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(Spellhounds #1)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  121 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Craving a gritty, kickass heroine? If you like guns, magic, & heartbreaking drama, you NEED this book!

Helena Martin doesn't know who she hates more, the sorcerers who fired the magic-laced bullet or the gang-lord master who used her mother as a shield. It's not the price she expected for escaping magical slavery, nor is the unstable power now pulsing in her veins.

Caught be
Kindle Edition, 302 pages
Published May 5th 2017 by Amazon Digital Services
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Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  121 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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First things first: This is an almost 5 star. Not quite perfect, but... darn. You don't expect this in indie YA fiction.

Helena is a girl caught up in some seriously bad magical doo-dah. We meet her holding a knife above a sacrificial victim's throat, magically forced to carry out yet another heinous act in the name of her bonded master. Then all hell breaks loose. Guild enforcers, her mother, her cousin Morgan, guns, spell flares, mandalas... But in the end, she escapes. She ends up alone, numbe
Kelly Fisher
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Kindle edition had formatting issues, but it's a really good read.

I've read a couple Lauren Harris shorts (Mill Road Academy) and thoroughly enjoyed them, so I've been looking forward to Unleash for a while. And I have not been disappointed! While the Kindle formatting issues were definitely distracting, the story has a good pace and takes an approach to magic I haven't seen before, which makes for a refreshing change. Also, Harris had me at dog rescue. All in all, a very worthy read. I'll be lo
Trey richardson
Apr 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
Worst book

This book was the worst thing I've read in a while. Literally the first 70 percent is the MC throwing a pity party and being weak. There is nothing wrong with emotion but she let it overcome her way too much. And if I have to hear " I'm bad at saying thank you" one more time I'll sceam. Very weak MC would not suggest this book
Melissa Hayden
*I received this book from the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Helena just wants to be free to live a semi-normal life with her mother and pack. When things go wrong in a planed rescue from her slaver, Helena is left alone and on the run. She wants nothing to do with her magical slaver or the Guild that was to help them escape. Helena finds herself caught between the two groups and dodging being caught. One will get to her first but she'll have to chose which one.

Lauren star
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In contemporary urban fantasy Unleash (Spellhounds, Book One) by Lauren Harris, Helena Martin fights to break the spell binding her to her sadistic abuser, a powerful mage intent on destroying her family lineage. When well-meaning mundanes offer her a couch to crash on while she waits to contact her cousin on the run, Helena gets a taste of the normal life her abuser has stolen from her. Too bad the Guild is after her and strange happenings keep endangering her and her mundane rescuers.

Lauren Ha
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Magic Mafia. Sorcerer Police. A girl on the run from both.

Helena Martin doesn't know who she hates more, the sorcerers who fired the magic-laced bullet or the gang-lord master who used her mother as a shield. It's not the price she expected for escaping magical slavery, nor is the unstable power now pulsing in her veins.
Caught between her former master's hunters and the Guild Sorcerers determined to kill them, she finds a safe haven at a dog rescue willing to take in a different kind of stray. B
A.F. Grappin
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Harris has created an Urban Fantasy series I cannot wait to continue. Her magic system is deep and intriguing, spanning the entire world in origin, and it captured my interest from the very beginning. Our heroine, Helena, is so human it hurts. What Harris has written is so true to life (while still being fantastical, of course) that I never wanted to put the book down.

The prose is easy to sink into and a joy to consume. Helena's POV rings as how a damaged, surviving teenager would view life. Th
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book more than I'd planned to. It did feel like there was either hard action or drawn out personal development, but they alternated frequently enough for the book to stay engaging. This reminded me of the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, yet more relatable. It preserved what was enticing about fiction, the escape from reality, while still making Helena understandable. As the story progressed, it made the begining easier to digest, like a book you could reread and still app ...more
Fraser Sherman
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I'm always nervous reading a book by someone I know, in case I hate it. In this case, I really liked it.
As the story opens, protagonist Helena is a slave to the sorcerer Gwydian, forced to carry out his sacrifices. A botched raid by the guild of magic frees her but gets her mother killed. Helena winds up at a dog-rescue operation in the Midwest, appropriate since one of her powers is to shapeshift into a canine form.
This was quite dark. Helena's been through hell and badly PTSDed, the magic cops
Isaac Vars
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The opening line pulls you right in. The opening scene is so action packed that you almost don't know what hit you. It's hard to get a really good magic battle in literature that you feel like you're in the middle of and that's what the author pulls off. The protagonist is a great badass, but the author reveals her inner vulnerability perfectly. As the story progresses and slows down to really get into the characters, the reader is treated to a fun cast that one really loves. Just as you're gett ...more
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-beta-prize
I received Unleash, book 1 of the Spellhounds series, from the author/publisher (via BookFunnel). The gifting did not determine the review/rating, which reflects my honest opinion.

