Nadia, Mateo, and Verlaine have saved Captive's Sound from the dark Sorceress Elizabeth...or so they thought. Despite their best efforts, a crack opened and a new, greater evil seeped through. With Mateo as her Steadfast, Nadia's magic is magnified and she is more powerful than ever. But there is still so much she doesn't know about the craft, leaving her open and vulnerable to a darker magic...which has begun to call Nadia's name.
Claudia Gray is not my real name. I didn't choose a pseudonym because my real name is unpleasant (it isn't), because I'd always dreamed of calling myself this (I haven't) or even because I'm hiding from the remnants of that international diamond-smuggling cartel I smashed in 2003 (Interpol has taken care of them). In short, I took a pseudonym for no real reason whatsoever. Sometimes this is actually the best reason to do things.
I live in New Orleans. So far, in life, I've been a disc jockey, a lawyer, a journalist and an extremely bad waitress, just to name a few. I especially like to spend time traveling, hiking, reading and listening to music. More than anything else, I enjoy writing.
Wow, what an explosive follow-up to SPELLCASTER! STEADFAST had me on my toes, anticipating the next move in this vicious cycle of good versus evil!
This second installment is by far my favorite in the series so far! And the way this book ended, it's set-up for an EPIC conclusion in the next book! (I think it's going to be the last book?)
Nadia, Mateo, and Verlaine are reveling in their victory over the dark Sorceress Elizabeth. Until the unthinkable happens! She's back, and she's more wicked then ever! She is determined to wreck havoc on Captive's Sound!
Nadia struggles to understand and control her powers, and with Mateo as her Steadfast, she's stronger then she ever could of imagined. But there's a dark magic that's seeping through the barrier. And if Nadia has any chance at eliminating this evil threat, she must ward off the myriad attacks, while plotting around Elizabeth's evil plan, all while her Steadfast goes through his own struggles with coming to terms with his horrific visions that are becoming more evil and...real!
I loved this book! I really did! It was so much fun to be in this dark hypnotic world! But the only thing I can say that irritated me a bit was the POV'S switch. It got to be annoying after a while, and sometimes it even went as far as having a POV with only a couple paragraphs, then the next chapter would be a full chapter of someone else's POV! I mean I understand why the author did it. So we could grasp everyone's importance to the plot. But sometimes it got too be a little too much!
But besides that, I loved pretty much everything about STEADFAST! It was a quick-edge of your seat kinda read, filled with Sorcery, magic, evil, determination, betrayals, and of course, romance!
Overall, STEADFAST was amazing, with twist and turns, evil that's hell bent on destroying the good, and a Protagonist that's determined not to give up and bring an end to this wickedness once and for all!
If you were a fan of SPELLCASTER, then I HIGHLY recommend this book! And if your not, then you need to check it out, because your definitely missing out! In my opinion, it blew SPELLCASTER out of the water! And with that ending, I have a strong feeling that SORCERESS, the 3rd book is going to put STEADFAST to shame!!!
I received an ARC copy for reviewing purposes! All opinions express are my own, and are not influenced in any way!
ZWARTKRACHT. Hoewel ik deel 1 al heel goed vond, is deel 2 nog veel beter! Het verhaal gaat direct verder op het einde van het eerste deel. Gelukkig werden er dingen herhaald, want ik had niet álle details onthouden.
Ook in dit deel lees je mee met Nadia, Mateo, Verlaine en Elizabeth. Nadia is nog steeds in strijd met Elizabeth, een Tovenares die het stadje Captive's Sound al jaaaaaren in haar greep houdt.
In dit deel leer je allerlei nieuwe personages kennen die allemaal een goede toevoeging zijn aan het verhaal.
Ook in dit deel lijkt het door elkaar te lopen, door wie je het verhaal leest, soms wisselt dat zelfs 3x per pagina.. Toch zit alles goed in elkaar en wordt eigenlijk alles duidelijk.
In het najaar komt deel 3 en ik ben heel benieuwd hoe dit avontuur zal eindigen!
