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New Girl.
New School.
Old Evil.

From the author of the Chicagoland Vampires novels.

A new series about a boarding school filled with something worse than homework.


Lily's parents have sent her to a fancy boarding school in Chicago filled with the ultra-rich. If that wasn't bad enough, she's hearing and seeing bizarre things on St. Sophie's creepy campus. Her roommate, Scout, keeps her sane, but keeps disappearing at night. When one day Lily finds Scout running from real-life monsters, she learns the hard way that Scout is involved in a splinter group of rebel teens.

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...
Published: Penguin Group on
ISBN: 9781101171301
List price: $6.99
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A little slow, lots of the usual "suspecting something weird going on, discovering a new world, being thrown into the new world, fighting against being part of the new world, accepting your role in the new world, and FINALLY Big fight scene". Hoping the second book will have more action.more
Firespell by Chloe Neill is a good start to the Dark Elite series. I have read all of the Chicagoland Vampire books by Ms. Neill, and I was curious to see how her YA books stood up next to the adult books, and I wasn't disappointed. While it doesn't move as fast as I would have liked for it to, it does do a good job laying groundwork for a new series. The novel also introduces Lily Parker and her friends, who are all very well-rounded characters. Lily is the type of girl that everyone can relate to, especially young adults. Because of this, the first person narration works perfectly. Lily's parents go to Germany for a sabbatical, and they force Lily to enroll in St. Sophia's School for Girls in Chicago. Lily, an Upstate New York native is none too happy about the change in the beginning. Neill does an excellent job using Chicago as a backdrop, and as a former Chicago resident, I can picture exactly where St. Sophia's would be in the city. As with the Chicagoland Vampire series, Chicago is almost a character unto itself. The city feels very alive in real life, and I feel that the way Neill makes it seem like its own character does it justice. Very few authors could pull that off, but the city is an important aspect of the story, as it should be. One of my favorite parts of the book is the fact that she uses the old Pedway as a setting.There isn't a lot of magic in the book, and there is absolutely no violence to speak of. A couple of semi-violent spells are cast, but past that, there is nothing violent about it. That surprised me because even YA paranormal books generally have at least some violence. However, I think that the lack of violence is somewhat refreshing, even though I was hoping for at least one fight scene to spice things up a bit. Lily has a love interest in the book, but the almost-relationship progresses slowly. I prefer the slow building relationship to the insta-love that is common in so many YA books today. There is an almost-kiss in the novel, but beyond that, nothing romantic really happens. Lily flirts with the guy she's interested in, and he flirts with her, but it's not some all-consuming love that can't be controlled. The fact that the relationship is taking its natural course makes the entire novel much more believable. Lily's best friend Scout is a great addition to the story. She is funny and sarcastic. She reminds me of a true Chicagoan. I really enjoy her banter with Lily. Of course there are mean girls in the novel. What YA novel would be complete without mean girls at the school? However, the heroine does handle the pranks rather well, which makes her a good role model, in my opinion. Over all I enjoyed the book, and I am currently reading Hexbound, which is the next novel in the series. I will post my review of it once I'm finished.more
Ooh! I really enjoyed Firespell! I’ve heard mixed things about it, and while I totally get where other people are coming from, I thought the book really worked – especially as the first book in a series.I really haven’t read anything like Firespell before. The plot was pretty unique from anything I’ve read. I love the idea of teens running around catacombs under a boarding school, fighting monsters. There was a lot of backstory and explanation in this book at the start of this book, but it all led up to some pretty awesome action sequences. I enjoyed the backstory a lot, and the climax of the book, and I feel like it was all awesome buildup for the second book in the series.Lily was an interesting protagonist, and I really enjoyed the mystery behind her arrival at St. Sophia’s boarding school. But honestly – Scout rocked. I can’t wait to learn more about her character in the next book because she was such an awesome character with a lot of personality. Not to say Lily didn’t, but I was more interested in Scout overall. I enjoyed the romance subplots for both Lily and Scout and I can’t wait to see more of those relationships in Hexbound. I’d like to see how they develop.I really enjoyed Chloe Neill’s young adult debut. I thought it was well written and, as I said earlier, had a unique plot which is rare with paranormal books coming out left and right in the young adult market these days. If you’re interested in a quick, but intriguing read, definitely pick up Firespell. I can’t wait for Hexbound, which comes out in January 2011!more
Lily Jones has been sent to the elite St Sophia's Boarding School where she finds she has questions as well as the regular issues with dealing with a new school and petty classroom games. Her friend and roommate Scout is apparently up to something and when Lily investigates she finds herself caught up in something she didn't expect. It's an interesting story but I was left wondering about a lot of the foundations for the story. Are there stories within stories and is everyone telling the truth? Somehow it didn't quite gel for me, I do want to read the next book in the series to see what happens next.more
I loved this book! Magic, and love, and the discovery of new power makes it so much more exciting. I can't believe her parents left her to fend for herself in the dark when they went to Germany. Good book overall.more
Chicagoland Vampires author Chloe Neill expands into the young adult genre with Firespell, the first book in a series known as The Dark Elite. Neill's entry into the YA genre is hardly unexpected, as several adult paranormal romance authors are trying out the growing YA genre and carving out new fans for their work (Kim Harrison, Kelley Armstrong and Rachel Caine to name a few).In Firespell, Lily is shipped off to a boarding school filled with preppy rich kids, new difficulties for Lily and, of course, dark secrets. As Lily gets deeper into the lifestyle at St. Sophie's, she starts to learn about the secrets hidden inside the school, and of a mysterious group known as the Dark Elite.I admit that I've never read Neill's other novels, but Firespell is a very strong introduction to her writing. Neill writes with a powerful, knowledgeable hand and paints tones, landscapes and characters very well. Lily, in particular, is a fun and believable character, though at times somewhat angsty.However, the pacing of Firespell felt really off for the first half of the book and, unfortunately, it was a little painful for me to get through. There was little action and I kept wondering when we would actually get to the parts about the famous "dark elite" advertised on the cover.Thankfully, things really pick up in the second half, and the book becomes more enjoyable. I wouldn't say that it completely won me over, I was still a little unhappy with the way it started, but by the end I was a little more excited about Lily's adventures. I'll probably go ahead and pick up the sequel when it comes out, but I probably won't be rushing out to buy it. Hopefully though, with exposition out of the way, there will be more action in future installments.more
Review courtesy of All Things Urban FantasyOnce again set in the city of Chicago, author Chloe Neill starts a YA series about a group of magical teenagers who secretly battle the forces of evil. Great dialogue, an intriguing mystery, and likable characters make up for a few shortcomings.The first half of FIRESPELL was a little slow for me. Too many hints dropped about the school, the students, Lily’s parents etc. over and over again with very little provided in the way of answers. Once Lily does learn the truth—most of it—things picked up noticeably.The dialogue was sharp, smart, and rapid-fire quick from start to finish. Another high was the private girls school of St. Sophia’s that was very reminiscent of the school Rory went to on Gilmore Girls, Chilton, even with the same snooty girls and crazy hard academics. The romance, what little there was, felt tacked on. Lily spoke only a handful of sentences to Jason, and knew even less about his personality before they both started acting like a couple. The book might have been better off if the entire romantic subplot had been pushed to the next bookHEXBOUND, the second book in the Dark Elite series, is available now and I’ve been drawn in enough by the mysteries surrounding Lily (and the snarky fun exchanges between her and Scout) that I’ve already got it on my shelf. Sexual Content: Nonemore
