Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review: Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 with 6 comments
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Title:  Spellcaster
Author:  Cara Lynn Shultz
Series:  Spellbound
Publisher:  HarlequinTeen
Publication Date:  March 27, 2012
Source:  Netgalley

Finding your eternal soulmate - easy.

Stopping a true-love-hungry evil - not so much…

After breaking a centuries-old romantic curse, Emma Connor is (almost) glad to get back to normal problems.'s not easy dealing with the jealous cliques and gossip that rule her exclusive Upper East Side prep, even for a sixteen-year-old newbie witch. Having the most-wanted boy in school as her eternal soul mate sure helps ease the pain-especially since wealthy, rocker-hot Brendan Salinger is very good at staying irresistibly close...

But something dark and hungry is using Emma and Brendan's deepest fears to reveal damaging secrets and destroy their trust in each other. And Emma's crash course in über-spells may not be enough to keep them safe…or to stop an inhuman force bent on making their unsuspected power its own.

So, as per my recent promise to myself, I didn’t read the synopsis of Spellcaster, though having read the first novel, Spellbound, when it came out last year, I had a general idea what it was about. I liked Spellbound well enough that I wanted to continue the series…or at least I thought I did.

I found Shultz’s sophomore novel to be rather tedious and terribly predictable. I had planned to have it finished before the release date, but other books called to me in the interim in a way that this novel simply didn’t. When considering the premise of Spellcaster, and the series as a whole, it should make for an entertaining story, but I was never drawn into it. I thought there would be witchcraft aplenty and we’d follow Emma and Angelique as they studied spells together and put them to use. Instead, it was almost a repeat of the first novel, with the bad guy trying to rip Emma and Brendan apart again, partly because of jealousy and partly due to a homicidal rage not often found in your average prep school teenager.

Once again, I’m left feeling that the author has a character generator that delivers up stock characters, and she simply added a few of her own touches in order to call them her own. I felt this way about the main characters and supporting cast in the last novel, but I had hoped that they would be more developed in this latest installment. The dialogue didn’t get any better either. It’s horribly immature and though the setting of the story is New York, the dialogue read as if I were hearing a conversation between two girls from “the Valley”.

The second half of the book was better than the first as the characters delved a little further into practicing witchcraft as they tried to figure out who was trying to harm Emma and how they could stop this nefarious person. But between the obvious plotline and the odd switch in POV – from Emma to Angelique for two chapters out of 19 – the second half simply couldn’t redeem the novel.

The only thing I really enjoyed about this book was the love story. There’s no love triangle. There’s no intense guy who’s pushing the girl he loves away in order to protect her. Just two reincarnated soul-mates who find each other in every life, only for the girl to die once they fall in love. But they’ve broken that curse and can now love each other freely. And they do. It’s sweet and innocent and even though it’s the second novel and they’ve been through hell together, he’s not pushing her to take their relationship further, though he’s been around the block a few times. Simply put, it’s refreshing.

I wanted to love this book. I’ll settle for not hating it. And for being able to say that I actually finished without throwing my Nook across the room. (Thank goodness!)  I'm not sure if there are going to be any more books in this series.  I'm also not sure that if there were, I'd continue the series myself.  The story is interesting enough, I suppose, but I feel comfortable with the way that this book ended, so I wouldn't be put out if I didn't read it any further.  And that's saying a lot because I really hate to start something that I'm not going to finish, especially books or series of books.

Rating:  Photobucket


  1. Whoa. I'd heard this one wasn't the best, but hadn't read any reviews. I had the first book on NetGalley and never gotten around to reading it. Sorry it wasn't a great read, Jen. Great review!

  2. I wasn't a huge fan of the first one, so I didn't request this. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this as much as you hoped you would, Jeannette! Hope your next read is better.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. Oh, I'm better now. The Book of Blood and Shadow is just what I needed. :) Murder, Prague, rich history...I'm loving it.

  3. I read and reviewed both books on my blog last week. The first book was fun and different but I agree with you, the second book just didn't work. I didn't like the plot and it just was boring. The only redeeming thing is the cute love story, but .i think it would have been best to leave this as a one book story.

    1. I agree completely. The first book was cute and mildly entertaining, but it would have worked better as a stand-alone. I don't think anything important was learned in this second installment.


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