“Read this sample and I loved it......can't wait to buy it”Karen wrote this review Wednesday, January 18, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This book started off strong but the ending felt rushed.... Lily Parker is forced to go to St Sophias boarding school when her parents go to Germany to do some research. She soon find out that things in Chicago are not always what they seem. Werewolves and magic users do exist.... Plus she has the normal HS girl drama to deal with....”Nerissa H wrote this review Friday, January 13, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Call # F Nei
Book 1 of the Dark Elite series
“When Lily was picturing her last two years of high school, she never would have guessed that she would be spending them at an extremely exclusive boarding school for the whose who of teenage girls. As she befriends one of her roommates, Scout, Lily starts to notice some pretty strange things happening around the campus. Funny thing is that they all seem to center around Scout and her mysterious disappearances. Lily learns the hard way that there are things that go bump in the night and she'll have to find a way to bump back. Or else.
I'll admit that the first half of this book gave me a sense of deja vu as it is like so many other YA books out there. Girl gets sent to a new school, she is tormented by the "mean girls" squad. She then befriends the outcast and finally some sort of paranormal element ensues, which of course leads the girl finding out she has some special power/skill/destiny/etc. However, I do have to give Firespell credit where it is due that the paranormal aspects felt very fresh and unique. I especially enjoyed the part about the paranormal powers/skills come with a cost. So many books have things come a little too easy to be realistic, making me very happy to see Firespell differ in that area. So I guess in the long run I can mostly forgive the "formula" beginning, even if it made for a very slow start.
It seemed a little odd to me that Lily didn't question her parent's decision to leave her behind when they went to Germany supposedly for a two year sabbatical. This instantly threw a red flag up for me because Lily described them as very close to her. Their reasoning of wanting her to have an American education seemed to be a paper thin cover for something else. However, I will say that I found this mystery to be quite intriguing and the desire to know the truth furthered my enjoyment of the book. Unfortunately, we really do not have any answers yet, but I am hopeful for some revelations to come in the next book.
Despite my difficulty in attaching to the story until late in the book, Firespell was still a pretty solid read. I'm a big fan of Chloe Neill's Chicagoland series, and I thought it was more than time to try out her YA series. While at this point I cannot say Firespell quite lived up to my expectations, I do think there is plenty of potential for the next few books to really wow me. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.
“Quite a fast pace, considering this is book one in a series. Liked the school parts more than the paranormal parts, which may lead to problems down the road.”Deyara wrote this review Monday, January 2, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Interesting concept, but not near as good as Neill's other series.”Kathryn wrote this review Friday, December 9, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I don't hate it.”Lula527 wrote this review Saturday, November 26, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“AN AMAZING BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 17 STARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”Super Turtle wrote this review Wednesday, November 2, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“It's been a long time since I've read a paranormal book. In fact, I'm pretty sure this is the first one I've finished this year. I got tired of the genre late last year, and this year just didn't have the desire to read it, or couldn't get into it when I tried. Luckily, when I picked up Firespell, I had a hard time putting it down. It was a really enjoyable read!
It started off a little slow, but I don't remember being bored, just not super interested in the beginning. I can't remember exactly when it picked up, but considering it's a pretty short book and too much of nothing-really-happening would have made me put it down, it must have picked up pretty close to the beginning.
One of the things I think made me really like this book, is that it's just a quick, fun read. To me, it played out a bit like one of the role plays I used to do on Shelfari (one of the good ones, mind you), only it centered around one character discovering a world of magic, instead of six or so characters doing the same thing (conveniently at the same time). The story got going fairly quickly, and kept going at a steady pace from there, always keeping me interested. It had some light, amusing moments, some action, and a bit of mystery (kind of predictable, but that didn't make me like it any less).
I even kind of liked the characters, which is really rare for me. They aren't some of my favorite characters in the literary world, and I didn't love any of them, but I did enjoy reading about them. They were likable and amusing, and I look forward to meeting them again in the sequel.
As much as I liked this book, I did have a few problems with it. Mainly, frequently recurring themes. Neill seemed a bit hung up on the word 'notwithstanding'. I can't count the number of times it was used throughout the book. Some other themes are head bobbing (as in 'I bobbed my head at her' not lazy head-banging) and addressing people by their last names. I found these to be a bit strange, particularly the name thing. Some of the slang they used seemed a bit off, too. But there was nothing big enough to ruin the book in the slightest.
The second thing that bothered me is a bit of a spoiler, but you kind of know it's coming, so at the same time it's not. Anyway, *SPOILER WARNING* I didn't really like the way Lily discovered her powers. The way she got them was fine, I guess. A little weird, but also somewhat interesting. But the way she discovered them was just... poorly written. I hate to sound harsh, but those are my thoughts. But then, discovery-of-powers is rarely done well, so you can't really fault someone when it's less than spectacular. *SPOILERS OVER*
Overall, I liked it. It was quick, interesting, and highly enjoyable. I now wish I hadn't put off reading it for so long; it must have sat on my shelf for about a year. It's kind of changed my opinion on paranormal books, which I'd all but given up on, now I'm willing to give the genre another chance. The ending wasn't exactly a cliffhanger, but it might as well have been. It certainly had the effect of a cliffhanger, leaving me desperate to get the sequel.”