In Firespell, Chloe Neill expands on her take of underworld, paranormal Chicago (see the Chicagoland Vampires series). This time, Neill takes a foray into YA with the first book of her Dark Elite series, set in a Chicago boarding school where all is not as it seems.Of course.Lily Parker is ready to start her junior year of high school in Sagamore, New York, when her parents inform her that they are going on a research sabbatical in Germany for two years -- and sending her to an elite boarding school in Chicago for the remainder of high school. Lily is packed off and installed at St. Sophia's School for Girls, in a new big city where she doesn't know a soul. That is, until she meets Scout Green, her slightly odd suitemate, who is prone to sneaking off in the night and seems to be harboring a secret. A secret that has to do with whatever's in the basement of the school. A secret that is dangerous, maybe even deadly. A secret that suddenly seems to include Lily herself, in ways she never could have imagined.What can I say about Firespell? It's not something that hasn't been done before; there are plenty of boarding school stories out there, and a good chunk of those stories have a magical slant with a new kid who finds herself in the middle of some magical feud, or the target of powerful mean girls, etc., etc., only to discover that she plays a bigger part in the battle than she thought. It's been done. And it will continue to be done, because for some unknown reason, we all seem enthralled by the idea, myself included. I mean, hell, I read all of the Gemma Doyle series, even though it's icky long and I didn't like it from page one.Firespell may not have been anything unusual, but it was certainly fun. Lily was a fine lead, but her friend and suitemate, Scout, stole the show. Scout was fun and quirky, and yes, I may be a little biased because her dorm room is overflowing with books which are organized by color. If you've ever been in my room (you haven't, and you never will), you would know that this makes her a girl after my own ♥.There was a bit of a mystery to the mystery. You know what I mean, right? You know something's coming, and you think you've got it pegged down, but there is a little doubt in your head. It was like that. It didn't go quite where I expected it. And Neill gave herself plenty of room to grow in the series. We get hints of other characters, but she judiciously avoided giving everything away in book one, so we'll get to explore them further as the series goes on, which is a good thing. A couple of them are swoon-worthy boys, if you're into that kind of thing. (You know you are; stop blushing.)There were some drawbacks, of course, aside from the somewhat cookie-cutter, slightly melodramatic plot, and these things were just sort of pet-peevish for me. Those of you familiar with Neill's adult Chicagoland Vampires series will know that there's a very collegiate, sorority/fraternity feel to it, with the different vampire sects being divided into 'houses' (think grown up Gryffindor), with house colors and coats of arms, and such. Firespell has a very similar feel, which is to be expected, as it is set in a school. I didn't have a problem with that, as such, though it makes me wonder if she's limited in her scope. What did bother me was the classification of the different magical beings in the book as JV and Varsity -- and then the continual repetition of these terms. Now, it's one thing to make an off-handed reference, but it just seems a little silly and thin when it becomes an actual element in the story. I'm not sure how to explain this without giving something away, but I just felt it was weak, and more so, irritating.Along the same lines, Neill seems to get stuck in these random patterns of weird word repetition, and it throws off the story. Now, this isn't a huge issue, and some people won't even notice it, but it's a pet peeve of mine because I believe that authors have a responsibility to put such insane amounts of thought into their work that they eliminate these little nuisances that break the reader out of the flow of the story. And after being a writing tutor for 5 years, these things jump out at me, and I can just feel them there, lurking, trying to drive me insane. I'm just saying.Perhaps my biggest pet peeve, though, is that Neill tries too hard at witty banter. She is funny, and when it works, it works. But she forces it too often, and sometimes, whether it's funny or not, it just makes the dialogue seem fake and the characters less believable. She needs to trust herself more to carry the story without one liners. Or to learn that not every person in this world is the one-liner type, so not every character should be, either. With a little more attention to natural sounding dialogue and character thoughts, I wouldn't have that much to complain about in Neill's writing.None of these drawbacks, however, would keep me from recommending this book. They aren't constant, they just crop up occasionally throughout, and they don't outweigh the book as a fun, fast, light read.So yes, Firespell has been done before. And it's fairly easy to see where it's going; nothing ever really came as a shock, and I doubt anything will as the series goes on. It may lean suspiciously towards the melodramatic, and it may have it's flaws in the style of the writing. That being said, it's still a fun read, and if you have to read one boarding school, supernatural story, why not make it this one?ps. I adore the cover.more
Firespell by Chloe NeillReviwed by Moirae the fates book reviews.As a huge fan of books like Harry Potter (My childhood!) when I found this book on the shelf at my library I picked it up, after reading the cover blurb I knew it would be a interesting read.Firespell is about a girl named Lily Parker who hails from New York. Her parents go on sabbatical and send her to St. Sophia’s school for girls, a boarding school in Chicago. Lily is very unhappy with this new arrangement to say the least. The school is packed with the stereotypical super rich bratty girls. Which Lily is not a fan of. She wants to know where her new friend and roommate Scout goes each night when she sneaks out. Lily soon learns about a world in Chicago that she never knew about a world with magic, vampires and demons. Lily must learn fast how to protect her self and Chicago from these creatures and from the Reapers who use dark-magic.I really enjoyed this book. The book was fast paced and fun. Neill’s Chicago is a fun one, but it can also be a frightening one. I really enjoy her writing style and how she tells a story. She gives you enough information, but she also keeps a lot from you and upon finishing the book, if you are anything like me you’ll groan, not in a bad way, but in more of a I-have-to-wait-a-whole-year kind of way. I know I did that. There were so many questions left unanswered about Lily, her friends and her parents. Neill is not afraid to let her characters have flaws nor is she afraid to let them fail. They are real characters, I love that! I am so glad that none of them were Mary-Sue. The dialog felt real to me. It didn’t feel forced or feel like Neill was “Trying to sound like a teenager”. The character development is great! We get to see how Lily grows from page one to two-hundred forty-six. I am waiting very anxiously to read Hexbound the next installment due to be released January 4 2011. Over all rating:I would give this book a ***** 5 out of 5 stars if you like Harry Potter and Hexhall you’ll love this book.Cover art:I think the cover art is creepy in a good way, the darkness of it makes it that much more mysterious and I think it captures the mystery of the story.Obtained:My local library, then I bought a copy for myself.more
My thoughts:I did enjoy Chloe Neill's voice, and reading this one made me want to check out that adult series of hers too.Sure not that much happened at first, but I liked that. the book was building up to something. We got to see the school, see her make a friend, meet the Mean girls (oh why are there always mean girls, they are so bitchy and think they are all that.) And then she started having doubts about why her parents had gone away, why she was there, and what the heck Scout was up too. When she finally did learn the truth things picked up, and there was some action at the end. It also promised for one exciting book 2.I liked Lily even if she was a bit too curious for her own good at one point. She was also very human in her fears later, and she showed great courage. There was also this love interest with a boy from a boy's school and he seemed sweet. I do like some romance with my action. Scout was one cool kid, and the mean girls, well they were mean. But then this was a private school and what would that be without the brat pack.The world was interesting, people have magic and they either go bad, or they hunt the baddies. They are supposed to be some vamps and demons too, guessing from the blurb, but did not get to meet those yet.All in all, I was happy with this book. I never know with YA, but this one delivered. Final thoughts and recommendation.It seems UF YA fits me better than PNR YA, and I enjoyed this book. It was a fast read, an interesting world, budding romance, and some action. I would give it a 3,5 cos it is a YA I could recommend to adults and teens. It also has promise to get even better when the real fighting starts.Reason for reading:Curious about Chloe Neillmore
The world building is a slow build-up to a great architecture. The end result was beautiful and believable. I would give it a 4.5 out of 5. The story-telling quality was good and I would give it a 3.5 out of 5. The character development was superb and as a reader, I can connect with Lily and Scout.Here is the kicker:Towards the end, the good guys team and the bad guys team had a drama talk which read like a badly scripted movie. The book is trying to make me believe that teenagers (raging hormones, emotions and all) would just stand around and watch newbie friend exchange info with the bad guys team leader in a high-stress rescue situation. WTF! In my experience, teenagers jumps feet first and bounce with energy. Specially with all that adrenaline pumping in their veins having to do a rescue stint. I therefore find these scenes inconsistent. And this is not the only "inconsistent scenario" in the book. So, "suspension of disbelief" would have to drop to zero. That scene there, needs a lot of work. It also tells me that this author has a lot of imagination but little true understanding of teenagers. From my point of view as a reader, if somebody wants to write about a subject matter, he/she needs to understand, or at least research it, because it'll show.Overall, I would rate this book a 2 out of 5. Borrow this book from the library rather than waste your money buying it.Overall Rating: 2 out of 5more
I was really looking forward to reading this book, and I thought it was going to be an awesome read! I was disappointed to discover that it was just an "OK" book. Book covers can be so deceiving! As I have stated before...I am such a sucker for a beautiful cover! That is about all this book has going for it though.The plot was so predictable and slow, but I stuck with it, hoping it would get better. There was too much time spent on details that, in my opinion, did not matter. I understand that she needed to get settled in to the new school and all, but it didn't have to drag out for so long. I mean, we knew Scout was sneaking off to do some kick ass shit, and I was itching to find out what the hell was going on...WAY before we actually found out!The characters were not so bad though. Lily was a great protagonist, with a good head on her shoulders, and I liked her a lot. Scout, was the stereotypical bad girl, goth chick, that is rebelling against all that is prep school...etc. The one thing that really bothered me was the relationship between Lily and Scout. They were acting like they had known each other for years and their interactions seemed fake to me. The unspoken conversations that they had were REALLY cheesy and it got on my nerves.Overall, I enjoyed the story. It was a cute book that I read in just a couple of hours, and I will probably read the next installment in this series, just to see what happens next. I give this one 3 STARS.more
