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Spellcaster (Spellcaster)
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High school senior Nadia Caldani is both the new girl in Captive's Sound and a powerful novice witch. Her father moved what's left of their family from Chicago to the depressed Rhode Island beach town after Nadia's mother, who is also a witch, deserted them. A near-tragic car accident sets in motion Nadia's relationship with the handsome but cursed Mateo Perez, and also alerts her witch sense that something strange lurks underneath Captive's Sound. Enter Verlaine, another outsider who quickly becomes Nadia's best friend, and Elizabeth Pike, an outwardly perfect girl who has her eye on Mateo. While Gray (the Evernight series) relies on a few too many paranormal cliches (two car-accident rescues, an overly broody star-crossed romance), she does a fine job of developing the good and evil witches around which her plot is built. The author's intricate portrayal of witchcraft-including its theories, rules, spells, and history-raises this novel a notch above others in the genre, and Nadia is an appealing heroine as she juggles personal pain and looming supernatural disaster. Ages 13-up. Agent: Diana Fox, Fox Literary. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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, MA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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