Thursday, April 1, 2010

Review: Firespell (Dark Elite, #1) by Chloe Neill

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…

For her debut YA novel, I think Chloe Neill is off to a great start with the Dark Elite series’ opener Firespell. I found Firespell to be a light and fun read and a nice chance to escape reality for a while and trek through the underground world that she has created with her fresh new characters. As light as this novel was I did find that it took me slightly longer to get through than some other novels I’ve read in the past, and would have liked some parts sped up, but overall it was worth the wait. If you’re a lover of fantasy, this novel is right up your alley. Mystery, magical powers (and not just your normal hocus pocus), werewolves, vampires, energy sucking “reapers”, oh my!

Neill has created memorable characters in Lily, Scout, Jason and the rest of the gang. These guys are sure to stick with readers and keep them entertained throughout the pages. The protagonist, Lil Parker was adorable, she was funny, and easy going (maybe a little too much so at times, I would have been freaking out) and my heart went out to her on more than one occasion.

But overall I thought her best friend Scout stole the show. She was sharp minded, had a quick wit and always managed to throw her sense of humor into the situations, no matter how dire they may have been. She never lacked for spunk and often kept the story moving, however I would have liked to have learned more of her back story. I’m hoping we’ll get more info in the series later on. I also appreciated how she was completely reliant on herself and no one else, not even the adorable Michael Garcia. The two of these girls put together were fantastic, the perfect balance for each other and will be very easy to relate to for most readers I’m sure.

Now in these types of novels, there's always a boy...which is often why we love them so much, and Neill did not let me down on this one. I thought Jason was great, I will admit that a guy in a prep school uniform always did catch my attention, and let's not forget those gorgeous baby blues, right? Wow! Let's see more of him please! And just like the necessary male love interest, these novels rarely leave out the "mean girls", am I right? The brat pack, as Neill has dubbed them drove me up the wall. I wanted to shake them half the time and just tell them to be nice, but regardless they were highly entertaining all the way through.
As always, there’s usually a background character that I’m always hoping to learn more about. With Firespell it was Sebastian who caught my attention. He’s dark and mysterious and seriously on the wrong side of the whole good v. bad side of things, so-to-speak but what’s his deal? I can’t go into any more detail without spoiling it, but once you read Firespell I’m sure your curiosity will go up as much as mine did.
I had fun reading Firespell and I'm looking forward to the next addition to the Dark Elite series. I can't wait to see what else Chloe Neill has up her sleeve.

I gave Firespell (Dark Elite, #1) three shamrocks!!!


  1. i totally agree w/ u, awesome start to a new series! <3 Jason, he's mine! lol

  2. He is pretty adorable! I'm a sucker for blue eyes!

  3. I haven't read this book but this is a great review! Very objective critique. Isn't it weird when the main character's best friend is more interesting than they are? Thanks for stopping by my blog through the Hop! I'm a new follower :)



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