I am genuinely surprised by how much I am enjoying this series. I thought it would be pretty generic fluff, but it is so impressive and addictive watching their world slowly boil. Everything is peaking in this book, and it sounds like the third one is going to be apocalyptic. Loved how everything built in here, the pressure just keeps piling and piling on until eventually something has to give. The magic system is still intriguing and different without being overly convoluted, harnessing emotions from memories to impact changes now. There are hints at the Steadfast becoming magically more since Nadia doesn't know all the rules, and some answers to questions I didn't think to ask. I'm diving into book three as we speak.
(Source: I own a copy of this book.) Elizabeth offers to teach Nadia witchcraft, as she no longer has her mother to teach her, but Nadia knows that that would be tantamount to giving up her own soul too, even if she knows it might be the only way to stop her. Elizabeth meanwhile is killing people with black goo, and putting demons inside dead bodies to do her bidding. Can Nadia stop Elizabeth? And why did her mother leave her anyway?
I didn’t have much hope for this book after reading the first one, and although this may have been marginally better, it wasn’t by much.
Nadia was once again an okay character, and her heart was in the right place, but she did make some darn stupid decisions once again. I got that she wanted to help people, but her plans to achieve that were just lacking somehow.
The storyline was slightly better than that of the first book, probably because we got a bit more action, but I still felt bored for most of it. I did think the pace was a little better in this book, but I just wasn’t entertained. Nadia and Mateo were together in this instalment, which was nice I suppose, but I just didn’t really feel the romance. The ending was okay, although we were left with a big cliff-hanger. I don’t think I’ll be subjecting myself to the third one though. Overall; slightly less dull than the first, but not by much, 4.5 out of 10.
I've been really sick - as in bedbound sick - and I don't really feel like writing a lengthy review for this audiobook, so I'll keep it brief:
For a sequel, it didn't feel like filler. I felt like every character moved forward, and the plot was original and engaging.
I loved watching the relationships between the characters advancing.
The worldbuilding was really good. I feel like I got a good grasp of the world, and I can imagine Captive Sound in my head.
There were some twists I didn't see coming.
The audiobook narrator was really good. I didn't find any POV hopping with the audiobook narration. It was always perfectly clear whose POV we were reading from. The voices changes were phenomenal. Khristine Hvam is really very talented.
The downside is that Nadia's not the most interesting or engaging character. I wanted to spend time with anyone but her. Mostly Verlaine, because she was awesome.
Also, we find out why Nadia's mother left, and the whole thing made me really angry - but probably not for the reason you think I might be. I was angry at Nadia for being angry towards her mother. Nadia's father worked long hours and left all of the emotional labour, and domestic labour, as well as child-rearing, to Nadia's mother. Nadia's father doesn't even know how to cook! No wonder she left. Yet Nadia still harbours a lot of resentment and hate towards her and thinks her dad is completely innocent. She doesn't see at all that this marriage was breaking down before Nadia's mother left.
Also, where are the other witches? Is Nadia really the only one in the entire world who can stop Elizabeth? Why does no one else figure out what is going on and try to join the fight?
OK that's all for now. I did enjoy it overall and was happy to continue with the third book in the series on audiobook.
I have to say the follow up to Spellcaster did make it's mark on my shelf. I really liked how Steadfast got right into from what happened at the end of Spellcasters, and I also love the new character Claudia has brought to life in the second book instead of them being secondary characters. Also we get a follow up on why her mom left her whole family in the first place and it's a big surprise. We also get to see how the trio acts when darkness that is descending on Captive's Sound is coming closer than they think. Overall it was a pretty good second book. The only reason why I gave it three and half stars is because it took me a while to read it and I forgot important stuff that happened in the first half of the book, but I have to say once I picked this up again I was hooked right to the end.
After defeating Elizabeth on the night of Halloween, Nadia can relax a little bit knowing that evil has been put to rest for a while. She can focus on loving her boyfriend Mateo, spending time with her friend Verlaine, and also help with her family (Cole and Simon) adjust too their new life, but when the source of the evil returns with a little help from a sidekick demon coming to help but despises her deeply. When people from Captive's Sound, start chocking on black gooey liquid and it effects almost everybody in town, (even someone close to Verlaine). Nadia, had to find a way to stop Elizabeth with out tempting into the dark side to stop the One Beneath coming into their world.