I really liked the premise of this story, and the characters of Lily and Scout were well written. I love friendships like that, and I have a soft spot for the outcasts. This would have earned more stars, but it felt like the first half of the book dragged, the explanation of magic and how their society is set up was a little rushed. I would still recommend this book and I am eagerly awaiting the second book. I am hoping to see a little more of the romance that is started at the end as well!more
Chloe Neill has fast become one of my favorite writers so when I saw she had a new book coming out, I just knew I had to pick it up. Plus, I thought Firespell was such an enjoyable read that I'd share it with my 13 year old stepdaughter, Jessica. And I figured it would be a neat idea to have a review here by a person in who is in the targeted audience for this book. Below my ramblings is Jessica's thoughts on Firespell.I liked that this story is based in the bustling, windy city of Chicago in an old gothic style school. It was so easy to imagine the numerous tunnels running under Chicago, filled with things unimaginable. This set the atmosphere for me, giving everything a since of old mysteries waiting to be discovered.The story itself had many interesting and mysterious twists that keep me interested. For the most part I enjoyed reading Firespell. The beginning half of this book moved at a slower pace than I would've liked but the last half picked up the pace with an exciting ending. And there is twist to plot about the use of magic itself, that I'm very curious as to how it will pan out in the end for all the characters involved.Again the best part of a Chloe Neill novel for me was the characters. I love Chloe's ability to create companion characters that you can't help but feel the same passion and closeness as you do for the main characters in a story.This first novel has certainly laid the ground work for the next in the Dark Elite series and I look forward to seeing where it goes.Jessica’s Thoughts:Rating: 5 starsI have to say Lily was one of my favorite characters. If she's being challenged by the brat pack or even a bunch of monster she doesn't back down even if she wants to. Scout was another one of my favorite characters. She was very unique and I just couldn't wait to see what funny thing she had in store for me next.There aren't a lot of books that make me want to read them over and over again but Firespell has me hooked in like a fish. If I could I'd read it again and again until I knew every line.more
A great YA debut. The sense of humor is classic Chloe Neill - very similar to her Chicagoland Vampires series. I love how her love of Chicago comes through in her writing. The teens all seem very mature and verbose for their age but, I guess, that's better than the alternative. As typical of the author, the action is plentiful and good and the plot is well-paced. Lots of mysteries here that I'm looking forward to Lily figuring out in future books.more
About~ As the new girl at St.Sophia’s boarding school, Lily Parker thinks her classmates are the most monstrous things she’ll have to face-but oh, how wrong she is. When Lily’s parents decide to send her away to a fancy boarding school in Chicago, she is not happy. Lily’s classmates are the ultrarich brat-pack type-and if that isn’t enough, she’s hearing and seeing bizarre things on St.Sophia’a creepy campus. The only thing keeping her sane is her roommate, Scout, but even Scout’s a little weird-she keeps disappearing late at night. When a prank leaves Lily trapped in the Catacombs beneath the school, Lily finds Scout, who’s running from a real life monster. Scout is part of a splinter group of rebel teens who protect Chicago from demons, vamps, and gone-to-the-dark-side magic users called Reapers. She lets Lily in on the secret, even though Lilt has no powers of her own…or at least none she’s discovered yet.My Review~ This is my first book I have read from Chloe Neill, and it wont be my last. In the beginning of the book, I was a bit bored, but of course that was only because Firespell is the first book in the Dark Elite series. So in the beginning of the book it was all about the Intro. It was only until chapter 8 that things started to get interesting. Besides form that, it was fun getting to know about the funny and quirky characters. Scout with her humor, Lily with her sarcasm, Jason with his hotness…, etc. Overall I loved this novel. It’s a fun read. I can’t wait till book two Hexbound comes out in January. I wish Hexbound gets released sooner. Put this Novel on your TBR Pile.Plot: 4/5Characters: 4/5Ending: 5/5Cover Art: 4/5Pages in Novel: 246ISBN: 978-0-451-22886-4Other Books in the Series: N/Amore
Firespell has a lot of my favorite things in it: boarding school, kick ass heroines, magical powers, and hot guys. And it did them justice. The book is full of action, suspense, some mystery, and a touch of romance. I liked it a lot more than I thought I would, and I'm glad that I picked it up.I really liked Lily as a character. She was strong willed, but not brash, and new how to handle herself. But she also had real emotions that we all could relate to. I think that Scout was my favorite character. She's the rebel with the nose ring, but she's not mean and she's really funny. In the beginning she's rather mysterious, sneaking out at night and not telling Lily where she's going, but I never got the feeling that she was doing anything bad.The part of this book that makes it not just another boarding school book is very original and compelling. It's well thought out and makes sense once you wrap your head around it. There's never a dull moment, and with a few more twists added in it's one heck of a read. It goes by super fast, and now I can't wait for the others in the seriesmore
For her debut YA novel, I think Chloe Neill is off to a great start with the Dark Elite series’ opener Firespell. I found Firespell to be a light and fun read and a nice chance to escape reality for a while and trek through the underground world that she has created with her fresh new characters. As light as this novel was I did find that it took me slightly longer to get through than some other novels I’ve read in the past, and would have liked some parts sped up, but overall it was worth the wait. If you’re a lover of fantasy, this novel is right up your alley. Mystery, magical powers (and not just your normal hocus pocus), werewolves, vampires, energy sucking “reapers”, oh my!Neill has created memorable characters in Lily, Scout, Jason and the rest of the gang. These guys are sure to stick with readers and keep them entertained throughout the pages. The protaganist, Lil Parker was adorable, she was funny, and easy going (maybe a little too much so at times, I would have been freaking out) and my heart went out to her on more than one occasion.But overall I thought her best friend Scout stole the show. She was sharp minded, had a quick wit and always managed to throw her sense of humor into the situations, no matter how dire they may have been. She never lacked for spunk and often kept the story moving, however I would have liked to have learned more of her back story. I’m hoping we’ll get more info in the series later on. I also appreciated how she was completely reliant on herself and no one else, not even the adorable Michael Garcia. The two of these girls put together were fantastic, the perfect balance for each other and will be very relatable to most readers I’m sure.Now in these types of novels, there's always a boy...which is often why we love them so much, and Neill did not let me down on this one. I thought Jason was great, I will admit that a guy in a prep school uniform always did catch my attention, and let's not forget those gorgeous baby blues, right? Wow! Let's see more of him please! And just like the necessary male love interest, these novels rarely leave out the "mean girls", am I right? The brat pack, as Neill has dubbed them drove me up the wall, lol. I wanted to shake them half the time and just tell them to be nice, but regardless they were highly entertaining all the way through.As always, there’s usually a background character that I’m always hoping to learn more about. With Firespell it was Sebastian who caught my attention. He’s dark and mysterious and seriously on the wrong side of the whole good v. bad side of things, so-to-speak but what’s his deal? I can’t go into any more detail without spoiling it, but once you read Firespell I’m sure your curiosity will go up as much as mine did.I had fun reading Firespell and I'm looking forward to the next addition to the Dark Elite series. I can't wait to see what else Chloe Neill has up her sleeve.more
Firespell wasn't originally on my to buy list. I've seen lots of stuff about the book the last few months. Loved the cover, but wasn't sure If I wanted to read it. But when I saw it at Walmart, I snatched that baby up. It's so rare to find good new releases there. In the end I'm glad I picked it up, because I really enjoy the story.Lily has just learned that her parents will be spending the next two years in Germany on a research trip, while she will be attending a boarding school in Chicago. Needless to say Lily is less that thrilled having to leave everything she knows behind. On her first day at St. Sophia's Lily meet her new BFF Scout and learns somethings off about Scout's late night jaunts out of the suite.Lily and Scout are wonderful characters to read about. They are both snarky and compliment each other very well. Firespell pulls you in at page one. It was both suspenseful and charming, this will be a book you'll have a hard time putting down. I look forward to reading more installments in the series. I want to know more about the Dark Elite as a whole, the dark Sebastian and the blue-eyed hottie Jason, that has caught Lily's eye.more
Firespell by Chloe NeillChloe Neill wrote a wonderfully fascinating story about students…yes…again…with special powers. This book is different from others in this genre and quite interesting. The story begins at St. Sophia’s, an all girl boarding school in the heart of Chicago. However, most of the excitement takes place in the underground tunnels beneath the school and beneath the city of Chicago. It is a classic story of good against evil with some mystery, some love and sexual attraction and some mean girl activity tossed together like a perfectly tossed salad. The good girl versus mean girl segments within the story are just totally delicious. The main yummy characters are Lily Parker and Scout Greene who are misfits who band together. There are other cool characters with unusual powers and even a handsome werewolf. The story is totally believable…and has an ending that just cries out for speed reading. I have checked everywhere and right now there is no sign of a sequel, which is maddening. My only hope is that the book title says Book 1…so I hope Chloe is furiously penning Book 2.more
