was having trouble understanding or maybe the author didn’t explain things well enough. I also had trouble keeping track of the characters. There aren’t even that many but I didn’t care about any of them so I had to stop reading every once and awhile and try to remember who t ...more
Disclosure: The author is a friend. And an adorable drunk.

Yay, it's Maggie's first book! Noirish paranormal mystery with Irish mythology, set in Boston. First-person female narrator, cool magic powers, you know the sort of thing.

Things I liked: Boston – this book has an excellent sense of place, and it made me want to spend more time there, maybe even sober this time. Female friendships, which make up a lot of the tension in the book, and these relationships are not about men and are about women
Jan 24, 2011 Alice rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, urban-fantasy
I would never have picked up this book if I hadn't gone to a panel at Arisia, a convention in Boston, about setting stories in Boston. I went into the book, therefore, with the expectation that it put one of my favorite cities to good use. In that, it did not disappoint.

The city of Boston is practically its own character in this book. Its strange history is put to good use, and its oddities are far better explained through magic than the true history. Ms. Ronald does an excellent job making the
Mar 29, 2011 Gail rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy, e-book
Evie, the heroine, has been named the Hound for her magical ability to find things through their scent. She hides her talent, somewhat, because that's what her mother taught her to do. Then she receives a phone call from a boy she knew in her past, and everything pretty much falls apart. The Fae in Boston have the city in an iron grip and Evie's afraid they want to put her on a leash. This is a tough book to summarize, because there are so many little threads, so much subtlety.

Evie has dreams t
May 24, 2016 Diane rated it liked it
2.5 stars. At first I was going to round down ("Meh"), instead of up ("I liked it"), but two factors changed my mind: 1) the writing itself is well done, which deserves recognition, and 2) I decided that if I come across the next book (for less than full price), I will give the series another try -- especially since I gather from book two reviews that Nate and young Katie will have a strong presence, which is good news.

I never really got fully gripped by book one, but there wasn't anything I st
Ryan G
May 04, 2014 Ryan G rated it liked it
I read this one while I was out of town for business and I must say while I'm not head over heels in love with it, I'm pretty damn close. This was an interesting introduction to a new series that will have a long, and prosperous futures, at least I'm hoping so. As some of you may know, I'm a little new to the world of urban fantasy, and while I sill prefer traditional or high fantasy, I'm learning to love the world of magic and monsters set in our modern world.

Evie is a unique character even in
Aurian Booklover
Feb 03, 2014 Aurian Booklover rated it liked it
Genevieve “Evie” Scelan is a bike messenger for her daily job and a private investigator using her nose to find lost things or people on the side. Her world is a dangerous world, where using magic will get you the attention of the Fiana, and that is not something you want. They are like a magical mafia, and they control everyone who uses magic.

When Evie gets a phone call in the middle of the night, from an almost forgotten ex-boyfriend, the trouble starts. Somehow, Frank is not the only one tal
Jan 31, 2009 Kirsten rated it it was amazing
OMG. This is solid urban fantasy with a major dollop of Irish mythology thrown in. Great characters, fantastic sense of place and setting, and many great lines. The first half was maybe a tad slow - though compelling - and the second half was basically un-put-down-able. Definitely read this. (Disclaimer: I know the author, but not all that well. So I don't think I'm all that biased.)
Cat Russell  (Addicted2Heroines)
I just could not get into this book. The world is confusing and many things are not being explained. I tried to stick with it, but now I'm moving on to something else.
Karen Forrester
Sep 20, 2015 Karen Forrester rated it really liked it
Evie Scanlon has the ability to "find" lost things (and people) supernaturally. When she's not carrying out her day job delivering documents, she earns extra money being other people's "hound". This first book introducing Evie hooked me from the first chapter, the way that Evie was hooked into trouble after getting a call from an ex-boyfriend. Author Margaret Ronald does a good job of building her characters while also building the suspense and mystery. I enjoyed the story and liked that it had ...more
Excellent new voice in urban fantasy with a celtic twist. Well written, interesting characters, a protagonist with something new.
Feb 27, 2015 Kate rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, 2014
I read a short story by Margaret Ronald on Strange Horizons. It intrigued me, so I found her website, read all her short stories available online, and then found her trilogy of urban fantasy.

This is the best urban fantasy I've read in a very long time. It is understated. It quietly surprised me with how good it is. It isn't flashy, but very well thought out.