I love learning more about characters in this book past and why they are fighting this force of evil to help the earth from total destruction, I also like how more mature Nadia has grown up from the last time in the series. She has to make very tough choices in this book and it might effect her future or even the people around her. Mateo, is really such a sweet character and I love how he cares for Nadia so much but also his dreams haunt him even more towards the end that makes him question what is going to happen to his health and his life. Verlaine is my favorite character in the last book and still is. I love her relationship with Asa and even though he very different from her and they learn some things, their love grew stronger and so did their friendship. That first kiss they had was sizzling hot. This book deals with a lot of tough choice making and what the characters decide, effects their future in so many different ways.
“The only thing more compelling than love is power.”
Okay, firstly, AMAZING BOOK. SUCH AN AMAZING BOOK. This book is the continuation to the first book, Spellcaster, and I have to admit I'm starting to love this amazing series. Quite sad that the book 3 is finally out (YES, IT IS, GET IT ON AMAZON NOW), because it's gonna end soon. If you've read Spellcaster, you would have a hint of what's going on in this series. Nadia is a witch. And she's trying to save the whole town, and possibly the whole world, from the likes of Elizabeth, a sorceress who worked for the One Beneath, aka Satan from Hell.
This book was honestly better than the first one. It totally brought me along on an emotional rollercoaster. I remembered feeling so excited and scared at the same time while reading this book. But you know what I honestly think? I think that Verlaine deserves more credit than she was given. I mean, I know that Nadia is the female lead and all. But guise, look at Verlaine. Just look at her. She's lived her WHOLE life never been loved by anybody, never been noticed, and she still survived, she still cared. And maybe, honestly, this time, I want Elizabeth gone, because for once, I want Verlaine to have a happy ending. People should give Verlaine more credit than it's due. But yeah HAHA. Omg, I am totally way too excited to read the last book, but for some reason, the Amazon people hasn't sent my purchase to my Kindle yet, so ugh. READ THIS PEOPLE, DON'T STOP READING THIS.
Seit ich Band 1 gelesen habe, ist zwar einiges an Zeit vergangen, doch ich bin trotzdem sehr gut in die Geschichte reingekommen. Die Namen musste ich zwar nochmal der richtigen Person zuordnen und mich sortieren, doch in die Handlung kam ich gut rein, ohne Probleme. Mateo mochte ich mal wieder gerne, auch Verlaine war toll und Asa hatte einfach etwas an sich, das mochte ich sehr. Gerade bei letzteren bin ich gespannt, was sich in Band 3 noch ergibt. Nadia fand ich dafür ein wenig schwierig, die erschien mir in diesem Band als weit aus weniger verständlich in ihren Handlungen als in Band 1. Ich verstehe ihre schwierige Situation, aber Nadia ist mal wieder ein gutes Beispiel für Figuren, die alle Ratschläge und Hilfe ignorieren und lieber ihr Ding machen, egal wie viel Chaos es verursacht. Besonders zum Ende hin gab es da so Entscheidungen, tja, die waren einfach nix. Mal sehen, was das in Band 3 noch gibt. Die Handlung fand ich insgesamt sehr spannend, aber ein Plottwist hatte für mich etwas sehr Zombie-Apokalypse-mäßiges und über diese Entwicklung war ich sehr irritiert. Zwar hat mich das nicht total gestört, aber irgendwie hätte ich mir gewünscht, dass sich die Handlung ein wenig anders entwickelt. Alles in allem ein Band mit Stärken und Schwächen.
This is the second book following the young witch Nadia as she tries to save the small town of Captive's Sound (and indirectly the world) from an infernal fate.
I found this installment much more gripping than the first book, I have to admit to literally sitting on the edge on my seat and gasping at one or two tense moments.
I've given this book 3 stars - if you hover over the stars you see that that means "I liked it". I did. This book doesn't have anything shockingly original and I think the ending, while OK, was definitely not satisfying - even bearing in mind that this is book 2 out of 3.
Claudia Grey has written much better and I encourage readers to try out her Constellation and Firebird series.