Quick & Dirty: A solid start to a new series with magical world-building, a touch of wicked humor, and lurking danger.Opening Sentence: They were gathered around a conference table in a high-rise, eight men and women, no one under the age of sixty-five, all of them wealthy beyond measure.The Review:Lily Parker is just your average middle class teenager. Her life in upstate New York is drastically changed when her parents decide to go on a two year sabbatical to conduct research at a German University. Lily is devastated when her parents tell her that she will have to attend an elite boarding school in Chicago. Naturally, when Lilly arrives at St. Sophia’s, she’s confronted with your typical “mean girls” scenario. They’re also affectionally known as The Brat Pack. However, Lily makes fast friends with her new roommate, Scout. Lily knows that Scout is into “something” because she’s always disappearing late at night. When Lily decides to do some investigating on her own, she inadvertently gets caught up in a magical war taking place beneath the city of Chicago.The book starts out pretty slow, but ultimately I was invested in the outcome. I wanted to see what happened to the characters and see what mysteries were revealed. Lily is certainly a compelling character. She struggles with her new environment and with issues of parental abandonment. I really enjoyed the interaction between Lilly and Scout, which felt very authentic. The offbeat humor that they share is very endearing. In contrast, I felt that Jason’s character lacked both depth and character development. He seemed like an afterthought. I never felt as if he had chemistry or an emotional connection with Lily. Otherwise, the vivid secondary characters hold plenty of promise. The mythos surrounding the Reapers and Dark Elite powers is intriguing. I was left with a few questions, which I imagine will be addressed in the next installment.Overall, Firespell is a solid entry into a new series. I definitely want to learn more about this multilayered world. Ms. Neill delivers a vivid setting with a mix of danger and secrets. It will be interesting to read the events that unfold and what’s revealed in the next installment.Notable Scene:The floor rumbled beneath me again, and I heard a growl, a roar, like the scream of an angry animal. I heard shuffling, the sounds of fighting, but I could do nothing but lie there, my body spasming as pain and fire and heart raced through my limbs. I blinked at the colors that danced before my eyes, the world-or the portions of the floor and room that I could see from my sprawled out position on the floor-covered by a green haze.FTC Advisory: Penguin provided me with a copy of Firespell . No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.more
Firespell is the start of Chloe Neill's young adult series (her adult series is the Chicagoland Vampire Series). Being the start of a series it does do a fair bit of setting up the characters and the setting and getting to the actual paranormal activity (and yes, I do sound like Ghost Hunters or something) but none of that takes away from the story--just makes it hard to summarize.Sent to fancy, well to do St Sophia's boarding school in Chicago (from upstate New York) when her parents leave for work in Germany, Lily feels more than a little bit out of place. The old stone building is cold and full of girls she doesn't know in blue plaid uniforms. And it's not home.Scout, one of her suite mates, is about the only thing keeping her from going completely over the edge of homesickness. Except Scout disappears to strange places in the middle of the night.And that's where the fun-ness begins and my summarizing ends.Firespell is a book that gets you from page one. While it is true that it doesn't jump right into the action, I actually prefer that because you know who the characters are and where they are and why and then the spooky makes sense. (And really, really makes me want to read other Dark Elite books to see where it goes.)The things that literally go bump in the night for Lily and Co also aren't things that are in twenty other books out at the moment so it's a fresh take on things and a nice change of pace to read something new but still in the otherworldly area.All of that is not to mention Chloe Neill's writing and her characters (and especially their language/what they say-slash-think) which I just love. Like truly, madly, deeply in the way of the song ;)When authors who write 'adult' books or series then write YA series, I always wonder if their teens are going to seem like teens r just twenty-somethings who are attending high school, but these teens were teens. Super fun, evil fighting teens, but still teens.Being the first in a series it leaves some things open for future books, but not so many that you feel like this, the first book, is left unresolved.And it's in Chicago which I miss and love so that's points there, too. Oh, and it's $6,99 so honestly where do you go wrong?Read Firespell and you'l probably be looking for Some Girls Bite the first book in the Chicagoland Vampires series (it comes up whenever I search Some Girls Are so you can just buy both),9/10more
Lily’s parents announce that they’re going on a once in a lifetime sabbatical in Germany for 2 years and send her halfway across the country to St Sophia’s, an elite boarding school in downtown Chicago. The former convent with its stone architecture, regimented lifestyle and push for academic achievement by ultra-rich girls leaves Lily a little cold. But on day one she finds a kindred spirit in her roommate, Scout.There are many secrets at this school which is connected to a number of tunnels running under the city. Scout mysteriously disappears at night on missions she can’t tell her new best friend about. Lily finds out accidentally when seeing Scout running from crazed people who are attacking them with magic. Lily can’t be part of Scout’s rebel group of magical users bent on saving the world because she doesn’t have magical abilities. Or does she?It appears that this first book in a young adult urban fantasy series has only touched the tip of the iceberg with the things Lily is learning, including that her parents have apparently lied to her about what they do for a living and why they are in Germany; a dangerous mystery not yet revealed.The premise of the story in regards to those with magic and how they use it is fairly unique. Lily is somewhat mature for a sixteen year-old, but part of that is due to the philosophical teachings of her parents. But it’s difficult to really connect with this character until she becomes passionate with what needs to be done. Her interactions and relationships with other characters, including a cute guy and the school’s Brat Pack, do a good job of rounding out the story.more
Firespell is about a young teen named, Lily Parker. Her parents go on sabbatical in Germany and instead of taking her along, they decide to enroll her into a private school. A boarding school no less, in Chicago (she is from Sagamore, New York), St. Sophia's.The school has the typical stiff (erm. cold shouldered?) headmistress, posh spoiled rich girls, and a few misfits thrown into the mix. Lily makes friends with a one of her dorm mates, Scout. But Scout has secrets of her own. She's always disappearing and not returning until late at night. Lily tries to figure out the secret, but only gets answers when the brat pack pull a nasty prank.This book is a great addition to my growing collection. The first in a series, and I can't wait to read the next book, to learn more about the characters, their powers, and the fight between them! A must read of the YA crowd.more
Chloe Neill's debut YA book is about a girl named Lily Parker who is sent to a boarding school in Chicago while her philosopher parents are on sabbatical in Germany for two years. Lily is befriended by Scout who has secrets. Lily rapidy becomes involved in a battle between good and evil taking place in the undeground tunnels of Chicago. Lily is a smart and sarcastic junior in high school. The book was a great start to a series. The initial problem was resolved but lots of questions remain to be answered.more
I thought that I was going to encounter another novel about dull old gothic boarding school full of brats from old and new money who's main purpose in life is to make fun of the new kid. I was not entirely wrong but that plays a small role in the big pictur here. I am extremely glad that the action kicked off after a few chapters. Lily Parker's parents was granted sabbatical research in Germany for two years, and she cannot go with them. That being said, they enrolled her in a prestigious school away from her hometown in Sagamore to the windy city of Chicago. As soon as she set foot inside the walls of the St. Sophia school for girls she befriended this girl named Millicent "Scout" Green, eccentric weirdo that is surrounded by mystery. If you read the blurb at the top you pretty much know what happened next. Lily was thrown in the the world of magic. A magic that does not come without a price. In this book it was said that when you're young the magic makes you stronger, but as you get old the magic turns on to you, feeding off from your life source, it consumes you, in short people with this powers tends to become the walking corpse, there is a solution though, you become a Reaper (bad witches) they are the ones who think that they are the superior human beings, they suck out energy from human (psychic vampires?). To prevent the hideous side effects from happening. The good witches are called the Dark Elite, they are the ones who vows to return the magic to nature once they turn 25 to avoid sucking people's energy, the protector of the natural human community.Our heroine does not possess such powers (as far as she was concerned) but then an unfortunate run in with a Reaper named Sebastian, who sic a firespell on her changed her life.Lily is a very likeable character that is complimented by the existence of her new BFF Scout and two other boys Michael and Jason. This is one of the reasons why I like Chloe Neill, her supporting characters are awesome. In this particular book, however, I was more looking forward to what Scout is going to do next more than Lily. He midnight escapades are hard to ignore. Firespell is your average magical related book but with never ending intrigue, suspense, a budding romance and pieces of a bigger mystery. I cannot wait to read more about the Reapers and Dark Elites, most especially Sebastian and more Lily's progress. Perfect for the urban fantasy YA junkie.more
