young adult book reviews & more

Firespell by Chloe Neill

Firespell (Dark Elite, Book 1)Lily Parker is so not thrilled at being sent to St. Sophia’s, a snooty boarding school in Chicago so that her parents can go on a sabbatical in Germany. She’s not resentful of her parent’s acceptance into their program, but she feels trading her upstate New York home for a used-to-be convent in the windy city totally unnecessary. Regardless of Lily’s feelings, though, she’s now a St. Sophia’s girl, for better or worse. It seems like it’s for the worse based on Lily’s first experiences at the school. A trio of über-rich brats is intent on ruling the school and terrorizing anyone who gets in their way, Lily’s new friend Scout keeps disappearing late at night, and there are strange people showing up around the school. When Lily finally learns the truth of what’s going on, it threatens all she knows about the world. It turns out, there’s a whole other side—a magical one—to the people around Lily, hew new friends, possibly her parents, and just maybe even herself.

I have to admit that Neill knows how to tell a story, and Firespell is certainly a good one. I must first remark that the pacing of this story is near perfect; the main action doesn’t come too soon or too late. That in mind, I was quite satisfied with the story itself as well. Neill combines traditional interpretations of witchcraft with a version of vampirism in her dangerous world of magic underneath Chicago. In it, there are the Reapers, who refuse to let go of their power but must take energy from others to maintain it, and the Adepts, who vow to give up the power when it’s time. The good versus evil is pretty obvious in black and white, but that’s okay because it’s not the entire concentration of the book. Where the story really starts getting interesting and complicated are the connections between the Adepts and Lily’s only life. On the level of originality, Firespell ranks only moderately, but with its supernatural danger, intrigue, and romance, this novel sure is an enjoyable one.

Firespell will be liked by fans of Revealers by Amanda Marrone and Dead is the New Black by Marlene Perez. I eagerly look forward to the rest of the Dark Elite series.

Rating: 3.75

Review copy form publisher Penguin

2 munch(es) :

Unknown said...

I just finished this book and loved it. Chloe Neill certainly can make a good page turner!

Glad you enjoyed it.

Dottie :)

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