Still, the series is still worth a read and I fully intend to read book 3.
well, well, this is actually better than the first book! the stakes are actually higher, the character (esp. verlaine) is more fleshed out, and we got answers on some mysteries! i seemed to forget a lot about the first book though, which said a lot of how unimpressive it was. i know i said in my review that i would continue the series for Asa but I actually forgot about him until i read this book. and i love the romances so much??? it said a lot ahaha.
»♥« INHALT »♥« Endlich kann Nadia aufatmen: In der Nacht von Halloween ist die dunkle Zauberin Elizabeth in den Flammen umgekommen. Und in Mateo hat sie nicht nur ihre große Liebe gefunden, sondern auch einen treuen Verbündeten. Mit ihm verbindet sie ein magisches Band, das ihr neue Kräfte verleiht. Aber es gibt noch so viel, was sie über die Hexenkunst lernen muss. Und plötzlich kehrt auch noch Elizabeth zurück! Sie hat nicht nur einen Dämon mitgebracht, sondern verfolgt einen höllischen Plan, der die ganze Stadt in ewige Dunkelheit stürzen soll.
»♥« MEINE MEINUNG »♥« Endlich! Endlich konnte ich diese Geschichte weiterverfolgen. Band 1 hat mich, ich meine im April '16, unglaublich nervös zurückgelassen und obwohl Band2 ziemlich zügig bei mir ankam, hab ich einige Zeit gebraucht, um danach greifen zu können; warum? Weil ich einfach zu viel um die Ohren hatte, zu viel Rezi-Exemplare hier hatte, weil ich zu wenig zu lesen kam. Aber jetzt war es dann soweit & hier kommt meine Meinung:
Schon auf den ersten Seite habe ich wunderbar in die Geschichte zurück gefunden. Oftmals stolper ich da ein wenig, weil ich die Hälfte vom Vorgänger schon wieder vergessen habe; aber bei "Spellcaster" war das zum Glück nicht der Fall. Die Geschichte schließt quasi nahtlos an den ersten Band an, es vergehen lediglich 2 Tage zwischen den beiden Teilen. So fühlte ich mich Nadia und Co. direkt wieder nahe und konnte mich problemlos an alles erinnern, was zuvor geschah - dafür sorgten auch immer wieder auftretende, kurze Rückblicke. In diesem Band stehen natürlich wieder die drei Teenager im Vordergrund, doch dreht sich die Geschichte dieses Mal etwas mehr um Verlaine, als ich erwartet hatte. Das ganze störte mich aber in keinsterweise und keiner der drei Schüler entwickelte sich negativ. Nadia war wie bereits im ersten Band sehr zielstrebig und engagiert, blieb dabei aber trotz ihrer unheimlichen Macht auf dem Boden und dachte nur selten an sich selbst. Hilfsbereitschaft und Liebenswürdigkeit rundeten sie wieder ab und ich schloss sie noch ein wenig mehr ins Herz, als ich es im Vorgänger bereits getan hatte. Mateo war zwar wieder allseits präsent, aber rückte doch nicht so sehr in den Vordergrund. Sicher, er und Nadia waren ein eingeschworenes, gut harmonierendes Team, aber doch blieb der männliche Hauptcharakter und seine Visionen ein wenig mehr im Hintergrund als noch beim letzten Mal. Verlaine lernte ich hier deutlich besser kennen und fühlte mich auch endlich nahe. Das war so mein Kritikpunkt letztes Mal und ich bin endlos froh, dass die Autorin mein stummes Gebet erhört hat und Verlaine ein wenig mehr Tiefgang und Offenheit verlieh. Ich erfuhr viele weitere Details, die mir im Vorgängerband gefehlt hatten und jetzt, im Nachhinein, kann ich sagen, dass ich alle drei sehr gerne mochte und mit allen dreien mitfiebern und mitfiebern konnte. Auch die Randfiguren wie Mateo's Vater, Verlaine's Onkels, etc gefielen mir wieder sehr gut und besaßen ausergewöhnlich viel Details, sodass ich zu jedem eine gewisse Verbindung aufbauen konnte.
