Thursday, September 10, 2015

Review: Spellcaster by Claudia Gray

(Spellcaster #1)
Publication Date: March 5, 2015
Hardcover, 389 pages, HarperTeen
Genres: YA, Paranormal

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.

My Review

Witches are making a comeback lately, but Spellcaster isn’t really a great addition to this comeback. I hate saying this because Claudia Gray’s Evernight series and her standalone book Fateful, were some of my favorite reads when I first started really getting into paranormal young adult literature, but this one just fell really flat for me.

Nadia is moving to a new town with her dad and little brother in tow because her mom wants nothing to do with their family anymore. Ouch. Now, Nadia has to teach herself the secret art of witchcraft, as well as figure out why in the world this Mateo boy keeps showing up. It doesn’t help that something fishy is going on in her new town, something that Nadia might not be prepared to handle.

Okay, so this book was boring. Ugh. That’s such a terrible word for such a good author, but it was boring. It took me more than one hundred pages to get into it, and even then, it was tough-reading. I just kept trying to push through because I was hoping Gray’s normal awesomeness would come out somewhere. However, it never really did.

Nadia is a one-dimensional character. She didn’t have a lot of reaction to things and her character arc was very stereotypical. Some of this could have been helped by writing the story in first person from Nadia’s viewpoint, instead of doing third-person point of view from everybody’s viewpoints. I think the third-person also left very little surprises to be revealed later on in the story.

Mateo and all of the other characters were just as blah. I didn’t form a connection with any of them. I did think that some of the family moments were rather touching, though. I wish more scenes could have revolved around Nadia and her family’s problems, instead of revolving around an undeveloped romance and a typical plot.

If you’re a huge fan of witches, you might like this book, just because some of the witchy aspects of the world are really cool, but don’t go looking for a Trial by Fire or even Beautiful Creatures type of read.

All in all, I’m disappointed with this one. I love Claudia Gray and I just don’t know what happened here. I don’t think I’ll be reading book two—at least not anytime in the near future.

*Note: I purchased a copy of this book for myself.

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