Whereas Spellbound seemed to revolve around breaking the curse of Emma and Brendan’s eternal reincarnation, Spellcaster revolved around protecting their true love. The prequel was definitely clichéd (come on, we all knew that the curse would be broken in the end), but this novel’s plot actually intrigued me. I’m not saying it was the best—no, it was nowhere near as interesting as some other novels I’ve read—but it was enough to let me keep flipping through the pages. I wanted to know who was trying so desperately to destroy Emma and Brendan’s true love and, more importantly, why that person was doing so.
Unfortunately, the novel was much too predictable. I easily figured out who was the culprit long before he/she was revealed. He/she was just mentioned much too many times, and I knew it wasn’t a coincidence. I also had suspicions as to why that person would go to such lengths, and I was right.
The mystery in this novel was what really pulled me in. If there wasn’t any mystery, I think I would have given up after fifty pages. But I had my suspicions, and because I always want to be right, I decided to continue reading. The mystery was predictable, but I could deal with that because Cara Lynn Shultz did manage to knock me off my feet a couple times.
I think I was most annoyed with the romance in this novel. I don’t know; maybe it’s just me, but I get really frustrated with lovey-dovey rainbows-and-sunshine cuteness galore romance. (That’s when I go looking for action novels with lots of guts involved.) I don’t want this deluge of hearts and unicorns. It’s not fun to read. But I will say that Emma and Brendan are as cute as they ever were, though I hate how they’re so hung up on whether they should have sex or not. (Like, gross. You’ve known each other for how long? And don’t give me the soul mate crap.)
Emma is no longer the Mary Sue she was in the prequel. She’s been taking some classes that have given her some extra punch (hi-yah!), and she’s definitely gotten stronger both physically and emotionally. However, I’m still really annoyed with her because she’s still that goody-two-shoes nice girl with the tragic past and the rich aunt. So, in a way, she’s still that Mary Sue.
Brendan is still a Marty Stue times one billion. There is absolutely no flaw that I could find in him, and that makes me want to pummel him into a pulp. (Yes, I hate perfect people, if you couldn’t tell.)
There is a minimal amount of description in the novel, which kind of irks me, but the diction irks me more. (Can’t you utilize some of those SAT vocabulary words, Cara Lynn Shultz?) The novel feels very blah to me because there isn’t anything special about the author’s writing style.
I’d like to comment that the changes in perspective were very random. Occasionally the point of view changes from Emma’s POV to Angelique’s POV and I think one time Brendan’s POV. The changes are necessary, I admit, but it feels very out of place. I think that they would have been much better accomplished just through dialogue.
Overall, I would consider Spellcaster an average novel. There’s nothing special about it, but there’s nothing that I absolutely hated about it. It had a (slightly) intriguing plot, but its characters were unrealistic and the writing was very mediocre. There could be much to improve.
Source: Galley received from publisher for review