Wednesday, 2 June 2010
Review: Firespell by Chloe Neill
Publisher: Gollancz YA
Released: May 20th, 2010
Grade rating: B
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. 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...
If you're a fan of Rachel Caine's Morganville Vampires series and haven't yet read Firespell, I really think you should. I found the character dynamics and plot very similar, but not in a you-stole-my-idea way. I could totally see Claire and Co. hanging out with Lily and Scout, and I don't know about you, but I think that's pretty cool.
Firespell has some awesome snappy dialogue, which was often uttered by seriously snarky teenagers. It moved as fast as a TV show script, with the banter between Lily and Scout being a definite high point of the book. Throw in some paranormal activity, two hot, sexy boys and a boarding school knee-deep in secrets, and you have a YA story sure to please many readers.
The plot itself isn't really anything new, but the characters make it interesting and exciting. It is predictable in parts, but hey, I don't mind - I'm willing to overlook anything for conversation this jazzy. I should also probably admit that I have a *tiny* crush on Jason. Even though his chemistry with Lily isn't off-the-charts hot, it certainly has potential, and I'm expecting good things from the rest of the Dark Elite series.
Don't expect this to be the next big thing, but do expect to have a fun read. It's great escapist fiction, and fits into my favourite genre nicely. Paranormal YA needs more magic-centric novels, and if you've had your fill of vampires and werewolves, mark this as your next stop on the book train.