Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 3166
Shultz's innate humor and charm shone in that first taste of her writing...
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
I didn't expect Cara Lynn Shultz to break out with a series on me after Spellbound, as much as I enjoyed it. I love that Spellbound doesn't require a sequel; the book is completely substantial, totally strong all on its own, and I could've gone on happily without Spellcaster. What's strange? I'm also very happy that I didn't have to. Spellbound acted as a pleasant, refreshing paranormal read due to its light tone amidst its angstier counterparts, though it does have enough action and romantic spark to supplement such a likeable story. With Spellcaster, I could barely resist (and often didn't resist) chuckling and murmuring to myself in the middle of a classroom full of startled onlookers, blushing with every sensuous or sweet embrace, secretly yearning for a cozy blanket to snuggle into as I settled right into Emma's comfy and familiar narration, eyes alight with humor, sweeping the pages quickly in anticipation.

Emma Connor isn't exactly shy—more like playful and protective, toting an arsenal of laughter-inspiring jokes that are equal parts clever and corny always awaiting to be unleashed upon her friends, and somehow end up being the right things to say in the most hopeless of times. She isn't necessarily optimistic, but she's strong and hopeful. And while she can be friendly and nice, she is awkward around large crowds and prefers sticking to her own small crew of important people, all of whom we are delighted to adore, which happens with relative ease. Brendan Salinger isn't the dark side to Emma's light, they're neither opposites nor are they exactly the same. They're just regular people who meet and fall in love... well, it's not as simple as that, and their falling in love may be lined up with destiny, BUT while it does seem all instalovey initially in Spellbound, Spellcaster gives us a wonderful show of a blissed out Emma and Brendan who know each other down to the amount of sugar they like in their cups of coffee, who know exactly how to comfort, support, and love each other in a way that isn't so sweet it grows tart but in a loved up, realistic phase just beyond the previous ones named Lust and Infatuation.

Honestly, the romance is, and will probably always be, the reason that keeps luring me back to these books, though the plot line and paranormal action do spike a nice dose of interest, kicking things up with magic and insane, obsessed villains. All the fuss just didn't seem necessary when that element of Spellcaster wasn't my focus. Even so, I imagine those who enjoy mysteries similar to those of Kim Harrington's Clarity series will find this particular aspect of the story lightly thrilling, which follows a pretty kick-butt climax. The ending, however, with all the enviable delicious sweetness of whip cream atop a satisfying sundae, I found to be more memorable, softening everything in me into a giant, relaxed, happy smile inside and out.

Originally posted at Paranormal Indulgence, 3/28/12
Good Points
Well-written, hilarious, and featuring ordinary, adorable characters with a great sense of humor, Spellcaster carries over that same entertaining wittiness while bringing more intense issues to Emma and Brendan's table, one which already carries many nicks and scars in the strong wood used to fabricate it. With a main character I can't get enough of (real bff material!) and a romance that may have started out with an instalove that broke through my reservations but has since then become something to gush and blush and smile from ear to ear about, Spellcaster and I had a great time and I'm looking forward to a third date.
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