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Semester Aboard (More than Magic #1)

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4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  404 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews

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College student Jen Maddox is a few days into her summer study abroad program and has loved every moment. She just left Mexico and is back on her cruise ship campus, ready to sail to Panama. Everyone tells her that the experience will change her life, but none of them realize just how right they really are.
One night Jen goes out on deck and encounters five other student
...more
Kindle Edition, 379 pages
Published June 11th 2012 by Anchor Group Publishing (first published August 5th 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,392)
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Annette M Guerriero Nishimoto
Today's review is on Semester Aboard by Elizabeth Kirke

Semester Aboard is the first installment in Kirke's More than Magic series and brings together vampires, werewolves, witches and a whole slew of other magical creatures.

Jen Maddox is college student who is lucky enough to be able to spend the summer studying aboard a cruise ship traveling through Mexico and South America. Little did she know that she would be thrown into the adventure of her life though. Not only does she find out that there
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Melissa
Dec 16, 2011 Melissa rated it it was amazing
What would you do if you were stuck out on a floating college for a semester and found out that magic truly does exist? Not only does it exist, but that you too are magic? One night Jen, the main character, isn't feeling well due to sea-sickness and decides to go for some fresh air. There she see's something that will change not only her life, but how she see's things. One of her fellow student's is pushed overboard and no one reacts! Then he reappears and all of his friends act like it never ha ...more
Michelle's Paranormal Vault of Books
This review is also at my book blog, with more teasers and extras, some other post there will also have teasers for this book and many others.


I REALLY, REALLY, Loved this book. Its like a modern day college age Harry Potter, with out the Hogwarts, lol. I mean, ok, not really, but the part of Jen, Not knowing she was a witch until she meets up with other Magics, that's similar.(that's what they call the supernaturals, were's, water, fire and other kinds of Elemental's, vampires, Mermaid's, and m
...more
Delphina
May 09, 2012 Delphina rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This book had been in my TBR pile for quite a while. I was super lucky and won it in a huge blog contest someone was having. It was quite refreshing to read a YA novel that had elements that would attract older teens, while at the same time had content I would feel comfortable sharing with a much younger teen. I am not sure, with the introduction of the "New Adult" category of books if this would still be considered young adult because the characters are in college, but I feel that the writing a ...more
Anna (Enchanted by YA)
***I received the paperback free as a review copy from the publisher by being part of their social media team in exchange for an honest review***

After what I realised was nothing more than a slow start in order to introduce the characters, I couldn’t put this book down; mainly because those characters are incredible! Originally it was overwhelming (after recently reading books with less than 3 side characters you can’t blame me for taking a while to get my head around 5) but their vivid personal
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Yvonne (The Shadow Realm)
Dec 15, 2014 Yvonne (The Shadow Realm) rated it really liked it
Finally!! A YA style book with characters my own age! :D

I loved this book. It had everything I could ask for. Vampires, werewolves, witches, water elements, fire elements...basically every magical being you could thing of. I loved all the characters. Dani, Charlie, Thomas, and TS were just the funniest and most adorable people ever. I didin't really connenct with Mariana as she was quit shy and didn't talk that much. Jen was a great character also. She was a bit naive of magic at first as she di
...more
Stacey Rourke
Sep 11, 2012 Stacey Rourke rated it it was amazing
If you are a fan of fantasy creatures you will find ALL of them here! Vampires, werewolves, elementals, water sprites, witches, the list goes on and on! This wonderfully creative concept of all the "supes" working together in a secret organization is set on the fabulous backdrop of a cruise ship. The setting becomes a character and adds to this story idea that is so fresh and original. This is an amazing debut novel from a VERY talented author and I for one am eagerly awaiting book 2!
Sandra
Jan 15, 2016 Sandra rated it liked it
This was one of those stories that I really didn't know how to rate. On one hand I quite enjoyed it, I loved the idea of a cruise ship college (what a fantastic opportunity), the world building thorough (almost too thorough but I'll get to that in a minute) the cast of characters were all interesting and likable. For the most part I enjoyed the story line too, however there were a lot of parts that seemed to drag as well. There a lot of pointless day to day ( I went to class, I had lunch with X, ...more
Kristin  Aragon
Sep 25, 2011 Kristin Aragon rated it really liked it
Elizabeth Kirke’s Semester Aboard is a fun and exhilarating paranormal tale that includes elementals, mermaids, werewolves, witches, wizards, and vampires. I truly enjoyed this fantastical book and fell deeply in love with the characters. I found them creeping into my thoughts when I wasn’t reading and they carried me away when I was.

Jen – is a bit naive when it comes to magic…or maybe she knows nothing about magic. When she happens across some students playing on deck, she finds there is nothin
...more
Home. Love. Books.
Dec 02, 2011 Home. Love. Books. rated it really liked it
You can read this review and more like it on my site www.ufreviews.com

This was a fun ride from beginning to end, and one of those books that puts together a wide variety of magical creatures in one book. The book starts off with Jen going on a semester aboard a ship, where they visit various different countries and basically immerse the students in local culture. All is going as planned until one night she sees a girl push a guy off the ship, and shocker of all shocker, no one does anything to
...more
Airicka Phoenix
Sep 23, 2013 Airicka Phoenix rated it it was amazing
One word: EPIC!

