They protect Chicago from demons, vamps, and dark magic users. It's too bad Lily doesn't have powers of her own to help. At least, none that she's discovered yet...
Type: Young Adult, Paranormal, Vampires/Witches/Shifters
Heat: 1 out of 5
Rating: 5 out of 5
Firespell is a nice mix of both the real world with the mundane life of a girls boarding school complete with the snotty brat pack, required study hall, crush worthy boys and life as a teen and the paranormal. The secret world of magic and those that are part of it. I loved this element and thought it was a great twist on the world of magic and what makes someone pick evil over the good side. It wasn't hard to adapt to the new world Neill created mainly because we were on that journey with Lily Parker who is new to magic and just finding out about the paranormal herself. It wasn't overwhelming which I thought was rather impressive for the first book in a series when they tend to get bogged down with world building and setting up future storylines. I really loved the sarcastic, dry humor throughout the book that kept things a little light-hearted even when they were getting a little dangerous or tense.
“Who are they?” I whispered, as we took seats opposite each other.
Scout glanced up as she pulled notebooks and books from her bag. “The dragon ladies. They monitor lights-out, watch us while we study, and generally make sure that nothing fun occurs on their watch.”
“Awesome,” I said, flipping open my trig book. “I’m a fun hater myself.”Lily Parker and Scout Green are a cute pair of girls and ones that I would have loved to know when I was their age. They're sharp, love thrift stores and funky clothes/items, protective about those they care about and the innocent in general and they're curious about the things happening around them. I liked things about each girl and their personalities. Lily is a vegetarian (me too! you don't see too many vegetarian heroines so I loved that) and lets her curiosity get the better of her more often than not. She's also fiercely loyal and doesn't back down when something is important and someone she cares about is at risk. And Scout, well Scout is just wonderful. She's a tough, kickass girl but you can see the hurt she keeps deep down over the parents who couldn't accept her abilities. I love all her collections of random things in her room and that she isn't afraid to be herself even if that gets her labeled a "wirdo". Both girls have basically been abandoned at St Sophia's School for Girls by their parents. The story takes place right after Lily has arrived and is adjusting to her new life. I liked that while they may have had a moment or two where they weren't thrilled about being there they weren't whiny about it and didn't wallow.
I love, Love, LOVED Chloe Neill's first jump into YA novels, Firespell. Her adult series, the Chicagoland Vampires, is one of my favorites and I was a little hesitant about trying her young adult efforts but I really shouldn't have worried. Neill made the jump with flying colors, creating an interesting new world and characters that I'm already falling for and care about. It's the perfect mix of adventure and danger, sarcastic humor, life during high school complete with "mean girls", hints of sweet little romances for each of the girls and characters doing their part to better the world. Plus a little mystery concerning Lily's parents and why they really sent her to St. Sophia's. I can't wait to start book two, Hexbound, and see what's in store for Lily and Scout!