Logan's Reviews > Spellcaster

Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz
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Apr 27, 12

bookshelves: netgalley, ya-paranormal, young-adult
Read from April 14 to 18, 2012

First impressions: I was really happy to get back into the lives of Emma and Brendan and Angelique. Starting this book felt like slipping under a favorite blanket - warm and comforting. I appreciated the quick recap that Shultz was able to work in so I remembered where everything left off last time, and it didn't feel out of place or like an interruption of the narrative.

Lasting impressions: With a lightning-quick pace and lots of action, I tore through this one. I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next. A pure joy to read.

Conflicting impressions: There were two big things that kept me from loving this one as much as last year's Spellbound . The first was the too-obvious villain, and the second was the narrative jump at the climax.

Overall impressions: Cara Lynn Shultz has a definite knack for engaging the reader. She doesn't just make you want to read the book. She makes you want to devour it. The last few months have not been good reading months for me, and very few books made me excited to pick them up again - until this one. As soon as I started it, I settled easily into the story and the pages flew by.

Emma and Brendan are such a likable pair, it's hard to not enjoy reading about their lives. Private school wealth with down-to-earth personalities, these two are further kept in check by Angelique's snarky barbs and the good humor of bright and bubbly side characters. Everyone in this series feels like a real person, and someone I would want to spend time with.

The witchcraft gets an expanded role in this book, with Emma starting to explore her own powers with help from Angelique. She's under attack again, and the suspense of this plot keeps things chugging along. Lots of obstacles and fights, as well as the usual teen angst about relationships and intimacy. It reminded me a bit of one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies - The Craft.

Perhaps because of this familiarity with that movie's plot of witch-gets-power-and-turns-evil, I found the antagonist in this book very easy to spot. Since it takes Emma and crew a while to wise up to this, I got a bit impatient in the middle sections of the book. When it started to snowball toward the ultimate showdown at the climax, I was excited to see it all play out nevertheless.

But.

In a frustrating move, Shultz interrupts a pivotal decision-making moment for Emma during this climactic battle to transfer the narrative reins to Angelique. We wind up backtracking and following Angelique's experience of the events, (view spoiler) Only then do we find out what happened and what Emma decided - we get it told to us instead of experiencing it.

The narrative switch happens one other time at an earlier point in the novel, so it wasn't completely out of left field, but the placement of this one really bothered me. If the story needed the benefit of multiple viewpoints, perhaps a move to a close 3rd person narrative would have been better. I felt like the voices between Emma and Angelique weren't distinct enough, and would have enjoyed the story just as much if we'd been freed from Emma's limited perspective. Since Shultz chose to stick with 1st person, however, I really wanted to see the ending play out in full. I felt cheated by the decision to take us out of Emma's head at such a crucial point in her story.

If you liked Spellbound, this is a great follow-up story. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and hope this isn't the last I see of Emma and Brendan.
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Gina (My Precious) I'm going to be reading this soon too. Can't wait to see what you think.


Gina (My Precious) Ok, I'm into it about 7% on my Kindle. Not sure if I'm totally liking it though. I can do without the lovey dovey romance which I always get hung up on. I like the witchy stuff though. I have an idea who the bad guy (gal) is already. I appreciate the way Emma fills the reader in about the last book, cuz I'd forgotten some of the finer points.


Logan I think I'm around 30% and it's picking up, but I also feel like the villain is obvious so I hope I'm wrong!


Gina (My Precious) Well, I'm on the last 10% of the book. Did you finish, yet?


Logan Yep. And I have some issues with the ending.


Gina (My Precious) Awe well I'll come back and discuss with spoilers when I'm through.


Gina (My Precious) I read your review and you are so right!! (view spoiler)


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