[Trigger warning: discussion of rape, coercive magic]
It’s past time that I reviewed one of the free Kindle books in my ever expanding library. I like reviewing these Kindle books because:
a) most of them are short
b) most of them are gods awful
You know, I’m starting to think I should have a special name for a particular sort of book. These books are so bad that I not only would not pay money for them, I feel as if I should take a cold shower after reading them, because they are that terrible.
This is one of those books.
This book is a collection of spells that is intended for beginners. Keep this in mind, as it will be important later. It is divided into three main sections: “Spells of Love”, “Spells of Wealth”, and “Spells of Harm”. Each spell in this book has instructions for performing it and an “incantation” to chant during the ritual.
Oh gods, do I have to review this? I don’t want to. Do I have to?
Snarky Gef: Oh come on! Let me at this! It’ll be fun!
But I don’t want to, really….
Snarky Gef: *pouts* Well, if you don’t want to, your muse can stay tied up for a bit longer….
Muse: Mmph! (She’s obviously gagged.)
Perverted Gef: Ehehehehehehehe….
Okay fine, I’ll review this horrible book!
So, yeah, this book is very….very bad. A fact that is due in no small part to the author’s major case of Small Name, Big Ego (this is becoming so pervasive on this blog, I’m giving it it’s own tag as “SNBE”). See, according to Costello, witches with their “made up spells, robes, necklaces, and rings” are idiots who are only out to make money:
But for once these idiots had actually done something of use. They had deceived these youths to the point where they became so angry that they walked away from the commercial mockery and sought out a real witch to learn real witch craft. And here they were, standing on my doorstep, begging me for spells.
How could I resist?
Yep, no ego there, none at all.
Okay, so, we’ve seen this kind of ego before, but this is truly a special case, as Costello’s writing comes with a side of creepy:
So go forth and do magic! Take these spells and begin your studies. Perhaps one day you will even achieve the title of Spell Master. I will watch on with great interest as to your progress, my wonderful ‘little witches’.
‘I shall watch on with great interest”? WTF? At this point, I’m really hoping that there’s some kind of language barrier involved, because there’s no way that doesn’t sound creepy otherwise (don’t worry, it gets worse).
And WTF is a “Spell Master”? Is it some obscure DnD class?
BTW, the book is especially annoying to read because it’s entirely written in Old English font. If you don’t know what Old English font looks like, go find a sample (it’s in Word).
Now imagine an entire book written in that font.
Yeah, it’s that bad.
Anyways, after the creepy introduction, we move to talking about love spells. Oh boy. A couple are innocuous (casting a spell to cause someone to take notice of you) to coercive (making a person become obsessed with you). In fact, one of the spells of this nature is…well…read the text for yourself:
This spell will begin to work within days. Sometimes it will only require hours if they already had any interest in you. You should engage the person in conversation. Keep it light and friendly until you see their interest in you starting to grow strong. It will be very obvious. From there, you can do as you wish. They will have no defenses to your charms whatsoever.
Um, is it just me, or does that sound less like happy fun times and more like, I don’t know, rape?
Costello adds that:
Many men and women have killed themselves or others after becoming the victim to irresponsible witches who perform this spell without regard to the long term effects. It is not recommended for use by low level witches.
Let me reiterate that this book’s stated purpose is a book of spells FOR BEGINNERS. WTF is this shit doing in here? It should be in the Restricted Section in Hogwarts’ library. It shouldn’t even BE in Hogwarts’ library!
What is laughable about these spells is that Costello places a time limit on most of them:
“Make good use of this opportunity, because it may be the only one you get. If you fail to make use of the magic with three days, the spell will be broken.”
And even says that some spells CAN NEVER BE BROKEN:
“This spell can never be broken. If they are the one for you, and you decide not to follow through with them, then you will have lost the opportunity.”
From this, we can surmise that Costello is either a) trolling or b) has no idea how real magic works. I’m seriously hoping this book was written purely for the lulz, and that no one will ever take it seriously.
The alternative scares me.
Oh, and just for good measure, here’s another creepy coercive quote:
This spell will work instantly. All you have to do after that is engage the person in conversation and suggest that you spend time together, whether it is going out for a drink or a meal, or watching a movie. It really doesn’t matter. They will be swayed toward a sexual relationship with you no matter what the situation.
“No matter what the situation”?
What. The. Fuck?
Oh, oh, and let’s not forget the spell to bring two other parties together:
This is an unusual spell that involves two third parties rather than the spell caster. It allows a Witch to influence two others into a relationship. It is supposed to be used for kindness, but is often misused by those seeking financial reward for their services.
Did I mention that this spell requires the caster obtain a bit of the couple’s BLOOD?
Witch: Hey, you two! I was wondering if I could have a few drops of your blood?
Person 1: (suspicious) What for?
Witch: Oh, um, things….
You look like you need a laugh, so here is his suggestion for a 14 day detox before working one of the spells:
“Before using this spell, you need to purify yourself for fourteen days. Consume only vegetable juice for the fourteen days.”
“The spell will take effect over the following fourteen days, in which it is essential that you continue to avoid toxins and provide micro nutrients by consuming only vegetable juice.”
Yep, vegetable juice, and only vegetable juice, for two weeks.
Okay so, I was sick for about a month and a half, and I drank a lot of vegetable juice in that time, but ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! NEVER EVER EVER GO ON THAT SORT OF DIET WITHOUT CONSULTING A DOCTOR, EVER!
Okay, I’m moving on to the wealth spells, which are surprisingly innocuous, except apparently they can only be used once in a witch’s lifetime:
“Repeat these words only once, and like all wealth spells, it can only be used once by any witch. So don’t waste it.”
So, finally we get to the “Spells that Harm” and, well, if you thought the love spells section was bad, this, this is much worse.
You see, this section contains spells that are designed to kill.
In a book aimed at beginners.
Oh, but it’s not really killing, you see:
“….most people have got death coming to them. All you’re doing is speeding things up.”
‘It’s not murder, you’re just giving Death a helping hand! Really! Also, “most people”? Who the fuck do you know who has achieved immortality?
Did I mention one of these death spells is supposed to last for an entire year?
Oh, and because you probably need a little break from the WTFery, here’s this amusing line:
“Drink the entire bottle of water, to purify yourself of any dark secretions.”
IMHO, “dark secretions” = demon semen, there’s no other possibility. Now I totally need to use that phrase in one of my stories.
And you know, in case you thought I was joking about that “giving Death a helping hand” thing, there’s this bit:
This is a curious little spell that will increase the chance of death to someone who has wronged you. It will not guarantee that they will die, but will certainly make them more susceptible to death whenever they do anything stupid or foolish. So the death will still be completely their own fault, but you just helped them along a little bit. That makes you a very helpful person.
I have no words for this, really.
As a librarian, this is really hard for me to say, but if you see any copies of this book around, I’d recommend fire, and lots of it. I would also add that if you really think I’m making this up, go and read the book for yourself. All the quotes I’ve ripped from it are word for word.
Wait for it to become free again. Don’t be stupid enough to pay money for this, or I’ll laugh my ass off at you, really, and then give you a spanking. If you happen to like spankings, I’ll give you a caning, if you happen to like those…I’ll think of a suitable punishment.
Seriously, don’t do it, it’s terrible….