Monday, 3 May 2010

Book Review: Firespell by Chloe Neill.

Product details:
Publisher: Signet Books.
Paperback, 256 pages.
Release date: January 5th 2010.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Series: Dark Elite Book 1.
Age group: Young Adult.

New Girl. New School. Old Evil.


As the new girl at the elite St. Sophia’s boarding school, Lily Parker thinks her classmates are the most monstrous things she’ll have to face…

When Lily’s guardians decided to send her away to a fancy boarding school in Chicago, she was shocked. So was St. Sophia’s. Lily’s ultra-rich brat pack classmates think Lily should be the punchline to every joke, and on top of that, she’s hearing strange noises and seeing bizarre things in the shadows of the creepy building.

The only thing keeping her sane is her roommate, Scout, but even Scout’s a little weird—she keeps disappearing late at night and won’t tell Lily where she’s been. But when a prank leaves Lily trapped in the catacombs beneath the school, Lily finds Scout running from a real monster.

Scout’s a member of a splinter group of rebel teens with unique magical talents, who’ve sworn to protect the city against demons, vampires, and Reapers, magic users who’ve been corrupted by their power. And when Lily finds herself in the line of a firespell, Scout tells her the truth about her secret life, even though Lily has no powers of her own—at least none that she’s discovered yet…

Despite having read some really positive reviews of  Firespell, I have to say  I had a pretty lukewarm reaction to this one to begin with.  Being the first in a series, I expected to encounter a lot of background information and a lot of character introductions, and generally that’s OK with me.  I actually love books that are heavy on character development , but here it just didn’t really work for me. I think this was partly to do with the writing style which was very direct and to the point, with not much room for description.  I really felt that this affected the flow of the story, and at times I struggled to continue with the book.

Firespell really didn’t pick up for me until maybe five chapters from the end which was when the action really kicked in.  On the strength of those chapters I want to read the next book in the series.  Also, while I didn’t really enjoy this book at times, I think the concept of the series is actually really interesting, and Lily, once I warmed to her and her endless sarcasm, is a pretty sassy protagonist.  The friendship between Lily and Scout was also fun to read and pretty humorous.

As always, there is a love interest, and here the connection between Lily and Jason is well written, and believable, although their budding romance wasn’t really developed in this book.  However, I’m sure this will be explored much further in the next book. Also, I liked the fact that while Lily is obviously attracted to this hot guy, she doesn’t turn to jelly and fall at his feet whenever he‘s around, preferring to remain her sassy self at all times.  I sense a love triangle further on in the series too  Let's just say that I'm very interested in finding out more about the mysterious reaper Sebastian.

There are a lot of unanswered questions at the end of this book, and a lot more to be explored in book two, which despite my initial reservations, I am looking forward to checking out.



Here's the cover art and a quick synopsis of  Hexbound - Dark Elite #2 due for release January 2011.   Loving the colours on the cover art here!


 
Lily Parker is new to St. Sophia’s School for Girls, but she’s already learned that magic can be your best friend…or your worst enemy.

They say absolute power corrupts absolutely. Turns out, even a little magic can turn you to the dark side. That’s why Lily has to learn how to control her newly discovered paranormal abilities, on top of avoiding the snobs who think they run her school, nursing a crush on a cute sophomore with a big, werewolf-y secret, and fighting the good fight with her best friend Scout as they take on Chicago’s nastiest nightlife—including the tainted magic users known as Reapers.

Then Lily’s invited to a private meeting with Sebastian. He’s hot, powerful, and offering to help her harness the magic flowing in her veins in a way no one else can. He’s also a Reaper. Lily can’t hide her suspicions. But she’ll soon find out that the line between good and evil isn’t always clear…

3 comments :

  1. I'm so curious about Sebastian too! I know what you mean about the writing. Great honest review!

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  2. This is pretty much how I felt about this book too. I will be picking up the sequel eventually, but I'm not absolutely dying to read it. Great review! :)

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  3. Thanks guys!

    @Precious - it will be interesting to find out more about Sebastian, for sure.

    @Natalie - I'm not absolutely dying to read the follow up either, but once I start a series and so many questions are left unanswered at the end of the first book, I have to get the next one to find out!

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