First, the worldbuilding is excellent. This is not the sort of urban fantasy that throws everything together because it is cool. There is a
Nov 24, 2009 Erin rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Erin by: Steven Klotz
Shelves: sff
I tend to get obsessed with certain types of books for a period of time, and then can't read anything after that until a new obsession takes me. This book was meant to fit into my recent paranormal noir obsession, and I was delighted at how well it worked as paranormal noir while still feeling utterly different from the others I've read. Even if I go on to read more in this sub-genre, I think this will be the cap on the genre for me.

What seems to start out as a typical noir mystery with a missin
Jul 23, 2010 Crystal rated it liked it
This book starts off with a bang as Evie Scelan is awakened with a phone call from her ex, Frank. He tells her he's finally getting out and then it seems as if something or someone else is talking through him and the line goes dead. Evie Scanlon is a little different than everyone else she is called the Hound because she has a/n (magically?) enhanced sense of smell that she can use to track anything or anyone. She tries to use her gift to find her ex-lover after he goes missing. This story is se ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 16, 2010 Alexia561 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, arcs
Really enjoyed this book, and think it's a great start to a new series! Hadn't read any reviews, so went into it with no expectations and was very pleasantly surprised. Evie is doing her best to keep her head down and avoid notice, while barely making a living as a bike courier by day and a Finder by night. She has a unique talent which lets her track things by scent, which is how she got her nickname of "Hound."

Despite her best efforts, Evie comes to the attention of The Bright Brotherhood, who
Morgan McGuire
Aug 14, 2010 Morgan McGuire rated it liked it
This is pretty good, especially considering that it is the author's first novel. The strong, plausible female characters and modern fantasy/noir are fairly fresh in the genre. It reads like Snow Crash meets Jim Butcher, with a dash of American Gods.

I wish that the genre cliches in plot, pacing, character, and phrasing weren't there and that the writing was a little more careful about point of view. Characters sometimes notice things that they shouldn't be able to and the plot hints are dropped
Melissa Hayden
Mar 10, 2010 Melissa Hayden rated it really liked it
Genevieve, or Evie as friend from school call her, works as a bike courier in Boston. But, on the side works to help recover, or find, items for people - for a fee to help pay rent. Evie has a special ability passed down in her family blood of years past, she can smell scents even almost taste them at times. Evie has the nick name in the Undercurrent of Hound. But one night, after midnight she receives a call from a friend of the past who Evie thought was gone or dead. Frank, someone Evie had no ...more
Rena McGee
May 05, 2013 Rena McGee rated it really liked it
Spiral Hunt is a first novel, but it has a very strong and well-defined presence, with an engaging style and
interesting characters. This book was also something of a surprise, since most of the urban fantasy I’ve been seeing lately has been urban fantasy romance, where most of the action and characterization is based off of getting the female protagonist hitched up with a male character as quickly as possible. (I’m amazed at how few of these “urban fantasy romances” have anything to do with actu
Jan 12, 2011 Sharon rated it really liked it
Evie is a hound she enjoys the hunt & as well as running messages she works on the side finding heirlooms, people, even sniffing out magic, her nose is very discerning. she avoids using magic because magic uses you back. Plus if you have any gifts the 'Fiana' tend to take an unhealthy interest & once noticed, your picked up and you don't get out again.
After a phone call she sets out to find a childhood friend, who she reckons disappeared under the Fiana because of her, Evie is also aske
Nov 06, 2012 Marjorie rated it liked it
Evie has a unique super-national sense of smell and can track down almost anything from missing keys to missing people. Boston has a magical underground, which Evie has stayed out of until a midnight phone call from a long vanished lover. To find the missing lover she is pulled into the secret world of magic by betrayal, and conspiracies. For the first time Evie is being hunted.
The character Evie, AKA Hound, was an intriguing first person protagonist. Nice world building, especially Boston’s set
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Margaret Ronald learned to read on a blend of The Adventures of Tintin, Greek mythology, and Bloom County compilations. Her vocabulary never quite recovered. Her fiction has appeared in Realms of Fantasy, Strange Horizons, Baen's Universe, and Fantasy Magazine. Spiral Hunt is her first novel.
More about Margaret Ronald...

Other Books in the Series

Evie Scelan (3 books)
  • Wild Hunt (Evie Scelan, #2)
  • Soul Hunt (Evie Scelan, #3)

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