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Reviews

A little slow, lots of the usual "suspecting something weird going on, discovering a new world, being thrown into the new world, fighting against being part of the new world, accepting your role in the new world, and FINALLY Big fight scene". Hoping the second book will have more action.more
Firespell by Chloe Neill is a good start to the Dark Elite series. I have read all of the Chicagoland Vampire books by Ms. Neill, and I was curious to see how her YA books stood up next to the adult books, and I wasn't disappointed. While it doesn't move as fast as I would have liked for it to, it does do a good job laying groundwork for a new series. The novel also introduces Lily Parker and her friends, who are all very well-rounded characters. Lily is the type of girl that everyone can relate to, especially young adults. Because of this, the first person narration works perfectly. Lily's parents go to Germany for a sabbatical, and they force Lily to enroll in St. Sophia's School for Girls in Chicago. Lily, an Upstate New York native is none too happy about the change in the beginning. Neill does an excellent job using Chicago as a backdrop, and as a former Chicago resident, I can picture exactly where St. Sophia's would be in the city. As with the Chicagoland Vampire series, Chicago is almost a character unto itself. The city feels very alive in real life, and I feel that the way Neill makes it seem like its own character does it justice. Very few authors could pull that off, but the city is an important aspect of the story, as it should be. One of my favorite parts of the book is the fact that she uses the old Pedway as a setting.There isn't a lot of magic in the book, and there is absolutely no violence to speak of. A couple of semi-violent spells are cast, but past that, there is nothing violent about it. That surprised me because even YA paranormal books generally have at least some violence. However, I think that the lack of violence is somewhat refreshing, even though I was hoping for at least one fight scene to spice things up a bit. Lily has a love interest in the book, but the almost-relationship progresses slowly. I prefer the slow building relationship to the insta-love that is common in so many YA books today. There is an almost-kiss in the novel, but beyond that, nothing romantic really happens. Lily flirts with the guy she's interested in, and he flirts with her, but it's not some all-consuming love that can't be controlled. The fact that the relationship is taking its natural course makes the entire novel much more believable. Lily's best friend Scout is a great addition to the story. She is funny and sarcastic. She reminds me of a true Chicagoan. I really enjoy her banter with Lily. Of course there are mean girls in the novel. What YA novel would be complete without mean girls at the school? However, the heroine does handle the pranks rather well, which makes her a good role model, in my opinion. Over all I enjoyed the book, and I am currently reading Hexbound, which is the next novel in the series. I will post my review of it once I'm finished.more
Ooh! I really enjoyed Firespell! I’ve heard mixed things about it, and while I totally get where other people are coming from, I thought the book really worked – especially as the first book in a series.I really haven’t read anything like Firespell before. The plot was pretty unique from anything I’ve read. I love the idea of teens running around catacombs under a boarding school, fighting monsters. There was a lot of backstory and explanation in this book at the start of this book, but it all led up to some pretty awesome action sequences. I enjoyed the backstory a lot, and the climax of the book, and I feel like it was all awesome buildup for the second book in the series.Lily was an interesting protagonist, and I really enjoyed the mystery behind her arrival at St. Sophia’s boarding school. But honestly – Scout rocked. I can’t wait to learn more about her character in the next book because she was such an awesome character with a lot of personality. Not to say Lily didn’t, but I was more interested in Scout overall. I enjoyed the romance subplots for both Lily and Scout and I can’t wait to see more of those relationships in Hexbound. I’d like to see how they develop.I really enjoyed Chloe Neill’s young adult debut. I thought it was well written and, as I said earlier, had a unique plot which is rare with paranormal books coming out left and right in the young adult market these days. If you’re interested in a quick, but intriguing read, definitely pick up Firespell. I can’t wait for Hexbound, which comes out in January 2011!more
Lily Jones has been sent to the elite St Sophia's Boarding School where she finds she has questions as well as the regular issues with dealing with a new school and petty classroom games. Her friend and roommate Scout is apparently up to something and when Lily investigates she finds herself caught up in something she didn't expect. It's an interesting story but I was left wondering about a lot of the foundations for the story. Are there stories within stories and is everyone telling the truth? Somehow it didn't quite gel for me, I do want to read the next book in the series to see what happens next.more
I loved this book! Magic, and love, and the discovery of new power makes it so much more exciting. I can't believe her parents left her to fend for herself in the dark when they went to Germany. Good book overall.more
Chicagoland Vampires author Chloe Neill expands into the young adult genre with Firespell, the first book in a series known as The Dark Elite. Neill's entry into the YA genre is hardly unexpected, as several adult paranormal romance authors are trying out the growing YA genre and carving out new fans for their work (Kim Harrison, Kelley Armstrong and Rachel Caine to name a few).In Firespell, Lily is shipped off to a boarding school filled with preppy rich kids, new difficulties for Lily and, of course, dark secrets. As Lily gets deeper into the lifestyle at St. Sophie's, she starts to learn about the secrets hidden inside the school, and of a mysterious group known as the Dark Elite.I admit that I've never read Neill's other novels, but Firespell is a very strong introduction to her writing. Neill writes with a powerful, knowledgeable hand and paints tones, landscapes and characters very well. Lily, in particular, is a fun and believable character, though at times somewhat angsty.However, the pacing of Firespell felt really off for the first half of the book and, unfortunately, it was a little painful for me to get through. There was little action and I kept wondering when we would actually get to the parts about the famous "dark elite" advertised on the cover.Thankfully, things really pick up in the second half, and the book becomes more enjoyable. I wouldn't say that it completely won me over, I was still a little unhappy with the way it started, but by the end I was a little more excited about Lily's adventures. I'll probably go ahead and pick up the sequel when it comes out, but I probably won't be rushing out to buy it. Hopefully though, with exposition out of the way, there will be more action in future installments.more
Review courtesy of All Things Urban FantasyOnce again set in the city of Chicago, author Chloe Neill starts a YA series about a group of magical teenagers who secretly battle the forces of evil. Great dialogue, an intriguing mystery, and likable characters make up for a few shortcomings.The first half of FIRESPELL was a little slow for me. Too many hints dropped about the school, the students, Lily’s parents etc. over and over again with very little provided in the way of answers. Once Lily does learn the truth—most of it—things picked up noticeably.The dialogue was sharp, smart, and rapid-fire quick from start to finish. Another high was the private girls school of St. Sophia’s that was very reminiscent of the school Rory went to on Gilmore Girls, Chilton, even with the same snooty girls and crazy hard academics. The romance, what little there was, felt tacked on. Lily spoke only a handful of sentences to Jason, and knew even less about his personality before they both started acting like a couple. The book might have been better off if the entire romantic subplot had been pushed to the next bookHEXBOUND, the second book in the Dark Elite series, is available now and I’ve been drawn in enough by the mysteries surrounding Lily (and the snarky fun exchanges between her and Scout) that I’ve already got it on my shelf. Sexual Content: Nonemore
In Firespell, Chloe Neill expands on her take of underworld, paranormal Chicago (see the Chicagoland Vampires series). This time, Neill takes a foray into YA with the first book of her Dark Elite series, set in a Chicago boarding school where all is not as it seems.Of course.Lily Parker is ready to start her junior year of high school in Sagamore, New York, when her parents inform her that they are going on a research sabbatical in Germany for two years -- and sending her to an elite boarding school in Chicago for the remainder of high school. Lily is packed off and installed at St. Sophia's School for Girls, in a new big city where she doesn't know a soul. That is, until she meets Scout Green, her slightly odd suitemate, who is prone to sneaking off in the night and seems to be harboring a secret. A secret that has to do with whatever's in the basement of the school. A secret that is dangerous, maybe even deadly. A secret that suddenly seems to include Lily herself, in ways she never could have imagined.What can I say about Firespell? It's not something that hasn't been done before; there are plenty of boarding school stories out there, and a good chunk of those stories have a magical slant with a new kid who finds herself in the middle of some magical feud, or the target of powerful mean girls, etc., etc., only to discover that she plays a bigger part in the battle than she thought. It's been done. And it will continue to be done, because for some unknown reason, we all seem enthralled by the idea, myself included. I mean, hell, I read all of the Gemma Doyle series, even though it's icky long and I didn't like it from page one.Firespell may not have been anything unusual, but it was certainly fun. Lily was a fine lead, but her friend