“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.”
“Great first book in the series, good character development...sure glad I went to a public school!”Dianne wrote this review Thursday, September 15, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This just barely gets 3 stars The first 120 pages i definitely struggled through before the plot moved forward. When the last 40 pages kicked the story actually became more interesting.”Faerie Mel wrote this review Sunday, August 21, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I loved this book so very much, it was amazing. There was excitement throughout, the main character Lily comes through as a strong character. The author does a really good job at keeping the reader hooked. There was not a dull moment in the book!”Tasnin wrote this review Saturday, August 6, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Interesting concept, but I'm not sure what actually happened, so I guess I have to read book 2.”Zombie Katie wrote this review Saturday, July 23, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Really loved this book by Chloe Neill. V.fun and being YA it is super easy to read. If you enjoyed the Chicagoland Vampire series and you have not read the Dark Elite Series you must order yourself a copy asap :)”Linda Fitzpatrick wrote this review Wednesday, July 20, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I loved the story as a whole, even though the story got off to a slow start. ”Bite Me! wrote this review Wednesday, July 20, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“REVIEW ORIGINALLY POSTED http://hobbitsies.net/wordpress/?p=1832
Ooh! I really enjoyed Firespell! I’ve heard mixed things about it, and while I totally get where other people are coming from, I thought the book really worked – especially as the first book in a series.
I really haven’t read anything like Firespell before. The plot was pretty unique from anything I’ve read. I love the idea of teens running around catacombs under a boarding school, fighting monsters. There was a lot of backstory and explanation in this book at the start of this book, but it all led up to some pretty awesome action sequences. I enjoyed the backstory a lot, and the climax of the book, and I feel like it was all awesome buildup for the second book in the series.
Lily was an interesting protagonist, and I really enjoyed the mystery behind her arrival at St. Sophia’s boarding school. But honestly – Scout rocked. I can’t wait to learn more about her character in the next book because she was such an awesome character with a lot of personality. Not to say Lily didn’t, but I was more interested in Scout overall. I enjoyed the romance subplots for both Lily and Scout and I can’t wait to see more of those relationships in Hexbound. I’d like to see how they develop.
I really enjoyed Chloe Neill’s young adult debut. I thought it was well written and, as I said earlier, had a unique plot which is rare with paranormal books coming out left and right in the young adult market these days. If you’re interested in a quick, but intriguing read, definitely pick up Firespell. I can’t wait for Hexbound, which comes out in January 2011!”