Author: Claudia Gray
Series: Spellcaster #1
Next Book: Steadfast (expected 3/4/2014)
Source: Personal purchase
Description from Goodreads:
When Nadia’s family moves to Captive’s Sound, she instantly realizes there’s more to the place than meets the eye. Descended from witches, Nadia can sense that a spell has been cast over the tiny Rhode Island town—a sickness infecting everyone and everything in it. The magic at work is darker and more powerful than anything she’s come across and has sunk its claws most deeply into Mateo . . . her rescuer, her friend, and the guy she yearns to get closer to even as he pushes her away.
Mateo has lived in Captive’s Sound his entire life, shadowed by small-town gossip and his family’s tormented past. Every generation, the local legends say, one member of the family goes mad, claiming to know the future before descending into insanity. When the strange dreams Mateo has been having of rescuing a beautiful girl from a car accident actually 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 terrible family curse, and to prevent a coming disaster that even now threatens the entire town, including Nadia’s family, her newfound friends, and her own life. Shimmering with magic and mystery, New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray’s new novel depicts a dark and unforgettable world of witches, curses, buried secrets, and star-crossed romance.
I bought Spellcaster after finding out from Epic Reads that it was on sale and reading the description. It wasn’t a book I had prioritized, so when I saw a buddy read pop up in a Goodreads group I’m on, I decided to jump at the chance because I wasn’t sure when I’d read it otherwise.
Unfortunately for Spellcaster, it followed Siege and Storm on my reading list, and I don’t think that did it any favors. I just really had a hard time getting into it.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think that Spellcaster was a bad book. I never hated it, though I was a bit bored at times, but I never really considered putting it down. However, it also wasn’t a book that demanded to be picked up. I often found myself procrastinating on reading it, rather than feverishly flipping the pages.
The beginning of Spellcaster wasn’t bad actually. As Nadia is moving into the town of Captive’s Sound with her father and little brother, they get into a car accident, and a mysterious boy pulls her from the car, while being in shock to see her. I was a little confused as to what was going on, but luckily, the third person perspective let us quickly see why Mateo was so surprised to see Nadia.
However, I had a really hard time getting into the story. I liked Nadia well enough, but I never really connected with her. Her mom left her family, which really scarred Nadia, especially as her mother was teaching her the Craft, but I don’t know. I just found her frustrating at times. Mateo too. I think the only character I consistently liked was Verlaine, and I really want to know more about her.
The other thing I didn’t really like about Spellcaster was that the bad guy was given away fairly early. We didn’t really know what or why the bad guy was doing what she was doing, but we knew who she was. I like a little more mystery and suspense in my books. Also, it became frustrating at how hopeless Nadia’s chances seemed throughout most of the book. It made even hoping for her to overcome and “win” seem pointless, though what kind of book wouldn’t have the main character triumph in some way? It was just weird.
The ending irritated me. I knew going in that Spellcaster was going to be a series, but I wish they could have gone about it another way. It looks like if I read the next book, I’m going to be just as frustrated as I was reading this one.
Overall, I thought that Spellcaster was an okay book. The story didn’t grab me, and I didn’t really connect to the characters, but I never hated it. Like I said in the opening, though, it’s major downfall may have just been that I read it after Siege and Storm, which had a much faster pace. I can’t say I’d be quick to recommend it, but I wouldn’t advise anyone to avoid it either.