Friday, February 22, 2013

Spellcaster by Claudia Gray

Spellcaster by Claudia Gray
ARC received from Harper Teen
Release Date:  3-5-2012
Reviewed by:  Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say:  Enchanting, Enigmatic, and Ethereal
When Nadia’s family moves to Captive’s Sound, she instantly realizes there’s more to it than meets the eye. Descended from witches, Nadia senses a dark and powerful magic at work in her new town. Mateo has lived in Captive’s Sound his entire life, trying to dodge the local legend that his family is cursed - and that curse will cause him to believe he’s seeing the future … until it drives him mad. When the strange dreams Mateo has been having of rescuing a beautiful girl—Nadia—from a car accident come true, he knows he’s doomed.

Despite the forces pulling them apart, Nadia and Mateo must work together to break the chains of his family’s terrible curse, and to prevent a disaster that threatens the lives of everyone around them. Shimmering with magic and mystery, New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray’s new novel is sure to draw fans of the Hex Hall and Caster Chronicles series, and fans of the hit CW TV show The Secret Circle.

For Nadia, magic is real.  All she has to do is come up with 3 memories that serve as ingredients to call on her gift.  If you are a fan of Claudia Gray, don’t miss out on this new series.  It has all the ingredients for a magical book:

Magic breaking free

Evil encompassing all

Love ever enduring

Claudia Gray has created a world that will spellbound you!

I really think there should be more books focusing on witches.  There are tons of paranormal books where witches are mentioned or are minor characters, but there are very few books where the entire focus is on witchcraft.  Have you ever been looking and looking for something and then you find it right in front of you?  That’s what witches are in the YA world—overlooked when they should be obvious!!

I enjoyed Claudia’s new book—it was different than what I expected.  I went into it thinking that it was going to be more “old ways” like Salem type witches, or that all the spells/wording was going to be archaic, but it wasn’t.  It was new and inventive, and I was pleasantly surprised with Claudia’s take on the Craft. 

There were times when the plot was slow, and I did find myself bogged down by some of the details.  The descriptions of the town were great—crumbling, dingy, with a sheen of evil.  I really enjoyed those details of the story, but there were other times when Nadia seemed to be very repetitive in her thoughts and actions, and I just wanted it to hurry along.  But, that didn’t keep me from enjoying the plot and how it developed.  I actually felt like the end was rushed a bit, and I wanted more details here about the climactic event!

I like Nadia, but I wasn’t overly impressed by her.  She is a budding witch with no teacher, and with the powers she has, she is able to accomplish much more than she should.  Her struggle and her revelations kept me wanting to see inside her mind more, but she still just seemed like a normal heroine to me—nothing that will really stay molded in my memory.

The character that will stay molded in my memory?  The bad guy.  I won’t tell you who it is because (even though it is revealed early) it is a spoiler.  Let me just say that the bad guy was ruthless—voice dripping with poison, wolf in sheep’s clothing, I’ll cut you to ribbons with a butter knife kind of ruthless!  I was more into this person than any of the other characters because he/she had so many layers and dimensions to discover.  The story was written where we see so many characters POVs.  While this got annoying because there were just too many viewpoints, I did enjoy the ones where we saw inside the mind of evil.

And the guy.

Mateo.  He was interesting enough, but unfortunately, he wasn’t one that swept me away.  He was endearing and loyal, but, I don’t know, there wasn’t that spark to him that lights me on fire.  I guess he was just too sweet?  I can’t help it, I like the troubled, bad boys.  Mateo is troubled, just not rebellious.  He is more victim than anything.  I do think many readers will like him, though, because he isn’t the cocky, in your face, rebel without a cause type of guy we see so often in YA.

Overall, I enjoyed reading something new and different, and I will definitely be checking out the sequel!!!