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Spellcaster Hardcover – March 5, 2013


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Product Details

  • Series: Spellcaster (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (March 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061961205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061961205
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.9 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #625,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-In the small New England town of Captive's Sound, magic has deep, evil roots. Nadia, whose family has recently moved there after her mother left them, discovers this very quickly for she is a witch. Her mother departed before her training could be completed, and now it is up to her and her new friends, Mateo, a tortured boy whose family is cursed with telling the future, and Verlaine, a girl with a mysterious past, to figure out how to stop the magic from destroying their home. But doing so means battling a witch whose own roots in the town go further and deeper than they could have ever imagined. While Gray relies heavily on common tropes in paranormal romance, her story manages to rise above others in the genre with an intriguing history of witches and witchcraft. Though the plot stops and starts, the characters are sympathetic. The ending promises more battles to come, and fans will clamor to know what happens.-Necia Blundy, formerly at Marlborough Public Library, MAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

High-school seniors Nadia, Mateo, and Verlaine attempt to stop a centuries-old sorceress bent on unleashing the ultimate evil in the beleaguered town of Captive’s Sound. Gray’s latest offering will create a new addiction for her existing fans as well as those soon-to-be fans looking for magic and love in a contemporary setting. This series opener introduces likable characters engaged in a seemingly unwinnable battle, a sweet but complicated romance between two of those characters, and the right amount of backstory about the main characters (the three high-schoolers, plus villain Elizabeth) to hint at exciting possibilities for the future. Aside from her skillful handling of details, Gray also offers a unique take on spell casting, which allows her to create moments of prose poetry every time Nadia performs an incantation. There is a nifty twist at the end that will delight readers getting pumped for the next installment. This one won’t stay on the shelf for long. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The best-selling Evernight series shot Gray into the limelight; an author tour and heightened media outreach should help keep her there. Grades 7-10. --Cindy Welch

More About the Author

Claudia Gray has worked as a lawyer, a journalist, a disc jockey, and an extremely poor waitress. Her lifelong interests in old houses, classic movies, vintage style, and history all play a part in creating the world of Evernight.

Customer Reviews

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See all 51 customer reviews
Very well written.
Kim Widdowson
I had zero connection with any of the characters, and while I liked almost all of them, they were very one dimensional and didn't have any layers.
Lauren
So if the next book in this series is any where near as good as this one, it will be worth the wait.
Terry O. Barrois

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Ward TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
4.5 Stars

'Spellcaster' is the first book in a captivating new young adult paranormal series that follows teenage heroine and witch, Nadia. Nadia and her family, which consists of her father and her younger brother, have moved to the small town of Captive's Sound. As soon as she crosses the town line, Nadia feels the presence of another witch in the area. She also notices the strange darkness that surrounds the town, all the way down to the very trees and streets. After being rescued by the gorgeous outcast Mateo, Nadia is determined to find out what magic has been cast on this town and the people in it. Mateo's family has been cursed for generations, causing them to be driven to madness with visions of the future. Mateo's secret is that he's started having the visions - and they almost all contain Nadia. Nadia and Mateo team up with fellow outsider Verlaine to dig deep into the town's history and discover what secrets have been hidden.

I need to start this review off with the confession that I am a huge sucker for anything about or containing witches and witchcraft. After reading the description, I knew I needed to check it out. This was an enchanting first book the series and definitely lived up to my expectations. The plot was really interesting and dealt intricately with witches and witchcraft - it went into detail about the spells that were cast along with the history of witches and their laws. I was really fascinated by the back story along with the details about witches that were in the story and I'm really hoping that the author delves even deeper with the next book. The characters were well rounded and I liked the trio that contained the main characters.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By AJ TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Magic and mystery mingle in a small New England town in Claudia Gray's SPELLCASTER, the first book in a planned trilogy that is sure to enthrall readers. One of the big attractions has to be the magic system which is incredibly cool and unlike any I've ever read before. Nadia doesn't mix potions over a cauldron or recite Latin incantations, her spells require specific emotions. For example, the first spell she casts calls for:

Terror so great it paralyzes.

Hope so desperate it aches.

Courage so strong it survives

In order to produce these emotions, Nadia recalls memories. They are always short little flashbacks, but they serve as great ways to reveal Nadia's backstory without any dreaded info-dumps.

And speaking of first spells, I'll admit the opening was a touch on the unimpressive side, but once Nadia started Casting, I was bewitched. The story doesn't rely on the myriad of cliches that many YA titles fall back on. There are no unnecessary secrets that divide our couple, no ridiculous miscommunications that create problems where there are none. All of the main characters were refreshingly straightforward, even with themselves.

The secondary characters were, unfortunately, pretty stereotypical, but since they weren't given a ton of page time, that's a minor criticism. Less easy to dismiss was the underwhelming romance. It never really reached that heart pounding place for me. I'm not sure if it was because of the multiple POVs (there are four) or because of the very real threat of death that hung over them, but the romantic plotline was the least interesting to me. But again, the rest of the book was excellent, including the characters.

Be prepared for a hefty cliffhanger at the end of SPELLCASTER.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By KVB99 on May 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Nadia moves to a small town and confronts an ancient evil. Nadia is a half-trained witch, who is trying to recover from her mother leaving her and her family behind and severing all contact. She meets Mateo, with whom she discovers she has a special bond, and befriends outcast girl, Verlaine. Together they fight the black magic of a very powerful sorceress, leading to a exciting, if somewhat indecisive, finale. The basic story and the Nadia-Mateo romance is probably only 3 stars, and I thought that the subplot involving her mother cried out for some measure of resolution, but I give the overall story 4 stars because of some the unique elements the author brings to witchcraft and spell casting. I particularly liked the concept of a steadfast. It's very imaginative and inventive. I look forward to the next book in this new series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vivian on April 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I was definitely intrigued with Spellcaster. I love stories of witches and add in a mysterious curse, I had to check this one out. In the end, I was a bit disappointed, it had its highs and lows, but it wasn't the page-turner I was hoping for. It is different and I liked Claudia's take on witchcraft, but nothing really exciting grabbed my attention throughout the whole book.

I really enjoyed Nadia & Mateo's relationship. Yes, Mateo does save Nadia a couple times, but I liked how Nadia was the one with the power and Mateo was the normal guy. The mystery of his family's curse does take awhile to be completely unveiled, but you can kind of figure out what's going on before they tell you. Probably my favorite aspect of the story was the mystery surrounding the whole town. There is a darkness that is ever-present around the town and as Nadia slowly figures out who is behind it all, things get crazy. I loved all the magic and evil and I think Claudia did a good job at creating this world.

I think things flowed nice and neatly and I loved the magic aspect of the book, but there wasn't enough excitement and drama for me. Things just progressed like it should have and there wasn't any crazy climaxes where I was glued to the pages or anything. I was also pretty disappointed with how Nadia's issues with her mother go unresolved. Part of the reason why they move is because of her mother, yet we get no insight into her character or where she is. All we know is that she got tired of being a mother and left them. That's it. I really would've liked to see her show up, especially when things got rough, or have her there in some shape or form, but that might just be me. It's definitely worth a try if you're looking for a different kind of witch story and I enjoyed it enough.
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