Zum Stil werde ich nicht viel Worte verlieren: Claudia Gray schreibt einfach unheimlich flüssig und eingehend, schafft dabei eine sehr dichte Atmosphäre und führt dem Leser die einzelnen Szenen genau vor Augen. Ich fühlte mich nicht nur als Beobachter, sondern tatsächlich als jemand, der Nadia, Mateo und Verlaine begleitet und stets an ihrer Seite ist. Detailgenauigkeit und der genau Mix aus Jugend-Slang und Erzählsprache runden den Schreibstil dann ab und sorgten für große Begeisterung meinerseits. Mein größte Befürchtung hatte mit der Idee zu tun; denn jeder der gern Reihen liest, weiß darum, dass zweite Bände, bzw. mittlere Bände oftmals nur Überbrückung zum großen Finale sind und keine großen Highlights bieten - hier nicht! Auch hier war wieder einiges geboten und sehr interessante Ideen verbaut, mit denen ich so niemals gerechnet hätte. Gut durchdachte Plots und eine sehr spannende Grundidee machten das Buch wirklich zum Pageturner und versprach nicht nur viel Spaß, Action und Überraschungen, sondern hielt es auch. Denn die Umsetzung war einfach grandios - nicht nur dass der Einfall von großer Kreativität zeugte, sondern auch die Umsetzung auf ganzer Linie glänzte. Die Spannung war definitiv von der ersten bis zur letzten Seite deutlich spürbar und auf unerwartete Wendungen muss auch nie lange warten, denn die folgen quasi Knall auf Fall. Einzig und allein das letzte Fünkchen, der "Wow-Effekt", ein letztes Quäntchen Feuerwerk haben mir gefehlt, um mich wirklich umzuhauen.
»♥« FAZIT »♥« Alles in allem war ich doch sehr überrascht, dass auch der zweite Band der Spellcaster-Reihe ein solch beeindruckendes Ende aufwies und derart spannend war und mit vielen, kleineren Highlights auftrumpfte. Noch mehr Hintergrundinfos zur Hexenwelt, zu den Charakteren und Captive's Sound, machten das Buch zu einem richtigen Pageturner und verliehen ihm noch mehr Tiefgang und Spannung. Wer den ersten Band mochte, wird garantiert auch den Zweiten lieben & sich, genau so wie ich, auf den dritten und finalen Band der Trilogie freuen.
»♥« 4.5 VON 5 STERNEN »♥« Ich vergebe wie auch beim Vorgänger-Band 4.5 von 5 Sternen. Auch hier hat mir wieder eine Kleinigkeit gefehlt, um als wahres Highlight durchzugehen, und dennoch gibt es eine 100%ige Lese-Empfehlung für alle, die den Auftakt der Trilogie mochten.
4.5/5 stars. Similar to my review of the first book, my only complaint was the main couple, who I didn't hate, but didn't love. The thing that really makes this book is the plot twists, and of course, Verlaine and Asa. They are my favorite characters and favorite couple. Everything about their dynamic is amazing. This book brings back a lot of nostalgia for me, and it was really fun re-reading it.
This kind of suffers from middle book syndrome a bit but not quite as bad as some middle books have. I really like Asa, I think he’s a fun addition to the cast and plays off Verlaine really well. I did find the truth of why Nadia’s mother abandoned her to be a bit frustrating, because it was obviously a self fulfilling prophecy, but this was still a fun book.
It wasn’t so bad. The beginning was confusing and the characters were being weird. I actually enjoyed the progression of the characters and where they went. Their storylines expanded and I enjoyed it! The whole demon love thing...loved it (I’m rooting for you Verlaine!). Nadia and Elizabeth are kinda annoying. Like you obviously know Elizabeth is a very old evil thing! Don’t mess with her! Stick to the plan! Seems very high school which I can’t be mad about since it is YA. Overall it’s not bad and I will finish the series. The ending really made everything worth it.
See below: How Nadia and Mateo deal with problems.
Step 1: Question EVERYTHING. Because Lord knows you don’t understand ANYTHING.
Step 2: Break down.
Step 3: Realize you don’t know anything. And that the bad guys know everything.
Step 4: Cry some more. Maybe the ocean your tears make will wash away all your problems. (Might as well try; it’s not like you’ve got a better idea.) This includes Nadia falling into Mateo in broken sobs, because good gosh, guess what folks, all this girl does is cry!