and suitemate, Scout, stole the show. Scout was fun and quirky, and yes, I may be a little biased because her dorm room is overflowing with books which are organized by color. If you've ever been in my room (you haven't, and you never will), you would know that this makes her a girl after my own ♥.There was a bit of a mystery to the mystery. You know what I mean, right? You know something's coming, and you think you've got it pegged down, but there is a little doubt in your head. It was like that. It didn't go quite where I expected it. And Neill gave herself plenty of room to grow in the series. We get hints of other characters, but she judiciously avoided giving everything away in book one, so we'll get to explore them further as the series goes on, which is a good thing. A couple of them are swoon-worthy boys, if you're into that kind of thing. (You know you are; stop blushing.)There were some drawbacks, of course, aside from the somewhat cookie-cutter, slightly melodramatic plot, and these things were just sort of pet-peevish for me. Those of you familiar with Neill's adult Chicagoland Vampires series will know that there's a very collegiate, sorority/fraternity feel to it, with the different vampire sects being divided into 'houses' (think grown up Gryffindor), with house colors and coats of arms, and such. Firespell has a very similar feel, which is to be expected, as it is set in a school. I didn't have a problem with that, as such, though it makes me wonder if she's limited in her scope. What did bother me was the classification of the different magical beings in the book as JV and Varsity -- and then the continual repetition of these terms. Now, it's one thing to make an off-handed reference, but it just seems a little silly and thin when it becomes an actual element in the story. I'm not sure how to explain this without giving something away, but I just felt it was weak, and more so, irritating.Along the same lines, Neill seems to get stuck in these random patterns of weird word repetition, and it throws off the story. Now, this isn't a huge issue, and some people won't even notice it, but it's a pet peeve of mine because I believe that authors have a responsibility to put such insane amounts of thought into their work that they eliminate these little nuisances that break the reader out of the flow of the story. And after being a writing tutor for 5 years, these things jump out at me, and I can just feel them there, lurking, trying to drive me insane. I'm just saying.Perhaps my biggest pet peeve, though, is that Neill tries too hard at witty banter. She is funny, and when it works, it works. But she forces it too often, and sometimes, whether it's funny or not, it just makes the dialogue seem fake and the characters less believable. She needs to trust herself more to carry the story without one liners. Or to learn that not every person in this world is the one-liner type, so not every character should be, either. With a little more attention to natural sounding dialogue and character thoughts, I wouldn't have that much to complain about in Neill's writing.None of these drawbacks, however, would keep me from recommending this book. They aren't constant, they just crop up occasionally throughout, and they don't outweigh the book as a fun, fast, light read.So yes, Firespell has been done before. And it's fairly easy to see where it's going; nothing ever really came as a shock, and I doubt anything will as the series goes on. It may lean suspiciously towards the melodramatic, and it may have it's flaws in the style of the writing. That being said, it's still a fun read, and if you have to read one boarding school, supernatural story, why not make it this one?ps. I adore the cover.more
Firespell by Chloe NeillReviwed by Moirae the fates book reviews.As a huge fan of books like Harry Potter (My childhood!) when I found this book on the shelf at my library I picked it up, after reading the cover blurb I knew it would be a interesting read.Firespell is about a girl named Lily Parker who hails from New York. Her parents go on sabbatical and send her to St. Sophia’s school for girls, a boarding school in Chicago. Lily is very unhappy with this new arrangement to say the least. The school is packed with the stereotypical super rich bratty girls. Which Lily is not a fan of. She wants to know where her new friend and roommate Scout goes each night when she sneaks out. Lily soon learns about a world in Chicago that she never knew about a world with magic, vampires and demons. Lily must learn fast how to protect her self and Chicago from these creatures and from the Reapers who use dark-magic.I really enjoyed this book. The book was fast paced and fun. Neill’s Chicago is a fun one, but it can also be a frightening one. I really enjoy her writing style and how she tells a story. She gives you enough information, but she also keeps a lot from you and upon finishing the book, if you are anything like me you’ll groan, not in a bad way, but in more of a I-have-to-wait-a-whole-year kind of way. I know I did that. There were so many questions left unanswered about Lily, her friends and her parents. Neill is not afraid to let her characters have flaws nor is she afraid to let them fail. They are real characters, I love that! I am so glad that none of them were Mary-Sue. The dialog felt real to me. It didn’t feel forced or feel like Neill was “Trying to sound like a teenager”. The character development is great! We get to see how Lily grows from page one to two-hundred forty-six. I am waiting very anxiously to read Hexbound the next installment due to be released January 4 2011. Over all rating:I would give this book a ***** 5 out of 5 stars if you like Harry Potter and Hexhall you’ll love this book.Cover art:I think the cover art is creepy in a good way, the darkness of it makes it that much more mysterious and I think it captures the mystery of the story.Obtained:My local library, then I bought a copy for myself.more
My thoughts:I did enjoy Chloe Neill's voice, and reading this one made me want to check out that adult series of hers too.Sure not that much happened at first, but I liked that. the book was building up to something. We got to see the school, see her make a friend, meet the Mean girls (oh why are there always mean girls, they are so bitchy and think they are all that.) And then she started having doubts about why her parents had gone away, why she was there, and what the heck Scout was up too. When she finally did learn the truth things picked up, and there was some action at the end. It also promised for one exciting book 2.I liked Lily even if she was a bit too curious for her own good at one point. She was also very human in her fears later, and she showed great courage. There was also this love interest with a boy from a boy's school and he seemed sweet. I do like some romance with my action. Scout was one cool kid, and the mean girls, well they were mean. But then this was a private school and what would that be without the brat pack.The world was interesting, people have magic and they either go bad, or they hunt the baddies. They are supposed to be some vamps and demons too, guessing from the blurb, but did not get to meet those yet.All in all, I was happy with this book. I never know with YA, but this one delivered. Final thoughts and recommendation.It seems UF YA fits me better than PNR YA, and I enjoyed this book. It was a fast read, an interesting world, budding romance, and some action. I would give it a 3,5 cos it is a YA I could recommend to adults and teens. It also has promise to get even better when the real fighting starts.Reason for reading:Curious about Chloe Neillmore
The world building is a slow build-up to a great architecture. The end result was beautiful and believable. I would give it a 4.5 out of 5. The story-telling quality was good and I would give it a 3.5 out of 5. The character development was superb and as a reader, I can connect with Lily and Scout.Here is the kicker:Towards the end, the good guys team and the bad guys team had a drama talk which read like a badly scripted movie. The book is trying to make me believe that teenagers (raging hormones, emotions and all) would just stand around and watch newbie friend exchange info with the bad guys team leader in a high-stress rescue situation. WTF! In my experience, teenagers jumps feet first and bounce with energy. Specially with all that adrenaline pumping in their veins having to do a rescue stint. I therefore find these scenes inconsistent. And this is not the only "inconsistent scenario" in the book. So, "suspension of disbelief" would have to drop to zero. That scene there, needs a lot of work. It also tells me that this author has a lot of imagination but little true understanding of teenagers. From my point of view as a reader, if somebody wants to write about a subject matter, he/she needs to understand, or at least research it, because it'll show.Overall, I would rate this book a 2 out of 5. Borrow this book from the library rather than waste your money buying it.Overall Rating: 2 out of 5more
I was really looking forward to reading this book, and I thought it was going to be an awesome read! I was disappointed to discover that it was just an "OK" book. Book covers can be so deceiving! As I have stated before...I am such a sucker for a beautiful cover! That is about all this book has going for it though.The plot was so predictable and slow, but I stuck with it, hoping it would get better. There was too much time spent on details that, in my opinion, did not matter. I understand that she needed to get settled in to the new school and all, but it didn't have to drag out for so long. I mean, we knew Scout was sneaking off to do some kick ass shit, and I was itching to find out what the hell was going on...WAY before we actually found out!The characters were not so bad though. Lily was a great protagonist, with a good head on her shoulders, and I liked her a lot. Scout, was the stereotypical bad girl, goth chick, that is rebelling against all that is prep school...etc. The one thing that really bothered me was the relationship between Lily and Scout. They were acting like they had known each other for years and their interactions seemed fake to me. The unspoken conversations that they had were REALLY cheesy and it got on my nerves.Overall, I enjoyed the story. It was a cute book that I read in just a couple of hours, and I will probably read the next installment in this series, just to see what happens next. I give this one 3 STARS.more
