Author: Chloe Neill
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publication Date: January 5, 2010
Format: Paperback, 256 Pages
ISBN-10: 0451228863 Penguin (Signet)
ISBN-13: 978-0451228864 Penguin (Signet)
Synopsis (Product Description):
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…
Quick & Dirty: A solid start to a new series with magical world-building, a touch of wicked humor, and lurking danger.
Opening Sentence: 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.
Excerpt: Chapter 1
Lily Parker is just your average middle class teenager. Her life in upstate New York is drastically changed when her parents decide to go on a two year sabbatical to conduct research at a German University. Lily is devastated when her parents tell her that she will have to attend an elite boarding school in Chicago. Naturally, when Lilly arrives at St. Sophia’s, she’s confronted with your typical “mean girls” scenario. They’re also affectionally known as The Brat Pack. However, Lily makes fast friends with her new roommate, Scout. Lily knows that Scout is into “something” because she’s always disappearing late at night. When Lily decides to do some investigating on her own, she inadvertently gets caught up in a magical war taking place beneath the city of Chicago.
The book starts out pretty slow, but ultimately I was invested in the outcome. I wanted to see what happened to the characters and see what mysteries were revealed. Lily is certainly a compelling character. She struggles with her new environment and with issues of parental abandonment. I really enjoyed the interaction between Lilly and Scout, which felt very authentic. The offbeat humor that they share is very endearing. In contrast, I felt that Jason’s character lacked both depth and character development. He seemed like an afterthought. I never felt as if he had chemistry or an emotional connection with Lily. Otherwise, the vivid secondary characters hold plenty of promise. The mythos surrounding the Reapers and Dark Elite powers is intriguing. I was left with a few questions, which I imagine will be addressed in the next installment.
Overall, Firespell is a solid entry into a new series. I definitely want to learn more about this multilayered world. Ms. Neill delivers a vivid setting with a mix of danger and secrets. It will be interesting to read the events that unfold and what’s revealed in the next installment.
The floor rumbled beneath me again, and I heard a growl, a roar, like the scream of an angry animal. I heard shuffling, the sounds of fighting, but I could do nothing but lie there, my body spasming as pain and fire and heart raced through my limbs. I blinked at the colors that danced before my eyes, the world-or the portions of the floor and room that I could see from my sprawled out position on the floor-covered by a green haze.
FTC Advisory: Penguin provided me with a copy of Firespell . No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.
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