Step 5: Completely ignore Verlaine. Because to be a fully rounded character in this novel, you must, must completely ignore her when she’s standing right next to you and complete steps 2 and 4. This is crucial.
And that, folks, completes Nadia and Mateo’s five steps to take up 4/5 of a 346 page novel!!
I skimmed the last thirty pages or so because I just wanted to be done with it. The characters are completely flat, all the way through. Which is funny, because I don’t remember them being this bad in the first novel. I remember vaguely enjoying it, but not flat out hating it.
I could not tell you one unique thing about any of the characters if I tired. There are some sad attempts with putting a curse on Verlaine so that no one can ever truly notice her, and I suppose that was enough to make me not flat out hate her as I have come to despise Nadia and Mateo.
For starters, where in heaven or hell did their romance come from? I feel like I’m in the middle of poorly written soap opera what with all the hugging and crying those two do. Firstly, they confess their undying love to each other all the freakin’ time, but, of course, the second a third party with malicious intent shows up to break them up, it takes literally one conversation and a poorly drawn reason to divide them.
I mean, come on, I have lost count of how many times I have read about this exact couple. They love each other to smithereens (apparently and for no other reason than they’re hormonal teenage kids), but it takes next to nothing to make them question everything about their relationships. I’m no expert, but I would hope that a healthy relationship would be based on a steady amount of trust and faith in one another, and not be so childish as to doubt one another on a poorly drawn reasoning that has no backing.
Instead, every single time something bad happens, what happens?
See below: The pre-steps to the first set of steps:
Step 1: First thing you should do is not confront the problem or look for ways to fix it, but instead run into each others arms.
Step 2: Nadia has to cry. A lot.
Step 3: Mateo has to be so overcome with the sight of his love crying that he must pull her valiantly to him to hug all her worries away.
Step 4: Mateo has to comfort her and reassure her about every darn thing, because apparently this girl has no ability whatsoever to deal with problems herself.
Step 5: Continue with the first set of steps above. And then repeat this process at least six more times throughout the book.
I’m all for romantic scenes with the guy reassuring the girl and whatever, but Nadia literally cannot stand on her own two feet. She is the cardboard cutout of a weak, fragile protagonist that sets teeth on edge while reading.
The plot is so poorly written that I want to barf. There is no higher level of thinking about the witches spells and how the One Beneath (and that name? Really?) needs to be able to bridge himself to this world. Nothing was going to surprise me. There is a sad attempt to pull a plot twist about two-thirds into the book, but all it seemed to me was empty page space. It was completely random and didn’t seem to really add much to the story, besides giving Nadia and Mateo another reason to complete the steps above.
If the book had continued on in the same fashion as the first half, I would have rated this book three stars, maybe two. The beginning was almost torture to get through. I wanted to skip over the parts that Nadia or Mateo narrated. Their relationship is sooo boring to me, I can't stand it. I hate that they love each other so intensely after knowing each other for only, what, three months?? It's ridiculous, and every time they narrate it's nothing but cringe worthy sappiness. It's not even good romance. Their relationship sprung out of nowhere and means nothing to me. Don't get me wrong, I love romance. I absolutely adore it, but only when it grows on me and allows me to fall in love with it as well. That is why I love the relationship between Verlaine and Asa. Now this is a relationship that grew over time, developed, and manifested into something so strong and beautiful and forbidden that I swoon whenever they happen to be together in a scene. Verlaine is my all time favorite character. Her narrations are always the best, they're probably the ones that I rely on most to keep the story going. She has shown SUCH character development that I find myself feeling proud of her. I found myself practically skimming the parts when Nadia/Mateo narrated, and then clinging to every word whenever it was Verlaine/Asa. They're the good ones, they should be the protagonists. Other than these drastically different relationships aside, the story has definitely gotten better. Like I said, the beginning was tough to get through. There was so much Nadia/Mateo going on that I felt as though we weren't progressing at all. Finally, it happened. Sure, there was weird stuff going on left and right, with Elizabeth slowly starting to build a bridge for the One Beneath, but it was moving so slowly that I was losing interest. Then, suddenly, all hell broke loose (pun intended). Elizabeth was getting desperate and her plans had