Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Release Date: March 27th, 2012
*If you have not read Spellbound this may contain spoilers*
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. Although…it’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.
Summary from Goodreads.com
My Review: I loved the first book in this series, Spellbound (review here), so I was psyched when I saw this book go up on Netgalley. I could not get wait to back to Brendan and Emma and see what the after effects were from the previous book. I had originally thought that Spellbound was a stand-alone, but was happy to come back to this world again.
We meet back up with Emma and Brendan living in bliss thinking the curse is finally over and they can just enjoy each other. The only problem? Angelique is getting that feeling of dread again and thinks that Emma and Brendan have a world of trouble heading their way, soon. When Emma is attacked and Brendan is set up for supposedly selling drugs, they start to worry that someone is after them. The plot is driven by trying to discover the identity of the mystery person who is after them. We did get a sneak peek into the head of the bad guy in the prologue, which was interesting, but there was no way to identify them on their thoughts alone. There is also an accomplice that is a lot closer to Brendan and Emma than they think. I enjoyed trying to unravel the mystery behind the evil after them. The challenges that person throws their way were quite devious and my heart went out to Brendan and Emma as they tried to cope with all the complications they were forced to work through. Cara did a nice job of keeping the suspense alive for the duration of the book.
My favorite part of this book though, was that it did not fall into what I like to call “second book syndrome.” Many times when reading young adult books the second novel is where the author puts some kind of obstacle between the two main characters at the beginning of the story and they are apart for the duration of the novel. I really hate that because when they break up it is usually over something unrealistic and it just doesn’t make sense. I am so happy Cara did not take this route. Brendan and Emma are so much stronger together and we have already established that they are soul mates, so being apart would just be counterproductive. Don’t get me wrong, they have their problems, which are all valid, I am just glad they are facing them together and the source of the tension in this book is not their relationship, but the evil that haunts them.
I also enjoyed seeing more from Angelique. We even get to see the world from her perspective a couple of times. I loved her in the first book and getting a chance to see inside her head and have her contribute more to this book was delightful. She and Brendan are like oil and vinegar, their only common denominator is Emma. They put up with each other because of Emma, but in Spellcaster they are forced to work together on multiple occasions I found the outcome to be quite surprising. I am not sure if there will be another book in this series, but I would love to see a spin off with Angelique as the main focus.
The magic and stories behind everything that happens in these books is also fascinating to me. Cara delves into some new stories from the book that contained information about the curse that was originally cast on Emma and Brendan and I relished having new mysteries to try and decode. The answer is always right there in the story it just takes a little time for me to riddle it out. These elements enrich the story and add another layer that kept me engaged and very interested to see how it would all work out.
Overall, this is another solid addition to this series. I was satisfied with the ending and I do not need to have another book, but would always welcome one. Cara has wrapped up many of the loose ends, but has left herself the opportunity to write more if she chooses. I would recommend this series to any lover of young adult paranormal romance. I am excited to see what Cara will bring us next.
FTC: Thank you to the publisher for letting me review this ARC from through NetGalley.