Thursday, January 26, 2012

REVIEW: Charmfall by Chloe Neill

Charmfall (Dark Elite #3)
by Chloe Neill

Pub: Jan 3rd by NAL Trade
copy: personal copy e-book(Kobo VOX)

High school can be a battlefield, but for Lily Parker, surviving at St. Sophia’s School for Girls is a matter of life and death... 

Protecting Chicago from the dark side can be an exhausting job, especially when you’re a junior. So when the girls of St. Sophia’s start gearing up for Sneak, their fall formal, Lily decides to join in on some good, old-fashioned party prep—even if it means not giving demons, vampires and the twisted magic users known as Reapers her undivided attention. 

But when a Reaper infiltrates the school, Lily doesn’t forget what she’s sworn to protect. She reaches deep into herself to draw out her magic—and finds that it’s gone. And it turns out she’s not alone. A magical blackout has slammed through paranormal Chicago, and no one knows what—or who—caused it. But Lily knows getting back her magic is worth the risk of going behind enemy lines..


This has turned out to be a really hard book for me to review. I'm a BIG fan of Chloe Neill's books. I think her Chicagoland Vampire series is great. I admit I've held off reading Drink Deep    as I'm not sure if I'll like it or not (I've read mixed reviews) so I want to be in an open frame of mind when I read it.

I've also now read the first three books in The Dark Elite series.I have to admit,  I finished book three feeling dissatisfied. The writing is great, the characters engaging and the world that's been created is interesting and exciting. 

The problem comes with the actual stories being told in each book. The first two felt too short, and seemed incomplete in some way. I let it go, thinking the series might develop into something like Rachel Caine's Morganville Vampires series (which if you haven't read -why not?). 

This hasn't happened yet. Three books and this third book ends with the fall sneak, a dance that was first mentioned early on in the first book. Time is moving sooo slooowwwly. The progression with the characters isn't where I wish it was. I feel like I'm always being teased with the promise of more plot progression but it never happens.

I'm also finding some of the romantic aspects of this series troubling. Lily is "almost sixteen" so 15 years old. She has a strange connection to Sebastian Born, the reaper whose attack gave her Firespell. The trouble with this is that Sebastian attends the University, so we can assume he is at least 19.  Should he be flirting with a fifteen year old? I like the idea of a connection between the two characters but I don't think it works romantically when they are so far apart in maturity. If Lily was a little older I could buy into it, but as it's set up I can't.

So as you can see, I'm conflicted about this book. It's good, really it is. The mystery of what's happened to the magic was interesting. I would have liked to see more after the spell is broken. It's implied that there is a reason for what happened and there's the fairy tale etc., but once Lily's done her part none of it is mentioned again as our heroine heads off to the Sneak.

Lily is starting to  question those around her in this book and what they are doing and I like that she does it.  but back to my original complaint - I don't think enough time has necessarily passed that I buy Lily's questions. If she were further along in learning about magic I think I'd believe it more. It's only been about six weeks. I think she should still be in the honeymoon period with her magic and her new friends.

So overall, I'll be sticking with the series and I recommend it, but if it takes three more books to get to Christmas I might just change my mind.

Also, please understand that it was very hard for me not to like this book. I really wish I liked it more that I did.

oh well, it happens, right?

Happy Reading!

1 comment:

  1. Bummer. I have this on my TBR pile, but was trying to tackle a few of the releases from last year before moving on to this year's releases. Now I'm kinda scared about starting this one. I don't want to not like it. But if there's slow progression, that might be a problem. Will try to keep an open mind when I do get to it! Great review!


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