to move a little quicker, which I was grateful for. It's hard to believe that I was actually just as impatient as the One Beneath to get this show on the road. Once that crap went down, I was hooked. I couldn't put the book down, and to my relief, the romance between Nadia and Mateo turned up less and less. There was a lot more Verlaine and Asa, and I'm not just talking about their relationship, but what they had to offer to the whole equation. These two characters really brought everything together and helped to completely build the suspense and action. They're the only two characters that showed any form of character development and progression. Is it obvious I adore them? Without them, this book would be an absolute bore and I probably wouldn't have finished it. I'd like to say a thing or two specifically about Asa. Claudia Gray definitely did her research on the typical demon stuff. He's exactly the way you'd expect a demon to be, except not. He's a complicated character with actual depth (unlike Nadia or Mateo). I felt a connection with him and I found myself getting excited whenever he turned up. A few things to make note of plot wise...We finally discover the true meaning of the dark magic that blocks anyone from truly seeing Verlaine, and we discover the mystery of Nadia's mother's sudden disappearance from her life. Both of these revelations are emotionally painful. And then there's Elizabeth being her typical psychopathic Sorceress self, except ten times worse. Or should I say better? I can honestly say that she is officially on my top ten list of Antagonists Of All Time. She's power hungry, ruthless, and capable of way more than you could have imagined from just reading Spellcaster or The First Midnight Spell. As I mentioned above, the first half of Steadfast is painfully slow, but once the shit hits the fan, there was no turning back. It was all rise from there. Things just kept getting more intense, suspenseful, action packed, and emotionally painful. I loved every moment of that ride. If the entire novel had been as good as the second half, I would have given this five stars. I absolutely recommend this book. As long as you fight your way through the beginning, you will not be disappointed. I for one cannot wait to get my hands on Sorceress, book three of the Spellcaster series.
I really enjoyed the first installment of this series and was lucky enough to receive an ARC. I liked being able to dive right into this one without having to wait countless months. Sadly, this one ends on a HUGE cliffhanger so now I'm waiting for the next one. That wait is bound to be painful.
Like many sophomore novels in a series, this novel provides a lot of answers from the first novel and explains a lot of details. All of the information the reader receives is critical to the story, but it was a lot to take in at times. I did have to put this one down and walk away for a bit when things got tedious. In fact, the beginning was quite slow, which made me nervous, but the action picks up after the first several chapters. Once people in town started getting ill and answers I craved started to emerge, I really enjoyed this one.
Once again, Nadia and her friends are battling a powerful sorceress who serves the One Beneath. I was often in awe of how brave these teens were to take on such a huge battle. I don't know that I would have had the same amount of courage in their shoes. I wasn't able to support every decision made by these characters, but I could see how youth and lack of witch training were often to blame for the poor choices. I hope that Nadia, Mateo, and Verlaine will continue to mature as the series moves forward.
In addition to the characters I grew to love in Spellcaster, I also found myself enjoying Asa. He is an anti-hero of sorts, but I couldn't help finding him endearing. It always surprises me when a "villain" can manage to sneak into my good graces. Asa provided some much needed comic relief when things in Captive's Sound got tense. The chemistry between Asa and Verlaine was one of my favorite aspects of Steadfast.
Shockingly, I found myself annoyed with Nadia from time to time as I was reading this one. She just seemed to lack that fiery tenacity that won me over in the first novel. Granted, Nadia has a lot of stuff on her mind in this installment, but I would have liked to see her be less blasé in some situations. I felt like all the confidence Nadia gained in the first novel was forgotten as she goes around casting spells without truly thinking of the ramifications of her actions. As a result, I found myself more drawn to Verlaine this time.
I won't say anything about the plot because it would be hard to avoid spoilers, but I did enjoy the spells once again. I love Gray's take on witches and highly recommend this one to those who enjoy that paranormal variety. Steadfast reads like a witchy Nancy Drew.
One Last Gripe: I still want more answers about Verlaine - particularly about her parents.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: I was drawn to the relationships in this novel and how they evolved. The concepts of friendship and family take a center stage this time.
