May 14, 2013

Latest Read: Spellcaster

Here are the basics ...
Spellcaster (#1) by Claudia Gray
Publication date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Harper Teen
Category: Young Adult - Paranormal
Source: Borrowed from the library

Summary: 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. (Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…
The good: Maybe it's because I haven't read that many books featuring witches and my knowledge of them stems mostly from what I've seen on TV (Hi Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer!), but Spellcaster surprised me with its portrayal of witchcraft. Nadia and her family are moving to Captive's Sound in hopes of a new start but from the moment they enter the town, Nadia senses powerful magic and its darkness hits her immediately. That's when we learn that Nadia is a witch, half-trained by her mother because she left without an explanation months ago. But even untrained, Nadia is disciplined and strong. The way she cast spells really intrigued me (and okay, maybe confused me a little in the beginning). It's not so much about throwing together physical ingredients into a cauldron. Instead the ingredients are feelings (anger, hurt, hope, love), drawing on the strength of your own memories to match the emotions necessary for the spell and putting it all together in your mind. I liked that Nadia's power came from her inner strength - mentally and emotionally. It made magic slightly more realistic to me and it also gave the reader a better look into what's important to Nadia. Not that it isn't obvious already. She's someone who loves being a witch, who cares deeply for her family and misses her mother and a girl falling a guy who just happens to be cursed. And it's her goodness, along with the help said guy, that she decides to fight against the evil that's taken over Captive's Sound.

(Some) reservations: Even though on the surface, the book had all the elements I typically enjoy - strong heroine, friendship, romance, family - I felt underwhelmed by the story overall. To me, I don't think the elements I mentioned were delved into enough. Nadia and Mateo are supposed to be the heart of the plot with their star-crossed lovers vibe but it never quite had the tension-filled swoonworthy moments I wanted. I think the book needed a stronger sense of urgency against the villian (of course there's someone behind it all!) and just more in general.

Do I recommend?: I liked the book and I wanted to see Nadia and Mateo's story through to the end but I'm not sure if witch books are for me. That said, I think this could be a very enjoyable story for someone who does like this genre.

Happy reading!

3 comments:

  1. I do have a soft spot for books about witches, but I'm not necessarily excited about this for some reason. I just don't think the story appeals to me? I think I may just pass on this one.

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  2. I am def a fan of witch books, but this one fell kind of flat for me. I agree w/you & was very underwhelmed with this as a whole. It was just meh! Great review.

    Vi
    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

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  3. I haven't really been that intrigued by this one - but the notion of doing spells via personal emotions is pretty interesting!

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