Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Until recently Chloe Neill was not on my radar screen. She first popped up while I was doing my holiday shopping. One of my friends had Some Girls Bite, the first of Neill's Chicagoland Vampires series, on her wishlist. When I read the description, I had to buy it for her.
A couple of days ago when I was browsing eNYPL for reading material for my Nook, another of Neill's books, Firespell, was available so I decided to check it out.

Firespell by Chloe Neill

When her parents are offered a two-year research sabbatical in Germany, Lily Parker finds herself enrolled in St. Sophia's, an exclusive Chicago boarding school for her final two years of high school. As if missing her parents, adjusting to life in the big city (after upstate New York) and school uniforms weren't enough, things aren't quite what they seem at St. Sophia's. Lily finds her suitemate sneaking out at night, the principal drops hints about the Parkers past lives, and there's something decidedly strange behind the door in the school's basement.

Firespell is the first book in Neill's Dark Elite series (the second book, Hexbound, comes out in January). It was a quick read, I enjoyed it, and I'd read the next book in the series, but I wouldn't list it among the best of paranormal YA books.

Many of the relationships between the various characters lacked any kind of depth. I also don't think Neill's portrayal of boarding school is authentic (I didn't go to boarding school myself, but my sister did). It seems like Neill came up with what seemed like some semi-realistic boarding school rules, but then not only allowed her characters to ignore them (which is to be expected), but neglected to include the necessary authority figures to enforce them (why don't the girls have a house mother of some sort?).

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