First Sentence: Nearly every gravestone in the cemetery of Captive's Sound made a promise about forever.
What I remember most from Spellcaster is the beginning followed by the ending. It was a great beginning, which I loved, whilst the ending left me a little unbalanced. Steadfast also has a terrific beginning which sets the tone of the book. And again, the ending left me somewhat unbalanced.
It began at the graveyard and ended in a ruin. It was an exciting beginning, at which pace the story was kept then was ramped up for the last 100 pages; I really couldn’t put it down and had to finish it (consequences be damned!). The stakes are a lot higher in Steadfast and Nadia is truly unequal to the forces she’s determined to fight against. Still, this did not undermine her goodness but rather highlights her courage to fight for those she loves. This is what I love about Nadia most though there were moments of frustration with some of her failed / misfired spells (I understand that the author is merely highlighting Nadia’s not-fully-trained-witch status though and sometimes, it’s a little bit funny).
Mateo and Nadia are the sweetest couple! They are so supportive of each other which doesn’t mean that they never exchange angry words but that they work through them. I must admit that now that they’re together, I sort of miss that tension of the first feels (ie. feeling when they first met, first chatted, etc etc etc) but there is a different sort of sweetness here which comes about from being in a relationship. There were times that their focus on each other made Verlaine felt excluded… though that may also be due to Verlaine’s curse.
Verlaine with all her quirkiness and bravery is lonely. She knows only 2 living people who truly love her and despite her understanding of the working of the world, she wishes it was not so. In all this, her courage is a lot more admirable than Nadia because I really don’t know if anyone else can live the way she has had to. Add in to this mix of trio is Asa –ow, he’s hot!, and without revealing too much, let me just say that he’s a very interesting & totally conflicted character. I can’t wait to find out how he’ll turn out later on in the series.
I have really enjoyed Steadfast a lot more than I did Spellcaster. Claudia Gray has woven some truly amazing twists to the story, developed some really interesting characters, and most of all a detailed-dark-and-broody world full of black magic. I can’t wait for the next instalment (which I hear is titled Sorceress, *eep, excitement!*)
Thank you, Harper Collins Australia for providing copy of book in exchange of honest review
EXPECTATIONS: So I started a few series of Claudia Gray just to see if her other books are as great as Firebird and Defy the Stars. I didn't real like Evernight because of that teen vampires trope but Spellcaster series were about witches and you all know I read anything about them so of we go onto a second book of Spellcaster series.
THE WORLD: In this book we focus on a small town in a middle of nowhere with as little population as it gets. Very much Vampire Diaries and Secret Circle style. Anyways apart normal life we do not have that much of paranormal, tbh really it is only witches and demons running around. Also this book is using a pretty common image of magic coming from satan aka the one below.
CHARACTERS: The main characters in the book are Nadia and Mateo of course. The naive witch youngling and a hot ass saver of the world. Nah okay not really, Nadia gets a bit more confidence in this book however her naive part is still leaking all over. You would think the girl has learned by now but nope. Makes you want to shake her at some point and scream how do you not get it? But oh well. She is also pretty harmless. Mateo on the other hand is really getting on my nerves. Like dude don't you have a life of your own instead of following Nadia everywhere like some stalker? Hrr. But at least we get more of Verlaine, a girl that Elizabeth made unlovable with her curses. I actually loved Verlaine way more than Nadia and Mateo put together, why it is always that in such books side characters are way more appealing than leads?
ROMANCE: Same old Nadia and Mateo cannot get enough of each other. Very Bella and Edward too which I cannot stand. Give the girl space to breath!
GOOD: So one thing that I liked most was actually Elizabeth getting more and more evil. Like she is really developing into that bad villain. I mean I know in first book she was already evil but there we were more told she is bad than actually seeing it for ourselves. Well that changes in Steadfast for sure, go Elizabeth. Even tho I do know the evil never wins but girl can hope!
BAD: I did not really feel like the story was developing further. At least Nadia and Mateo were not. And I don't like the commonly used image of witches and witchcraft coming from Satan. Not all witchcraft is bad, you know...
OVERALL: It was definitely not as good as the first book, I dare to diagnose a second book syndrome here!