Chibineko's Reviews > Under His Spell

Under His Spell by Marie P. Croall
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So far I've found that this series is sort of hit or miss. For every volume that's absolutely great (My Boyfriend Bites), there's a volume that's somewhat mediocre. This volume falls under the mediocre category.

One of the most distracting aspects of this story really had to be the artwork. The quality of it just wasn't very consistent. On one page it would be very well done and on the next you'd see proportions that just weren't very realistic or feasible. There was one panel where our heroine Bethany was giving a solid kick to one of our villains and her leg and foot seemed to be unnaturally twisted. It made it look a little malformed, as if she'd broken it. The only thing about the artwork that seemed to stick to the same level of quality was the backgrounds, which were generally very well illustrated. This was just really disappointing to see since one thing the previous volumes did have in common was some decent artwork. I just couldn't help but think that the artist's work detracted from the story.

I can't blame everything on the artist, however. The basic gist of the storyline is decent. Girl meets fae boy. (I'd consider this a spoiler except the cover pretty much shows that he's a faerie.) Despite this being a pretty common story element, there's a lot you can do with this and I can't help but think that the delivery felt a little flat. I never really felt like the characters came to life for me and to be honest, neither did the chemistry between our lead characters.

There are some nice things about this volume, such as the section of the book that was in full color. It was a smart move and it did pay off well. It was one of the better sections of the book story and art wise. Parts of this book showed me that this really wanted to be a better story than what it was and I wish that it could have been.

If you're looking to read this, I'd recommend getting it from the library. This just wasn't one of the strongest offerings in the MBIAM series. Read it first via the library and then decide if you want to buy it for further re-readings or save up and wait on the next book in the series.

(ARC provided by Netgalley)
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Reading Progress

08/09/2011 page 20
16.0% "A bit of a slow buildup but it's nice so far. I like how playful the artwork is although it's sort of strange how Bethany will look feminine one moment and masculine the next. I get the impression it's done purposely but it's still a little weird to get used to."
08/11/2011 page 45
35.0% "I'm a little underwhelmed by this volume so far. It's good but not great. The artwork for this is just strange. It's not that it's bad, just awkward."
08/11/2011 page 47
37.0% "OK, the anatomy in this is just wonky at times. Our heroine just landed a kick that has her leg at a very weird angle. It makes her look like she's broken her leg or something."
08/11/2011 page 55
43.0% "I do like Bethany's spark, though. She's got definite bite."
08/11/2011 page 67
52.0% "Arrgh... I'm so frustrated by this art. One moment the art will have some pretty freaky looking aspects to it. The next there's so much detail given that it looks cool. I wish that the artist had kept the same quality throughout the whole book."
08/11/2011 page 76
59.0% "Got to the color aspect others were talking about. This really is pretty cool."
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