Thursday, January 5, 2012

Charmfall by Chloe Neill

Chloe Neill

Grade: A+

Description from
High school can be a battlefield, but for Lily Parker, surviving at St. Sophia’s School for Girls is a matter of life and death... 

Protecting Chicago from the dark side can be an exhausting job, especially when you’re a junior. So when the girls of St. Sophia’s start gearing up for Sneak, their fall formal, Lily decides to join in on some good, old-fashioned party prep—even if it means not giving demons, vampires and the twisted magic users known as Reapers her undivided attention. 

But when a Reaper infiltrates the school, Lily doesn’t forget what she’s sworn to protect. She reaches deep into herself to draw out her magic—and finds that it’s gone. And it turns out she’s not alone. A magical blackout has slammed through paranormal Chicago, and no one knows what—or who—caused it. But Lily knows getting back her magic is worth the risk of going behind enemy lines...

This review contains Hexbound and Firespell spoilers. Click at your own risk!

My thoughts on the book:
Chloe Neill out did herself with this novel. Charmfall kept me reading until the early hours of the morning. I could not put the book down once I started it! Lily and the rest of the Adepts are experiencing a power outage. After she hears from Sebastian, super hot, though maybe evil (but maybe not?) Reaper, Lily learns that not only does the power outage affect the Adepts, but it also affects the Reapers. The only good part of this equation is that they're evenly matched, or are they? Someone has caused this power outage, and that means someone still has power. Lily and Scout work with Sebastian in order to determine who is behind the power outage plaguing Chicago and why. 

The characters in this novel are much better developed than they were in Firespell, and they keep growing and changing with each addition to the series. Lily is growing into her powers and becoming comfortable in her own skin. She has started to trust her "gut instinct," and that pays off. However, she still can't decide whether or not Sebastian is completely good or evil. She also can't decide if she's friends with him or if they're just using each other for information. This sets the stage for an interesting 4th novel, but don't worry Jason fans, he's in the novel, too, and Lily doesn't betray him. 

Speaking of Jason, his family keeps putting more pressure on him to fulfill his werewolf destiny. For those of you who read Hexbound, you know that means to marry another werewolf. He's on edge throughout the novel because of that, and so is Lily. It adds a tension to the plot that may not have been there with simply the disappearance of magic. Jason seems to really care for Lily and vice-versa. He has moments of immaturity in the book, but he always comes through for her when he's really needed, and that's what matters. However, his family "obligation" makes Lily (and me) uncomfortable. I am looking forward to seeing what Neill does with Jason's situation. 

Scout is angrier than usual in this novel. I'm noticing as the series progresses, Scout's bitterness keeps growing. I am not sure if that's just because of the situations she's faced with in the books or if it's setting up something for later in the series. I'll be interested to find out. Either way, Scout is still a good friend to Lily, and they fight this battle of having lost powers together. Scout surprises me when she stands by Lily no matter what and trusts her to make the right decision. It's obvious that their friendship has evolved and become more stable. They are very loyal to each other, and it's growing into a sisterly bond instead of just a friendship. There wasn't a lot of Michael in this novel, and I would have liked to have seen more of him. I don't know where he would have fit in more, though, so I understand why he wasn't present as much as usual. 

A character that I don't know what to think about is Sebastian. Part of me really wants to like and trust him (like Lily), but the other part can't help but think there's more going on with him than Neill is letting on right now. One thing is clear, though. He really seems to care about Lily's well-being, and super hot soul-sucker or not, that has to say something, right? I can't wait to see where Neill takes his character. 

What Dark Elite novel would be complete without the Brat Pack? Veronica and Co are back in action in this book, but Veronica is different. She has a love interest that's shocking to everyone. I'm not sure I'm buying what's going on with that, but again, Neill may have something up her sleeve that we readers don't know about yet. So instead of just writing it off all together, I'm going to wait and see what she has in mind. One thing I've learned from reading the Chicagoland Vampire Series and the Dark Elite Series, when Chloe Neill does something that doesn't exactly set well with me, she tends to fix it with a stroke of brilliance in the next book. So I'm just going to have faith in her ability as an author and see how this plays out. 

Charmfall moves more quickly than the previous two Dark Elite novels. There is more action and more suspense. Neill has created a world that you can easily lose yourself (and your sleep) in. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next. 

Want to read Charmfall? Print Kindle E-book

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