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Charmfall by Chloe Neill

Normal is a little too much to ask for when you’re Lily Parker. Forget being on the planning committee for the Sneak, St. Sophia’s fall formal—Lily’s version of normal is prowling the tunnels under her school after dark. But even that illusion of normalcy is about to be shattered. When Lily finds a Reaper on school grounds, she tries to use firespell, only to find out that she can’t—because her magic is gone. And she’s not the only one. It soon becomes clear that every Adept throughout Chicago is without magic, and that the Reapers are in the same position. There’s some kind of unnatural magical blackout going on in Chicago, and Lily won’t stop until she finds the person responsible and restores the balance of magic to as it should be.

I’ve been consistently impressed with everything that Neill has thrown at readers in her first two installments of the Dark Elite series, and Charmfall, the third book in the series, continues to be full of action, magic, and surprising twists. The plot, as always, has a good mixture of magical complications and more personal drama for Lily, her best friend Scout, and the rest of the Adepts. This makes for an undoubtedly exciting story and allows for some character growth. Where Charmfall really stands out from the rest of the series, though, is in its more serious discussion of the philosophical differences in beliefs between the Adepts and the Reapers; the black and white of good and evil has now become muddied to a gray, and this gives Lily, Scout, and the reader a lot to think about. In all, I found Charmfall a quite enjoyable read, and I’m thrilled that Neill has not yet lost her momentum in the Dark Elite series.

The Dark Elite series will be enjoyed by fans of Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins, Almost to Die For by Tate Hallaway, and Revealers by Amanda Marrone.

Rating: 4.0

Review copy from publisher Penguin

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