Selling some books! Check out this list! (PH Only)
  • ARC Review: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
  • ARC Review: The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver
  • Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • Review: Karmic Hearts by Jhing Bautista
  • Review: The Conspiration of the Universe by Kenneth Olanday

Thursday, April 18, 2013

ARC Review: Spellcaster (Spellcaster #1) by Claudia Gray

My first Claudia Gray book and the story just charmed me.

Title: Spellcaster (Spellcaster #1) by Claudia Gray
Release Date: March 1st 2013
Published by: HarperTeen
Buy: Book Depository

Summary (from Goodreads):

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 the town. Mateo has lived in Captive’s Sound his entire life, trying to dodge the local legend that a curse has been placed on his family that will cause him to go insane. 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 in the town.

A teenage girl moving with her father and younger brother away from the city into a quaint little town called Captive's Sound, Nadia had a lot on her plate than she let on. Her mother left their family recently and they just had to get away. Oh, and Nadia's also a witch. The day they moved to Captive's Sound resulted in an accident all because of her craft, but they were saved by a boy named Mateo. Mateo knows who Nadia is, but how? He's a boy shunned by everyone because of his family history, with only a lone friend who might not be who she claims to be. But Captive's Sound isn't also the quiet, tranquil place it looks like at first, Nadia can sense something wrong with the town, like something dark is eating it alive from the inside out. Why? And how is it all connected to her and Mateo?

There were three things that worked for me in this novel. One is the instant attraction Mateo and Nadia have, and how they were both fighting it. It was very amusing to see Mateo struggle with his feelings and deny it for so long. And the more both Nadia and Mateo resist, the more the forces around them brings them together. This was no puppy eyed romance, there were even instances where Mateo would push Nadia away and then go back to her after a while, which makes it very frustrating at times, and it was very entertaining to see how they push their bond with each other and continue to test each other's character with every trials they go through and every problem they encounter.

The second thing I liked about this novel was how the villain was portrayed. She always seem to win, and it's another source of frustration for me. It's one aspect of the book where I can't help but wonder if it's possible for the good to triumph over the evil. It was a well established fact that Nadia was not as strong as her adversary, no one was trying to downplay her powers because it was the truth, and with that you just want to cheer her on to succeed. And though I hate Elizabeth with a passion, I do have to say that I liked how her story was told. There was something tragic and sad about how she became who she is. She's like the Ice Queen of Witches, beautiful, powerful and alone. She's cunning and manipulative, deceiving and very powerful, all the necessary ingredients you need in an effective villain.

The third would have to be the superb supporting characters and solid background for the main characters. Mateo was, by no means a popular guy, which isn't always what you expect for a main lead especially in a high school setting. Girls sought him out for a different reason. He wasn't your typical, popular jock who everyone wants to date because he's gorgeous. He had the looks but he also had to live with the stigma his family's reputation brings. Toughened by the loss and the treatment he's received from the townspeople, even his family. Nadia, on the other hand, isn't your typical weak heroine. She's persistent and persevering when needed, and she was doing her best to keep her family from falling apart. Being a witch is all she has left, a legacy from her mother and she treasures it more than anything. Verlaine was such a fun character to read! It makes you wonder why she doesn't have friends, and compared to Mateo she's treated in a lot more cruel ways. She's quirky and funny and smart, the perfect addition to the unlikely trio of friends with Mateo and Nadia. I always end up laughing with her random quips and her support for Nadia, although she's not perfect, and at times she couldn't help but be jealous of what Mateo and Nadia have. I hope Verlaine can find someone for her in the next book, she definitely deserves it.

Claudia Gray has built a setting that was perfect for the story. Even the name Captive's Sound makes it seem like a place where magic is abundant, and where anything magical can be found. With a seemingly unstoppable villain, a complicated story that spans centuries, and an unlikely pairing sharing an unexpected bond, Spellcaster is a wonderful start to a new series. Fast paced and more than enough interesting to let the readers breeze through the story in no time. Spellcaster sounds like a swift introduction into a new series to watch out for. I am definitely keeping my eye on this. Good start, Claudia Gray!

Content (plot, story flow, character):
I was a little confused by the ending, but I think it means the conflict continues to the second book, right? Is Elizabeth alive or not?
Shining: Worthy of a Goddess' Love!

Book Cover:
One of my favorites! The book give you an idea of what you'll feel when you read the book. A little bit dark, beautiful and very, very good.


  1. Sounds like a really interesting read! This is te first I've heard of it but I think I'll definitely need to check it out

    1. If you're a fan of novels about witches with scary, seemingly unbeatable villains, this one's for you! Thanks for the comment! ;)


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