I really liked the premise of this story, and the characters of Lily and Scout were well written. I love friendships like that, and I have a soft spot for the outcasts. This would have earned more stars, but it felt like the first half of the book dragged, the explanation of magic and how their society is set up was a little rushed. I would still recommend this book and I am eagerly awaiting the second book. I am hoping to see a little more of the romance that is started at the end as well!more
Chloe Neill has fast become one of my favorite writers so when I saw she had a new book coming out, I just knew I had to pick it up. Plus, I thought Firespell was such an enjoyable read that I'd share it with my 13 year old stepdaughter, Jessica. And I figured it would be a neat idea to have a review here by a person in who is in the targeted audience for this book. Below my ramblings is Jessica's thoughts on Firespell.I liked that this story is based in the bustling, windy city of Chicago in an old gothic style school. It was so easy to imagine the numerous tunnels running under Chicago, filled with things unimaginable. This set the atmosphere for me, giving everything a since of old mysteries waiting to be discovered.The story itself had many interesting and mysterious twists that keep me interested. For the most part I enjoyed reading Firespell. The beginning half of this book moved at a slower pace than I would've liked but the last half picked up the pace with an exciting ending. And there is twist to plot about the use of magic itself, that I'm very curious as to how it will pan out in the end for all the characters involved.Again the best part of a Chloe Neill novel for me was the characters. I love Chloe's ability to create companion characters that you can't help but feel the same passion and closeness as you do for the main characters in a story.This first novel has certainly laid the ground work for the next in the Dark Elite series and I look forward to seeing where it goes.Jessica’s Thoughts:Rating: 5 starsI have to say Lily was one of my favorite characters. If she's being challenged by the brat pack or even a bunch of monster she doesn't back down even if she wants to. Scout was another one of my favorite characters. She was very unique and I just couldn't wait to see what funny thing she had in store for me next.There aren't a lot of books that make me want to read them over and over again but Firespell has me hooked in like a fish. If I could I'd read it again and again until I knew every line.more
A great YA debut. The sense of humor is classic Chloe Neill - very similar to her Chicagoland Vampires series. I love how her love of Chicago comes through in her writing. The teens all seem very mature and verbose for their age but, I guess, that's better than the alternative. As typical of the author, the action is plentiful and good and the plot is well-paced. Lots of mysteries here that I'm looking forward to Lily figuring out in future books.more
About~ As the new girl at St.Sophia’s boarding school, Lily Parker thinks her classmates are the most monstrous things she’ll have to face-but oh, how wrong she is. When Lily’s parents decide to send her away to a fancy boarding school in Chicago, she is not happy. Lily’s classmates are the ultrarich brat-pack type-and if that isn’t enough, she’s hearing and seeing bizarre things on St.Sophia’a creepy campus. The only thing keeping her sane is her roommate, Scout, but even Scout’s a little weird-she keeps disappearing late at night. When a prank leaves Lily trapped in the Catacombs beneath the school, Lily finds Scout, who’s running from a real life monster. Scout is part of a splinter group of rebel teens who protect Chicago from demons, vamps, and gone-to-the-dark-side magic users called Reapers. She lets Lily in on the secret, even though Lilt has no powers of her own…or at least none she’s discovered yet.My Review~ This is my first book I have read from Chloe Neill, and it wont be my last. In the beginning of the book, I was a bit bored, but of course that was only because Firespell is the first book in the Dark Elite series. So in the beginning of the book it was all about the Intro. It was only until chapter 8 that things started to get interesting. Besides form that, it was fun getting to know about the funny and quirky characters. Scout with her humor, Lily with her sarcasm, Jason with his hotness…, etc. Overall I loved this novel. It’s a fun read. I can’t wait till book two Hexbound comes out in January. I wish Hexbound gets released sooner. Put this Novel on your TBR Pile.Plot: 4/5Characters: 4/5Ending: 5/5Cover Art: 4/5Pages in Novel: 246ISBN: 978-0-451-22886-4Other Books in the Series: N/Amore
Firespell has a lot of my favorite things in it: boarding school, kick ass heroines, magical powers, and hot guys. And it did them justice. The book is full of action, suspense, some mystery, and a touch of romance. I liked it a lot more than I thought I would, and I'm glad that I picked it up.I really liked Lily as a character. She was strong willed, but not brash, and new how to handle herself. But she also had real emotions that we all could relate to. I think that Scout was my favorite character. She's the rebel with the nose ring, but she's not mean and she's really funny. In the beginning she's rather mysterious, sneaking out at night and not telling Lily where she's going, but I never got the feeling that she was doing anything bad.The part of this book that makes it not just another boarding school book is very original and compelling. It's well thought out and makes sense once you wrap your head around it. There's never a dull moment, and with a few more twists added in it's one heck of a read. It goes by super fast, and now I can't wait for the others in the seriesmore
For her debut YA novel, I think Chloe Neill is off to a great start with the Dark Elite series’ opener Firespell. I found Firespell to be a light and fun read and a nice chance to escape reality for a while and trek through the underground world that she has created with her fresh new characters. As light as this novel was I did find that it took me slightly longer to get through than some other novels I’ve read in the past, and would have liked some parts sped up, but overall it was worth the wait. If you’re a lover of fantasy, this novel is right up your alley. Mystery, magical powers (and not just your normal hocus pocus), werewolves, vampires, energy sucking “reapers”, oh my!Neill has created memorable characters in Lily, Scout, Jason and the rest of the gang. These guys are sure to stick with readers and keep them entertained throughout the pages. The protaganist, Lil Parker was adorable, she was funny, and easy going (maybe a little too much so at times, I would have been freaking out) and my heart went out to her on more than one occasion.But overall I thought her best friend Scout stole the show. She was sharp minded, had a quick wit and always managed to throw her sense of humor into the situations, no matter how dire they may have been. She never lacked for spunk and often kept the story moving, however I would have liked to have learned more of her back story. I’m hoping we’ll get more info in the series later on. I also appreciated how she was completely reliant on herself and no one else, not even the adorable Michael Garcia. The two of these girls put together were fantastic, the perfect balance for each other and will be very relatable to most readers I’m sure.Now in these types of novels, there's always a boy...which is often why we love them so much, and Neill did not let me down on this one. I thought Jason was great, I will admit that a guy in a prep school uniform always did catch my attention, and let's not forget those gorgeous baby blues, right? Wow! Let's see more of him please! And just like the necessary male love interest, these novels rarely leave out the "mean girls", am I right? The brat pack, as Neill has dubbed them drove me up the wall, lol. I wanted to shake them half the time and just tell them to be nice, but regardless they were highly entertaining all the way through.As always, there’s usually a background character that I’m always hoping to learn more about. With Firespell it was Sebastian who caught my attention. He’s dark and mysterious and seriously on the wrong side of the whole good v. bad side of things, so-to-speak but what’s his deal? I can’t go into any more detail without spoiling it, but once you read Firespell I’m sure your curiosity will go up as much as mine did.I had fun reading Firespell and I'm looking forward to the next addition to the Dark Elite series. I can't wait to see what else Chloe Neill has up her sleeve.more
Firespell wasn't originally on my to buy list. I've seen lots of stuff about the book the last few months. Loved the cover, but wasn't sure If I wanted to read it. But when I saw it at Walmart, I snatched that baby up. It's so rare to find good new releases there. In the end I'm glad I picked it up, because I really enjoy the story.Lily has just learned that her parents will be spending the next two years in Germany on a research trip, while she will be attending a boarding school in Chicago. Needless to say Lily is less that thrilled having to leave everything she knows behind. On her first day at St. Sophia's Lily meet her new BFF Scout and learns somethings off about Scout's late night jaunts out of the suite.Lily and Scout are wonderful characters to read about. They are both snarky and compliment each other very well. Firespell pulls you in at page one. It was both suspenseful and charming, this will be a book you'll have a hard time putting down. I look forward to reading more installments in the series. I want to know more about the Dark Elite as a whole, the dark Sebastian and the blue-eyed hottie Jason, that has caught Lily's eye.more
Firespell by Chloe NeillChloe Neill wrote a wonderfully fascinating story about students…yes…again…with special powers. This book is different from others in this genre and quite interesting. The story begins at St. Sophia’s, an all girl boarding school in the heart of Chicago. However, most of the excitement takes place in the underground tunnels beneath the school and beneath the city of Chicago. It is a classic story of good against evil with some mystery, some love and sexual attraction and some mean girl activity tossed together like a perfectly tossed salad. The good girl versus mean girl segments within the story are just totally delicious. The main yummy characters are Lily Parker and Scout Greene who are misfits who band together. There are other cool characters with unusual powers and even a handsome werewolf. The story is totally believable…and has an ending that just cries out for speed reading. I have checked everywhere and right now there is no sign of a sequel, which is maddening. My only hope is that the book title says Book 1…so I hope Chloe is furiously penning Book 2.more
