Spellcaster by Claudia Gray // ✰✰
When Nadia’s family moves to Captive’s Sound, she instantly realizes there’s more to it than meets the eye. Descended from witches, Nadia senses a dark and powerful magic at work in her new town. Mateo has lived in Captive’s Sound his entire life, trying to dodge the local legend that his family is cursed – and that curse will cause him to believe he’s seeing the future … until it drives him mad. When the strange dreams Mateo has been having of rescuing a beautiful girl—Nadia—from a car accident come true, he knows he’s doomed.
Despite the forces pulling them apart, Nadia and Mateo must work together to break the chains of his family’s terrible curse, and to prevent a disaster that threatens the lives of everyone around them. Shimmering with magic and mystery, New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray’s new novel is sure to draw fans of the Hex Hall and Caster Chronicles series, and fans of the hit CW TV show The Secret Circle.
I read this book for the first time when I bought it in 2013 and reread it in 2016.
Re-reading book like this reminds me why i hardly reach for paranormal genre nowadays. Which, is a bad thing as it feels like the first time reading, because i forgot everything already. I remember nothing. I know nothing.
Our main character, Nadia and Mateo really frustates me. Alone, they’re great. They’re pretty motivated and want to save the town. Together? They’re in luuuuuuurve. *sigh* The romance is the typical, formulaic paranormal romance of: girl meets boy-said boy is super hot-but also mysterious-said boy ignores the girl bc he think the girl will be in danger if they’re together-girl in danger-boy saves the girl-lovey dovey cheesey.
The plot is pretty decent, about good witch vs bad witch. I wish we explore more witchcraft and who is one beneath, but I think the author save it for the next book. I like the gothic, decaying atmosphere of Captive Sound.
I still think the villain is really really obvious. Like the author doesn’t even try to keep it mysterious. They practically have glowing “BAD WITCH HERE” on neon. I also still fond of Asa. I might read the next book only to read about Asa, because I don’t care with the characters or what happened next xD
As the book synopsis contained spoiler for the previous book(s), I will not include them in this review.
Steadfast by Claudia Gray // ✰✰✰.5
Steadfast took me by surprise on how much I was enjoying the story! I reread Spellcaster in 2016 but never really picked the rest of the series because well, I wasn’t enjoying it. And honestly, early 2010s paranormal YA books seemed to follow the same pattern so I’m not keen on reading something predictable.
But I was totally wrong. Yes, the direction of the story was predictable (which is why this book lost 1-1.5 stars for me), but the plot itself was pretty solid! We still didn’t delve deeper into witchcraft, only learning about it here and there, but I do love how the plot unfolded. The pacing was just the perfect mix of normal, highschool moment and high tension of the impending fight against evil. As the plot revealed, the stakes are also raised and tbh, it’s pretty serious considering the situation.
We also got to know more of our characters in this book! I love Nadia and Mateo’s relationship, they are so supportive and understanding of each other. They understand the effect of them being together, as well as their responsibilities to their family and Captive’s Sound as a whole. And from the book cover, you bet we got a whole lot more of Verlaine! More sections from her POV, more understanding on her feelings, and finally some answers. We also got more about Asa and he really made me root for him.
As this is a second book, of course we’re going to have a lot of preparations and a book that end in cliffhanger for the shock of the final battle. And I was right! Steadfast is a definite improvement from the first book and I’m looking forward to finish the series!
Sorceress by Claudia Gray // ✰✰✰✰.5
What a great ending! I planned to read only 50% of the book before bed and ended up staying up to finish it in one sitting 😂
This review is going to be even shorter than the previous ones as I’m avoiding spoilers for two books here, but basically- I love it! Things escalated pretty quickly and we got to see more badass, advanced level of magic here. Still no further explanation about the wizard, but we do learn more about dark magic and the One Beneath.
Nadia and Mateo as a character… I mean, their hearts are in the right places but they don’t really evolve much from the first book to now. They always have a high moral compass and love for each other, there’s not a lot of room for characters improvement there 😂 Asa and Verlaine are the ones with the best character growth and I’m really proud seeing them grow! I also love the new additions to the Team Not Evil and some implications on how technology affected the Craft. I think it’s interesting and I wished they’re explored more!
I would be lying if I said this book was without problems though. I feel like this book sometimes got distracted by small details. I enjoyed Verlaine’s povs as it provides a contrast and relief from the gloom and doom, but I also couldn’t care less what she was wearing. And tbh, they’re pretty impractical considering the state of nature at that moment. Same with the current of the water. And we didn’t get answers about the ritual to kill demon– like maybe more explanations about the function of each element? And finally, I felt underwhelmed by the battle with One Beneath. For all the build up, I think it went down too easily.
Sorceress is not a perfect book, but it has the perfect ending for the series. While the story is pretty straightforward, the way the plot is written and revealed keeping me hooked. The characters are also very enjoyable and one that would stick with me for a while. I’m glad I read this book- not only because I could cross a series off my list, but also because I genuinely enjoyed this book!