Wow! I love a complex, layered read and this book surprised me with its strong, determined, and take-no-bull protagonist, Helena. I loved how she didn't bend when she believed something was wrong, and called people out when necessary. Plenty of twists to keep the reader interested, and I'm curious to know what happens
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am a HUGE fan of plot pacing and this book delivered. Page one is the gun shot and it's off to the races. This author skillfully blends a great suspenseful story with endearing characters. I almost got more wrapped up in side characters than I did the main character Helena. The magic and world are unique and well done. This is a strong start to the series and I recommend it to anyone who loves a good Urban Fantasy book.
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. Harris does a great job of getting you invested in the characters right off the bat, even though magic spells are swirling about around them. Helena is a strong female protagonist, even though she doubts her strength, just as we all doubt ourselves. I really love the interactions with the dogs at Ruff Patch and how Helena finds a home she wasn't even looking for. I'm really excited to read Book 2 to find out what happens next.
Scarolet Ellis
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a brand new author for me and I am so glad I read the story. This story has very strong characters and a well writen story line that I fell in love with . This is the first book of a brand new amazing series. I can not wait to read the next book in this series . I highly recommend this story to everyone who loves magic, if you buy this book you will not be disappointed at all.
This is my honest and unbias opinion of the story.
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked the book a lot, I was really sucked into the story and the world of the characters. What really annoyed me was the errors in the text. There were quite some spelling mistakes and sentences would be interrupted by words or parts of sentences that had nothing to do with it. It could have used some additional review and editing.
Jason Kivela
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Non stop action, with plenty of world and character building along the way. I really enjoyed the magic system, very innovative. I really enjoyed the diversity represented as well. I can see that there is a lot bigger world than was shown here, I'm hoping for more books to fill it out.
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Great story line, legend etc... No unanswered question of history regarding the characters past and if a bit harsh in the scene it could be a believable fiction. I look forward to the sequels.
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great read!

I enjoyed this book very much. I love a magic system that isn't the same old thing. I wish there had been a bit more editing done before release but it didn't stop me from enjoying the book.
Yvonne Carder
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Unleash delivers what is promised. It's a fun read and I can't wait for the next in the series. The characters are complex and the magical world is not the same as other books. And there's a dog rescue, who wouldn't like it? Take a chance on this, you won't be disappointed.
Amanda Tregaskis
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Unleash - a clever title for am amazing book

Lauren Harris has written a book with super characters, a great story of a world of magic that mundanes know nothing about. This book starts off what promises to be a magical series of books.
Michael Fraser
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Loose funny

A good consistent story,with characters who comes together in lot of interesting and surprising ways to get to sulve their delimas. Overall a enjoyable experience.
Morgan Blomstedt
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I did not expect this book to draw me in like it did. It was fantastic.
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: uf, young-adult
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: paranormal
I liked this one a LOT. Great new take on shifters.
Stephanie Burnside
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love! Love! Love!

Great plot and dialogue. Some minor typos, but was able to look past them and thoroughly enjoy the book. I can't wait for book 2!
Dec 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Just didnt care for the storyline or plot.
rated it really liked it
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Lauren was raised by an impulsive furniture mover and an itinerant TV News professional in a string of homes up and down the East Coast of the United States. Eventually settling (sort of) in Raleigh, NC, Lauren befriended a band of whimsical nerds who found themselves de-facto beta readers for her scribblings. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she studied ...more

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