Review of Spellcaster

Spellcaster  - Claudia Gray

Nadia is a witch. A powerful, but untrained witch. Her mother is also a witch, but has abandoned the family (with no real reason given as to why) and suddenly Nadia, her father, and her brother are moving to a new town to start a fresh, new life sans mom. It's important to note that in this story, the witches pass down their knowledge, and the timing of her mom leaving is at a crucial time in Nadia's training, leaving Nadia rather vulnerable to powers she doesn't really understand. I fully expect there to be a magical reason for her mom leaving, but have yet to find out why.


Of course, on the way to their new home, they encounter a magical barrier around the new town that flips the car and puts them into life threatening peril. Enter Mateo, the insta-love heartthrob that immediately reminded me of a cross between Jacob and Edward from Twilight. I was halfway expecting to find out that Mateo was either an angel or a vampire, but no, he is actually neither. Just an unfortunate boy with a powerful curse that causes him to see future events, which is how he happens to be there to save Nadia and her family from the wreck. 


There is also a powerful sorceress named Elizabeth. She looks like a teen, but is actually hundreds of years old. She is the person who has cursed Mateo and other members of his family. The story becomes a battle between Nadia and Elizabeth, but it all feels rather tame to me. Nadia has Mateo and her new friend, Verlaine, as loyal sidekicks, but each is handicapped with curses and spells that have been put on them for various reasons. It's up to Nadia to save her friends, and save her new town from Elizabeth, who they discover is working with a darker power.


I found the spells to be rather odd and boring, and I mostly just wanted to skim and skip over them. I was also rather disappointed when  Elizabeth used what is typically referred to as a glamour against Mateo to trick him into thinking she was Nadia. BTDT. The questionable thing here is that the glamour only worked on Mateo. Everyone else saw Mateo with Elizabeth. At a large high school party it seems unlikely that no one would have addressed her as Elizabeth thus ruining her disguise.


This story is a fast-paced and mildly entertaining read, very appropriate for teens.