Spellcaster by Claudia Gray
Harper Collins, 2013. ISBN: 978-0-7322-9615-5.
'It is better to have loved than lost than to have never loved at all.'
While 'the adventures of a teenage witch' is not original it is shown in a new light as this sinister novel presents a new way of looking at witchcraft by using stones to focus magic and feelings and memories as the ingredients. Not your typical coming of age novel Spellcaster deals with the importance of loving despite tragedy and loss.
Motherless and teacher-less Nadia has no choice but to follow her family to Captive's Sound, repelled by a magical barrier and fighting to keep her secret from her family Nadia is pulled from the wreck by a mysterious young man by the name of Mateo. Something isn't right with the town it is eerie and full of something dark and malignant, sink holes are appearing, large enough to swallow up cars and her secret soon comes out. Nadia is a witch. But she isn't the only one. Recognising the work of a witch aligned with 'The One Beneath' she must work together with her new friends in order to save the town from the evil consuming it and in doing so free Mateo from his family curse.
For me, this novel was tedious to read, rather like paranormal romances but always remember that different people have different preferences and I would recommend it to others who have liked Claudia Gray's previous novels such as The Evernight series as well as fans of paranormal romance. I would say that the recommended audience is twelve and up but please be aware that this book does have elements which some young people may find disturbing.
Kayla Gaskell (Student, age seventeen)