Friday 23 July 2010


Firespell by Chloe Neill
Book 1 of the Dark Elite series
Genre: urban fantasy, YA

About Firespell:
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 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…
Source: Info in the About Firespell was taken from the author's website at on 24/06/2010.

The world building is a slow build-up to a great architecture. The end result was beautiful and believable. I would give it a 4.5 out of 5. The story-telling quality was good and I would give it a 3.5 out of 5. The character development was superb and as a reader, I can connect with Lily and Scout.

Here is the kicker:
Towards the end, the good guys team and the bad guys team had a drama talk which read like a badly scripted movie. The book is trying to make me believe that teenagers (raging hormones, emotions and all) would just stand around and watch newbie friend exchange info with the bad guys team leader in a high-stress rescue situation. WTF! In my experience, teenagers jumps feet first and bounce with energy. Specially with all that adrenaline pumping in their veins having to do a rescue stint. I therefore find these scenes inconsistent. And this is not the only "inconsistent scenario" in the book. So, "suspension of disbelief" would have to drop to zero. That scene there, needs a lot of work. It also tells me that this author has a lot of imagination but little true understanding of teenagers. From my point of view as a reader, if somebody wants to write about a subject matter, he/she needs to understand, or at least research it, because it'll show.

Overall, I would rate this book a 2 out of 5. Borrow this book from the library rather than waste your money buying it.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 cherries


  1. I really like this book. I get what your are syaing towards the end. I think it was Chole's first ya book. She mostly write adult, so you are right on about not knowing much about teenagers. But over all, I enjoyed it. Great review :)

  2. I love her Chicagoland series so I'll probably try this one eventually but it's not high on my list. Sorry you didn't like it :(

  3. The author has great "voice", it was just the "inconsistent scenarios" that irritated me. So I am interested in reading her non-YA books. That might eliminate the ridiculous dramas :)

  4. hehehe, I already bought this one when it first hit shelves but I have yet to read... I did enjoy your review though- it gives me a better idea of what to expect!=)

  5. It's not that bad Chas. I was just irritated by the "inconsistent scenarios". You might be a more forgiving reader than me and enjoy this book a whole lot more than I did :)

  6. i've been wanting to try this author and read this book since it came out. sorry it didn't quite work out for you. thanks for the review.

    also, thanks for spreading the word about the elisabeth naughton giveaway on our blog :)



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