Quick & Dirty: A solid start to a new series with magical world-building, a touch of wicked humor, and lurking danger.Opening Sentence: They were gathered around a conference table in a high-rise, eight men and women, no one under the age of sixty-five, all of them wealthy beyond measure.The Review:Lily Parker is just your average middle class teenager. Her life in upstate New York is drastically changed when her parents decide to go on a two year sabbatical to conduct research at a German University. Lily is devastated when her parents tell her that she will have to attend an elite boarding school in Chicago. Naturally, when Lilly arrives at St. Sophia’s, she’s confronted with your typical “mean girls” scenario. They’re also affectionally known as The Brat Pack. However, Lily makes fast friends with her new roommate, Scout. Lily knows that Scout is into “something” because she’s always disappearing late at night. When Lily decides to do some investigating on her own, she inadvertently gets caught up in a magical war taking place beneath the city of Chicago.The book starts out pretty slow, but ultimately I was invested in the outcome. I wanted to see what happened to the characters and see what mysteries were revealed. Lily is certainly a compelling character. She struggles with her new environment and with issues of parental abandonment. I really enjoyed the interaction between Lilly and Scout, which felt very authentic. The offbeat humor that they share is very endearing. In contrast, I felt that Jason’s character lacked both depth and character development. He seemed like an afterthought. I never felt as if he had chemistry or an emotional connection with Lily. Otherwise, the vivid secondary characters hold plenty of promise. The mythos surrounding the Reapers and Dark Elite powers is intriguing. I was left with a few questions, which I imagine will be addressed in the next installment.Overall, Firespell is a solid entry into a new series. I definitely want to learn more about this multilayered world. Ms. Neill delivers a vivid setting with a mix of danger and secrets. It will be interesting to read the events that unfold and what’s revealed in the next installment.Notable Scene:The floor rumbled beneath me again, and I heard a growl, a roar, like the scream of an angry animal. I heard shuffling, the sounds of fighting, but I could do nothing but lie there, my body spasming as pain and fire and heart raced through my limbs. I blinked at the colors that danced before my eyes, the world-or the portions of the floor and room that I could see from my sprawled out position on the floor-covered by a green haze.FTC Advisory: Penguin provided me with a copy of Firespell . No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.more
Firespell is the start of Chloe Neill's young adult series (her adult series is the Chicagoland Vampire Series). Being the start of a series it does do a fair bit of setting up the characters and the setting and getting to the actual paranormal activity (and yes, I do sound like Ghost Hunters or something) but none of that takes away from the story--just makes it hard to summarize.Sent to fancy, well to do St Sophia's boarding school in Chicago (from upstate New York) when her parents leave for work in Germany, Lily feels more than a little bit out of place. The old stone building is cold and full of girls she doesn't know in blue plaid uniforms. And it's not home.Scout, one of her suite mates, is about the only thing keeping her from going completely over the edge of homesickness. Except Scout disappears to strange places in the middle of the night.And that's where the fun-ness begins and my summarizing ends.Firespell is a book that gets you from page one. While it is true that it doesn't jump right into the action, I actually prefer that because you know who the characters are and where they are and why and then the spooky makes sense. (And really, really makes me want to read other Dark Elite books to see where it goes.)The things that literally go bump in the night for Lily and Co also aren't things that are in twenty other books out at the moment so it's a fresh take on things and a nice change of pace to read something new but still in the otherworldly area.All of that is not to mention Chloe Neill's writing and her characters (and especially their language/what they say-slash-think) which I just love. Like truly, madly, deeply in the way of the song ;)When authors who write 'adult' books or series then write YA series, I always wonder if their teens are going to seem like teens r just twenty-somethings who are attending high school, but these teens were teens. Super fun, evil fighting teens, but still teens.Being the first in a series it leaves some things open for future books, but not so many that you feel like this, the first book, is left unresolved.And it's in Chicago which I miss and love so that's points there, too. Oh, and it's $6,99 so honestly where do you go wrong?Read Firespell and you'l probably be looking for Some Girls Bite the first book in the Chicagoland Vampires series (it comes up whenever I search Some Girls Are so you can just buy both),9/10more
Lily’s parents announce that they’re going on a once in a lifetime sabbatical in Germany for 2 years and send her halfway across the country to St Sophia’s, an elite boarding school in downtown Chicago. The former convent with its stone architecture, regimented lifestyle and push for academic achievement by ultra-rich girls leaves Lily a little cold. But on day one she finds a kindred spirit in her roommate, Scout.There are many secrets at this school which is connected to a number of tunnels running under the city. Scout mysteriously disappears at night on missions she can’t tell her new best friend about. Lily finds out accidentally when seeing Scout running from crazed people who are attacking them with magic. Lily can’t be part of Scout’s rebel group of magical users bent on saving the world because she doesn’t have magical abilities. Or does she?It appears that this first book in a young adult urban fantasy series has only touched the tip of the iceberg with the things Lily is learning, including that her parents have apparently lied to her about what they do for a living and why they are in Germany; a dangerous mystery not yet revealed.The premise of the story in regards to those with magic and how they use it is fairly unique. Lily is somewhat mature for a sixteen year-old, but part of that is due to the philosophical teachings of her parents. But it’s difficult to really connect with this character until she becomes passionate with what needs to be done. Her interactions and relationships with other characters, including a cute guy and the school’s Brat Pack, do a good job of rounding out the story.more
Firespell is about a young teen named, Lily Parker. Her parents go on sabbatical in Germany and instead of taking her along, they decide to enroll her into a private school. A boarding school no less, in Chicago (she is from Sagamore, New York), St. Sophia's.The school has the typical stiff (erm. cold shouldered?) headmistress, posh spoiled rich girls, and a few misfits thrown into the mix. Lily makes friends with a one of her dorm mates, Scout. But Scout has secrets of her own. She's always disappearing and not returning until late at night. Lily tries to figure out the secret, but only gets answers when the brat pack pull a nasty prank.This book is a great addition to my growing collection. The first in a series, and I can't wait to read the next book, to learn more about the characters, their powers, and the fight between them! A must read of the YA crowd.more
Chloe Neill's debut YA book is about a girl named Lily Parker who is sent to a boarding school in Chicago while her philosopher parents are on sabbatical in Germany for two years. Lily is befriended by Scout who has secrets. Lily rapidy becomes involved in a battle between good and evil taking place in the undeground tunnels of Chicago. Lily is a smart and sarcastic junior in high school. The book was a great start to a series. The initial problem was resolved but lots of questions remain to be answered.more
I thought that I was going to encounter another novel about dull old gothic boarding school full of brats from old and new money who's main purpose in life is to make fun of the new kid. I was not entirely wrong but that plays a small role in the big pictur here. I am extremely glad that the action kicked off after a few chapters. Lily Parker's parents was granted sabbatical research in Germany for two years, and she cannot go with them. That being said, they enrolled her in a prestigious school away from her hometown in Sagamore to the windy city of Chicago. As soon as she set foot inside the walls of the St. Sophia school for girls she befriended this girl named Millicent "Scout" Green, eccentric weirdo that is surrounded by mystery. If you read the blurb at the top you pretty much know what happened next. Lily was thrown in the the world of magic. A magic that does not come without a price. In this book it was said that when you're young the magic makes you stronger, but as you get old the magic turns on to you, feeding off from your life source, it consumes you, in short people with this powers tends to become the walking corpse, there is a solution though, you become a Reaper (bad witches) they are the ones who think that they are the superior human beings, they suck out energy from human (psychic vampires?). To prevent the hideous side effects from happening. The good witches are called the Dark Elite, they are the ones who vows to return the magic to nature once they turn 25 to avoid sucking people's energy, the protector of the natural human community.Our heroine does not possess such powers (as far as she was concerned) but then an unfortunate run in with a Reaper named Sebastian, who sic a firespell on her changed her life.Lily is a very likeable character that is complimented by the existence of her new BFF Scout and two other boys Michael and Jason. This is one of the reasons why I like Chloe Neill, her supporting characters are awesome. In this particular book, however, I was more looking forward to what Scout is going to do next more than Lily. He midnight escapades are hard to ignore. Firespell is your average magical related book but with never ending intrigue, suspense, a budding romance and pieces of a bigger mystery. I cannot wait to read more about the Reapers and Dark Elites, most especially Sebastian and more Lily's progress. Perfect for the urban fantasy YA junkie.more
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