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This book was a total Holy Cow smack upside the head. It was beautifully written with realistic characters and insane plot twists. It was a whirlwind of unique personalities brewing into an amazing story line that left me yelling at my screen, demanding more. Elizabeth Kirke is brilliant!



This book had a little something for everyone with every sort of taste. There were vampires, werewolves and even freaking mermaids! It kind of reminded me of this old TV show I really used to lo
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Jody
What if you went out to stargaze while on a cruise and saw someone get pushed over the side of the boat? This is exactly what happens to Jennifer one night on her Semester Abroad Program. Needing some air, she decides to come up to the deck to watch the stars and sees a group in other students talking and horsing around. Suddenly, one gets pushed off the side as a joke. Jennifer rushes foward when nobody acts to help the student. They try to convince her she didn't see anything and when Dani, th ...more
Franz McLaren
Sep 12, 2011 Franz McLaren rated it it was amazing
In "More Than Magic: Semester Aboard", Elizabeth Kirke has penned a novel that has nearly everything that a fantasy lover could want. She has combined a college course cruise through Mexico and South America with a discovery of self through interaction with a host of magical creatures. With the deft touch of a natural story teller, she brings to life vampires, werewolves, elementals, witches, and a host of enchanting creatures in a believable mix of legend and contemporary insight. All of this w ...more
Practical Mike
Oct 24, 2013 Practical Mike rated it liked it
Shelves: own
This is not a great book. It's not horrible either.

I guess my biggest problem with the story is the amount of time we spend inside the head of a naive, recently-exposed-to-a-new-world young lady who spends gobs of page time reasoning through what any experienced reader figured out long before. A number of times she reasons through something she already reasoned through.

Seems like a big gripe, but the author does a great job of making that a mind worth spending some time in... for the most part.
...more
Sher A. Hart
Feb 05, 2012 Sher A. Hart rated it liked it
Shelves: my-reviews
First, I want to say this rating might change to 4 stars. After I posted this review, the author told me she uploaded a new, thoroughly edited version in December after I had read the old version. I'll explain more at the bottom.

I enjoyed this book for its atmosphere, maybe because I've been on enough cruises to recognize the touches that made it feel authentic. I had mixed emotions about its leisurely pace at the start, though the normalcy and routine of taking college classes, not that differe
...more
Leann Miller
Jan 05, 2013 Leann Miller rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Leann by: Anchor Group Publishing
Semester Aboard was surprisingly intriguing and refreshing to the supernatural/paranormal genre in young adult fiction. Jen finds herself witnessing an act that seems impossible among a group of "students" aboard her semester study abroad program. She then is sucked into their life adventures where she finds out these "students" are not fully human and neither is she. Meet Char (fire elemental), Danio (water elemental), Thomas (witch/vampire), Tethys (werewolf), Mariana (mermaid), and Jennifer f ...more
Jenny - Book Sojourner
*4.5 stars*
I really enjoyed Semester Aboard. I felt totally pulled into Jen's world as she entered the realm of magic. I loved learning about all of them. And so much was included - werewolves, vampires, mermaids, elementals, nymphs, witches, etc - and they were all woven together so well. The characters in this book were amazing. The author did a great job making the characters multi-dimentional and allowing the reader to experience their emotions and lives. Reading about Jen's transition into
...more
Dana
Jul 20, 2012 Dana rated it it was amazing
I love reading and I enjoy many different kinds of books, mostly paranormal YA romances. At least lately. The market is flooded with vampire books, werewolf books. And books with a combination of different paranormal creatures. While each is a little different from the next, it does take something special for me to end the book and say WOW! That's how I felt after Semester Abroad. From the moment I started reading it I was sucked into this strange world that exists within our own. The characters ...more
Shona Booky Ramblings of a Neurotic Mom
I read this as part of a book club on facebook. I'm not sure if it is something I would have picked up by myself and if that's the case I would have seriously missed out because this was freaking amazing.

The first chapter or two was a little slow, and honestly most books are, but this laid the foundations for a great story that did not let up until the very end.

The book follows Jen as she learns about Magics. Werewolves, Vampires, Mermaids, Witches and more. Be prepared to learn yourself as the
...more
Amanda
Jan 03, 2015 Amanda rated it it was amazing
The first chapter had me hooked so I kept reading until I was finished. Vampires, mermaid, witch, elementals and a were-oh my! A very unique twist on vampires...I loved it. It did have a slight Harry Potter feel but more...mature? I liked that Jen had to work for her magic and at times was useless as she hadn't had enough practice. It didn't just click together and bam she was an awesome witch. I loved the elementals and their lack of emotional control which caused them to 'typhoon' or 'erupt'. ...more
Sierra
Nov 11, 2012 Sierra rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys fantasy in a modern setting
Shelves: favorites
What do you look for in young adult fantasy?

