Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Firespell


Author: Chloe Neill
Genre: Supernatural, Young Adult
Type: Paperback
Pages: 246
Series: #1 in Dark Elite series
Series Order:
  1. Firespell (2010)
  2. Hexbound (2011)
  3. Charmfall (2012)
Source: Public Library
First Published: January 2010
Publisher: Signet
First Line: "They were gathered around a conference table, in a high-rise, eight men and women, no one under the age of sixty-five, all of them wealthy beyond measure."

Book Description from GoodReads: When Lily Parker's guardians decided to send her away to a fancy boarding school in Chicago, Lily was shocked. So was St. Sophia's.

As the new girl at the elite St. Sophia's boarding school, Lily is surrounded by an ultra-rich brat pack. She's pretty sure her spoiled, petty, fashion-obsessed classmates are the most monstrous things she'll have to face, and surviving them and their cruel practical jokes is proving even tougher than the homework...

But on top of being the punch line to every joke, Lily's hearing strange noises and seeing bizarre things in the shadows of the creepy building. All building have their creaks and groans - but Lily could swear that she's being watched.

The only thing keeping her sane, so far, is her roommate Scout. But something strange is going on there too - Scout keeps disappearing late at night, reappearing bruised and tired, and she won't tell Lily where's she's been... until, that is, a prank leaves Lily trapped in the catacombs beneath the school. Lost in the dark Lily hears footsteps heading towards her - it's Scout and she's running from a real monster.

Scout is part of a group of rebel teens with unique magical talents, sworn to protect the city against demons, vampires, and Reapers: magic users who've been corrupted by their power. Much as Lily would love to help, it's too dangerous without powers of her own - especially if she'd have to go up against the firespell herself...


My Review: Oh my, oh my.  Where do I begin?  Let's just jump into the quagmire that is Firespell, shall we?  This book is lacking in so very many areas.  The storyline lags, the characters don't develop, it's supernatural and but isn't believable enough and there's not enough suspense or direction of the story.  I make it sound enticing, no?

If you haven't guessed, I felt very underwhelmed by this book if not downright let down.  I'm all for the supernatural/young adult read, you know I am, but this book just didn't cut it for me.  I picked up this book on a whim from my local library because the description sounded similar to P.C and Kristin Cast's "House of Night" series (a Harry Potter-like boarding school but for teen vampires ...) which I enjoyed.   {NOTE: For my review of the first House of Night book, Marked, click HERE}  Unfortunately this book didn't come close to the energy, storylines or characters of the first few books of the House of Night series.  It actually felt like a book that a tween would read instead of a 'young adult/teen'.  I may be a 40 year old mom but I do like a good YA read but a tween read?  Um, no.

I think that the biggest issue that I had with the book stemmed from the length of the book.  With only 246 pages there wasn't enough time to develop the storyline or characters.  There are a lot of issues that are brought up but nothing seems resolved.  Nor do we see the characters develop.  Lily begins the book more independent than she acts later on in the book.  She turns into a na├»ve, illogical flake that makes stupid decisions to trust certain people who literally just threw her under the proverbial bus a day before.  Say wha?? Um no. That's not the way it works, nor how I want a main character to behave.

I will say that writing good, believable banter between characters is hard and I will admit that I'm picky.  It has to feel real and not forced or fake.  Unfortunately, the banter between Lily and Scout felt very awkward and kind of lame.  The fact that these two very different girls become instant BFFs was far from believable and their 'banter' was very outdated.  What modern teen uses the term 'brat pack'??  That's a term from the 80's.  I should know because I adored "The Breakfast Club" which pretty much coined the term!

Overall, I felt frustrated with this book.  There was no depth to the characters, storyline or setting.  Plus, the powers of these youth are too vague and just lack overall oomph. I struggled to care about the characters and the storyline but just couldn't muster enough energy.  This book lacked in pretty much all aspects, I'm sad to say.

Not recommended.

My Rating: 1/5 stars

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