For What It's Worth

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Review: Spellcaster by Claudia Gray


12700790When 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. ~ Goodreads

Review:
There were quite a few things I enjoyed about Spellcaster. The witchcraft and sorcery were interesting and explained really well. It had me very curious as to what everything was leading up to.
I enjoyed how Nadia had firmly held beliefs about magic, only to learn things weren't as she was told, placing her in grave danger unless she could harness her powers quickly.

Mateo is a good, solid, stand up guy. He's been living with a family curse and sees no way out. His visions of Nadia's death play over and over in his head but he's unsure if being near her or staying away is the  right thing to do.

The villain (I won't say who and spoil that for you) was pretty darn creepy and a real threat to everyone.

Despite all these things, Spellcaster still fell a little flat for me. I just wasn't drawn in to the story. I felt like I've read it many times before.There is absolutely nothing wrong with that but I had a sense of deja vu while reading. There were red herrings that were seemingly obvious, yet the characters didn't pick up on anything. I'm not sure if that was an intentional heads up to the reader but I got irritated at Mateo and Nadia for not piecing things together sooner.

There were also several POV's in addition to Nadia and Mateo’s that didn't always seem necessary.
The story is wrapped up nicely for this installment with plenty of possible paths to take in book #2 - Steadfast, but I'm not sure we got anywhere with the plot development in Spellcaster. I felt like it ended almost where it started.

Final thoughts: Great premise. The magic and Nadia's spellcasting was written vividly and filled with emotion. Unfortunately, the rest of the story and characters fell flat for me. Everyone is quite likable. The romance is sweet and the villain is evil but it just didn't wow me. It also reminded me a bit of The Secret Circle TV series. (& as I wrote this post and copied the summary – I see that indeed this book is compared to The Secret Circle television show)

Author: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Source: From the publisher for my honest review
Buy the book! Spellcaster

16 comments:

  1. Sometimes it's so hard to rate or discuss a book that just doesn't wow you. It's like a "meh." Nothing bad but nothing memorable. I'm glad at least there were some aspects that you enjoyed.

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    1. So true. It wasn't a bad book at all - just not WOW ya know?

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  2. Still sounds like a good read with much to enjoy even if it didn't totally wow you.

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    1. It was a pretty good - just didn't seem all that original to me.

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  3. When the end of the synopsis says, "fans of the book/show XX are sure to enjoy..," I always get worried. I want something original, not something that reminds me of something else. :( It sounds like it was nice, but not holy cow, that was great! good, huh? Terrific review, Karen, I absolutely appreciate your review. It's making me think a bit.

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    1. That's exactly how I felt. The MC's are nice but it was a fairly predictable plot and all I could think of was The Secret Circle (& a few other books) even though I had missed the comparison before I started.

      I think a lot of readers will enjoy it though.

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  4. I totally get where you are coming from. It was a bit familiar, but I looked at it that it kept my interest and entertained me. I'm easy. :D Totally fun, but yep, predictable.

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    1. I think I have too many books to tea on my shelf ...I felt like I could have been reading those instead lol But it wasn't awful.

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  5. I think I watched like 2 minutes of the Secret circle and gave up, not promosing

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    1. That show annoyed the hell out of me lol

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  6. I've never read anything by Claudia Gray and have meant to. Too bad this wasn't fabulous but it does sound good enough to read.

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    1. A lot of people like it (like Melissa who commented above) so I would give it a try. It wasn't awful - just not as good as I was expecting.

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  7. It's too bad that, despite elements that worked for you, the story was nothing special. Bummer!
    Great review, Karen!

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  8. Oooh, sounds good. I watched the first few episodes of the circle.

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  9. I really hate when part of the book is great but the side characters are more cardboard than not and the story doesn't live up to the premise. Still sounds good!

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  10. "I just wasn't drawn in to the story. I felt like I've read it many times before.There is absolutely nothing wrong with that but I had a sense of deja vu while reading."

    Sounds like the book I just read. Is this because we read so many books and all of them start to seem alike???

    You can find me here: Jen @ YA Romantics

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