If your answer has anything to do with relatable characters, creative spins on familiar magical beings, and adventures that will keep you on the edge of your seat, check out More than Magic: Semester Aboard.

It's got a modern take on magic, combining laptops with leviathons. It's got three-dimensional, realistic characters you will fall in love with (and possibly want to date). It's got someone new to the magical world, learning with you. Above all, it
...more
Amanda
Aug 13, 2012 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012, favorites
This book was fantastic. It sucked me in and I couldn't walk away. It was one of those "just one more chapter" books that I ended up staying up way to late to finish.

I loved the characters, I loved the plot, the book moved at a very good pace and the relationships between the characters were very well created and defined. I really enjoyed reading this book and can't wait to see where this story goes.

This is one of those books where I didn't even have a favorite character. I won't go into details
...more
Donna
Sep 01, 2011 Donna rated it it was amazing
Looking for a book with vampires, werewolves, witches and other magical creatures? This is the book for you. I really enjoyed this book. It has many unexpected plot turns and twists. It begins with Jen Maddox, a young college student, spending a semester on a cruise ship travelling throughout Mexico and South America. She encounters all sorts of magical creatures, some of whom are not too friendly towards her! He is on a voyage of discovery about herself and those around her. This book is a lot ...more
Autumn
Apr 24, 2012 Autumn rated it it was amazing
I heard about this author through anothet author on facebook. I ended up getting this book for free and was amazed on how great of a book it was. It deals with magic and vampires and witches and so much more. It was hard for me to put it down, but I had too to get things done. I can not wait to read the next book when the author writes it. I really want to hear what will happen between Jen and Lord Whiskers, if she keeps in touch with the others, and if something will happen between her and Thom ...more
Mo
Sep 13, 2015 Mo rated it liked it
Disjointed writing and my lack of empathy with Jen makes this book a difficult read.
Jenny Bynum Black Words-White Pages
May 19, 2012 Jenny Bynum Black Words-White Pages rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: ALL genres
Recommended to Jenny Bynum by: Elizabeth Kirke Author
I loved this book! It had everything paranormal possible in it!! Vampires, Witches, Werewolves, Mermaids, Fire Elemental, Water Elemental, Wizards, just everything you can think of in one story and to top it all off they are on a cruise as students taking classes!! This book was very well written, and very fast paced. I couldn't put it down and I had to know what was around the next corner!! I cant wait for book 2 and see the next adventure!! Thank you Elizabeth for such an awesome heart poundin ...more
Lillian
Jun 16, 2015 Lillian rated it really liked it
This book conflicted me more than I'd like to admit.

First off, I really, really wanted to give this five stars. I honestly loved this book! But secondly, I can't, because there are some flaws I need to address.

We have to start somewhere, so here's what I liked:

- The characters - Well, they were awesome. Believable, relatable, with only one flaw I'll cover later. It was hard to pick a favorite, because each one of them had a distinct personality and their own bit of "magic" to them (Pun intended
...more
L.M. Preston
Jul 10, 2012 L.M. Preston rated it really liked it
A lengthy, exciting, suspenseful, fantasy book with a dash or romance. The characters were captivating with great dialogue and interesting corny humor. It's a non-scary thriller with interesting creatures like vampires, werewolves, water elemental creatures,witches, wizards, a little taste of everything. I only gave it a 4.5 because the romance was a bit lacking. However, I enjoyed it and can't wait for the next one.

~ review from NYIA, teen book reviewer
S.M. Lawrence
Aug 12, 2011 S.M. Lawrence rated it it was amazing
I really love this book it's got all the elements of a great adventure story wrapped up in a magical world with lovable characters and great interactions and dialogue. I'm always itching to read the next sentence and it is clear the author has put a lot of thought into every aspect of the story. A spectacular read which I would recommend to anyone.
Tammy
Jul 13, 2012 Tammy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: more-than-magic
Fast paced and entertaining. This book will keep you up all hours of the night.

There are so many different paranormal "magics" in this book. It is hard to choose your favorite. You're sure to fall in love with the entire cast of characters and not just the enchanting "new magic", Jen.

Can't wait for the second book to be published!!!
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Elizabeth Kirke wanted to be an author before she even knew what an author was. She used to say that she wanted to be an artist, but that was only because she was too young to write and had to tell stories with pictures instead. She hasn't stopped writing since she learned how. It wasn't long before she dreamed of becoming an author and couldn't be happier now that that dream is a reality.

If she i
...more
More about Elizabeth Kirke...

Other Books in the Series

More than Magic (3 books)
  • Snow Bound (More than Magic, #2)
  • Soul Choice (More Than Magic, #3)

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“The summer had been like a dream, some parts of it a nightmare, but overall a good dream. Magic.” 0 likes
“The summer had been like a dream, some parts of it a nightmare, but overall a good dream. Magic. 0 likes
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