Tuesday 30 November 2010

Review: Firespell - Chloe Neill

Dark Elite, book 1

Genre: YA, urban fantasy
Pages: 278
Published:  2010 Gollancz

As the new girl at the elite St. Sophia’s boarding school, Lily Parker thinks her classmates are the most monstrous things she’ll have to face…

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. But when a prank leaves Lily trapped in the catacombs beneath the school, Lily finds Scout running from a real monster.

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… 

Lily's parents are going to Germany and decides to leave her behind in a fancy private school. She misses her home and her friends, but one good thing is the girl she shares the 4 bedroom room with. But then Scout is pretty weird and sneaks off in the middle of the night. Something strange is going on, and on top of it all she has a run in with the mean girl squad.

My thoughts:
I did enjoy Chloe Neill's voice, and reading this one made me want to check out that adult series of hers too.

Sure not that much happened at first, but I liked that. the book was building up to something. We got to see the school, see her make a friend, meet the Mean girls (oh why are there always mean girls, they are so bitchy and think they are all that.) And then she started having doubts about why her parents had gone away, why she was there, and what the heck Scout was up too. When she finally did learn the truth things picked up, and there was some action at the end. It also promised for one exciting book 2.

I liked Lily even if she was a bit too curious for her own good at one point. She was also very human in her fears later, and she showed great courage. There was also this love interest with a boy from a boy's school and he seemed sweet. I do like some romance with my action. Scout was one cool kid, and the mean girls, well they were mean. But then this was a private school and what would that be without the brat pack.

The world was interesting, people have magic and they either go bad, or they hunt the baddies. They are supposed to be some vamps and demons too, guessing from the blurb, but did not get to meet those yet.

All in all, I was happy with this book. I never know with YA, but this one delivered. 

Final thoughts and recommendation.
It seems UF YA fits me better than PNR YA, and I enjoyed this book. It was a fast read, an interesting world, budding romance, and some action. I would give it a 3,5 cos it is a YA I could recommend to adults and teens. It also has promise to get even better when the real fighting starts.

Reason for reading:
Curious about Chloe Neill


Review copy from the publisher


  1. I have to say, I truly like the sound of this. Gollancz published great novels, I'd say.

  2. It sounds good. I'll have to keep an out for it.

  3. Irena
    They sure do, and finally a YA I can recommend that is not fiction or dystopian lol

    You do that :) You always seem to find the good ones

  4. Still not sure about all those YA and I know I'm full of prejudices. *hides behind her rock of YA discrimination*

  5. I didn't know this was more UF! Sounds like a book I SO need to read. Sounds good.

  6. I don't think I've read anything by Neill before and this book hasn't really interested me because the plot doesn't sound particularly original, with the boarding school and vampires and all. But perhaps since you say you enjoyed it I'll give it a try.

  7. This sounds good! And I'm even more curious about her adult books. This was also a new author for me.

  8. Right, not a very original plot by the look of it but after all the content matters...nice review, I might try reading this one but preferably when the series is over.

  9. Susi
    Lol, I know about that rock, I hid under that rock 10 years ago when I was YA ;)

    PNR and UF are so hazy to me, but after reading a couple of YA PNR then I would like to say this was more UF

    I always hear a lot about Merit, if that was her name, I am very curious

  10. Simcha
    I will give you that, yes boarding school, seen that, but still managed to keep the overall plot fresh. And not a single vamp in this book. They just went after the bad mages, and it was that I liked. The explanation why some kids are so sad and depressed.

    That is truly when I can say if I enjoyed a series or not, when all the cards are on the table

  11. This one sounds really good. Books that have anything to do with boarding schools I love to read - don't know why but I do. I'm just heading to Amazon to check this one out. Thanks for the review.

  12. Mean girls are no fun, but they sure are fun to read about, especially when they get what they deserve!

  13. Dar
    I think I know what you mean, I liked them when I was younger, I always wanted to attend one..must have been insane ;)

    Hihi, that is always the best part

  14. awesome review! i've been curious about this one, sounds like a great rainy day read!

  15. I read the first book in her adult series and liked it a lot. It was before my m/m reading craze started. :)

  16. This author is new to me, but I still harbor boarding school wishes -- it seemed so dramatic and glamorous! ;)

  17. This one sounds like it has promise!!

  18. Carrie
    That it could be, and it was such a fast read, I do enjoy that sometimes

    Lol, and ever since only those men can give you the books you deserve..still the old side have good cookies :)

    I know, and you lived alone. It felt pretty cool to my eyes...back then

    I am seeing big fights in the future, yay

  19. I didn't really enjoy this book, but I agree with you that the author has a great voice... that was why I was also thinking about checking out her adult books. Might be better than her YAs.

  20. I enjoyed Firespell enough to want to read the next book in the series (which I haven't gotten a chance to get). It wasn't one of my favorites but it had its moments. I haven't read Chloe's other series yet although I have the first book - I've heard it's pretty good though =)

  21. Cherry
    I do hear her adults books are so so great, I would really like to try one..soon.

    I have heard the same, if you read it before me then I will read that review at once to see :)

  22. This does sound good. I've never heard of this series before. Glad you enjoyed it.


  23. Naida
    I am glad to have brought it to your attention then :)

  24. This one sounds like one for me. I'm liking YA urban fantasy!

  25. Teddyree
    And after what I have seen...yes I do think you would like it :)

  26. I have never read this author - but I am glad you have found a genre that works for you..


  27. EH
    Never you say, you know I have heard god things about her adult books too



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