Sunday, January 15, 2017

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW | Spellcaster by Claudia Gray

Title: Spellcaster
Series: Spellcaster Trilogy
Author: Claudia Gray
Publication Date: March 5, 2013
Length: 11 hours and 11 minutes
Source: I listened to the audiobook via my online local library.
When Nadia's family moves to Captive's Sound, she instantly realizes there's more to the place than meets the eye. Descended from witches, Nadia can sense that a spell has been cast over the tiny Rhode Island town—a sickness infecting everyone and everything in it. The magic at work is darker and more powerful than anything she's come across and has sunk its claws most deeply into Mateo . . . her rescuer, her friend, and the guy she yearns to get closer to even as he pushes her away.

Mateo has lived in Captive's Sound his entire life, shadowed by small-town gossip and his family's tormented past. Every generation, the local legends say, one member of the family goes mad, claiming to know the future before descending into insanity. When the strange dreams Mateo has been having of rescuing a beautiful girl from a car accident actually come true, he knows he's doomed.

Despite the forces pulling them apart, Nadia and Mateo must work together to break the chains of his terrible family curse, and to prevent a coming disaster that even now threatens the entire town, including Nadia's family, her newfound friends, and her own life. Shimmering with magic and mystery, New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray's new novel depicts a dark and unforgettable world of witches, curses, buried secrets, and star-crossed romance.
 I was off to a rocky start with this book. Though the book starts off with a car crash and took off from there, the "it" factor was missing for me. The characters seemed a bit cliche, and I couldn't empathize with any of them. However, this all changed a bit before the halfway point and then I had tons of fun listening to Spellcaster. 

This book until around 30 percent. There wasn't anything pushing me to continue to listen to the book. It wasn't until there were three days left until the book expired that I really started to listen. In fact, I listened to roughly seven hours of the audiobook in one day. That's saying a lot for me, considering that I normally listen to an hour tops a day. But the story was so compelling after a while. I was starting to care for the main characters, and the plot moved so quickly that there was never a moment when I wanted to put it down.

One thing I loved was how much development the characters underwent. At first, I couldn't connect to any of them. However, all of the main characters (Nadia, Mateo, Elizabeth, and even Verlene) were all expanded on. I started to really root for Nadia and Mateo, and I loved that while there was an instant attraction between them, they didn't act on it for quite a while. Plus, there is also a great friendship in Spellcaster as well! Nadia, Mateo, and Verlene are like their own squad. They always stuck by each other and I liked their dynamics as well. I'm looking forward to reading more of them in the sequel.

My only complaint about this book is how slow of a start there was. Like I mentioned before, I couldn't connect with any of the characters and they all seemed very cliche. In fact, the first 30% did seem a bit cliche the whole entire time. There was a special girl who is kind of lost and only has one parent. She meets a mysterious boy who is smoking hot. And there are some petty girls at the high school too. Talk about YA cliches! Thankfully, Gray spins these cliches on their heads.

Another thing that was really great was that parental figures in this group were present. Most YA books have parents or parental figures that are absent or never mentioned. This is the complete opposite. Family matters and is important to both Nadia and Mateo, and I loved how they were mentioned, developed, and influenced the plot of the book.

Needless to say, Spellcaster was a great first book in this trilogy. The book had a rocky start, but really began to pick up around the 30% mark. The characters, both main and secondary, were fleshed out quite well. Plus, there was a great relationship among friends and parents. My problems were pretty minor, and I will be continuing on with the series!

With that, I give this book
4 out of 5 Stars!

16 comments:

  1. OOh nice! I have this one in my TBR trunk somewhere...lol. I've really enjoyed her first book in the Firebird trilogy and still need to finish that one, but I do hope to get back to this series eventually too! Nice review!

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    1. Thanks Jessica! I liked Spellcaster just a bit more than A Thousand Pieces of You, solely because the antagonists were a lot more fleshed out. I hope you like the book when you get around to it!

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  2. I haven't heard of this one before, but you make it sound pretty compelling even after the rough start. Did the narrator give a good performance?

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    1. I would say she did a good job! There was only one time her narrating took me by surprise (and not in a god way) when Claudia's brother was first introduced. But once I got accustomed to his voice it seemed very natural. There was plenty of distinction between the voices as well, even between three different girls, so I would say it was well done!

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  3. for some reason, Claudia Gray's books just don't click with me. I've been eyeing this one because of that fab cover (lol). The weak start is quite disappointing but given how nicely they developed for you, I might consider this one but it's still not a priority for me though. Great review, Genni! :)

    czai @ the Blacksheep Reader

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    1. Her covers are literally the best! Except for her Evernight trilogy..ouch! I know exactly what you mean. There are so many books I want to read, but I'm not dying to read them. :) Thanks czai!

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  4. Slow starts have been a complaint of mine lately! The books I've read recently have had slow starts and it can be a little aggravating. I've not read this particular set of Gray books. To be honest, I don't think her books are for me! I didn't like her vampire series (Evernight books?), and I didn't like A Thousand Pieces of You... I loved Fateful though. Probably because it's a standalone and there was almost no chance she could ruin the romance. ;) I feel like maybe Gray is a bit out of touch with actual young adults? Those cliches sound annoying.

    BUT! I'm glad you enjoyed this book, Genni. Great review!

    Have a wonderful week. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. Yes, slow starts are so aggravating! I hate reading a book that I know is well-liked/loved, but having to trudge through 100 or more pages of exposition to get to the real thick of it. I actually own the e-book of Evernight, and I'm interested to see how I feel about it. I like her books, but they don't stand out for me. Fateful is actually my most anticipated book by her! I know exactly where you are coming form. Standalones are so much simpler sometimes; it's a breath of fresh air! I can see how you think that. But hey, she's doing something right considering how popular her Firebird trilogy is! :)

      Thanks Alyssa! Have a wonderful week as well. :D

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  5. I haven't read any of her books, but slow starts are hard for me as well. Happy to hear that you liked it. I really enjoy audiobook, too. :)
    Great review, Genni!

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    1. Thanks Jess! At first, audiobooks were hard for me to get into and to find a place in my everyday life, but now I love them! Than ks for stopping by. :)

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  6. Sounds like an enjoyable read. I'm glad you liked it despite the slow start. Great review!

    - Poulami @ Daydreaming Books

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    1. Yeah it definitely was! Thanks Poulami. :)

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  7. Slow starts can be so rough! I'm glad it got better for you though. Great review!! :D

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    1. Definitely! Thank Erin. :) Have a great rest of your week!

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  8. Glad to see you enjoyed this one even with the slow start. And I like hearing that there are actual parents present. Wow, imagine that! :) I'm happy to hear that you liked it well enough to continue on with the series.
    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

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    1. It is always nice to see actual parents in YA! Whenever they are present, it makes the book so much better. Thanks for visiting Tanya! :D

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