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June 27, 2012

Review: Spellcaster (Spellbound #2) by Cara Lynn Shultz

After breaking a centuries-old romantic curse, Emma Connor is (almost) glad to get back to normal problems. Although...it's not easy dealing with the jealous cliques and gossip that rule her exclusive Upper East Side prep, even for a seventeen-year-old newbie witch. Having the most-wanted boy in school as her eternal soul mate sure helps ease the pain, especially since wealthy, rocker-hot Brendan Salinger is very good at staying irresistibly close...

But something dark and hungry is using Emma's and Brendan's deepest fears to reveal damaging secrets and destroy their trust in each other. And Emma's crash course in ├╝berspells may not be enough to keep them safe...or to stop an inhuman force bent on making their unsuspected power its own.
Reading Spellbound, book one in this series, left me at a sort of impasse. Don't get me wrong--I enjoyed it, but I wasn't quite sure how well a sequel would sit with me. The whole overarching theme of star-crossed, reincarnated lovers can only hold a plot together for so long. Thankfully, the conflict in Spellcaster was enough to keep me entertained without inducing a "not this again!" groan in regards to an evil-villain-of-epic-proportions-trying-to-destroy-love-forever type of scenario.

Emma Connor and Brendan Salinger are one of the most strongly bonded couples I've ever come across. Honestly, I think they'd be equally devoted to each other even if they weren't fated soul mates, and that's what I adore so much about the pair of them. Not once does one falter in their belief of the other or of the relationship itself. Emma and Brendan experience joys and fight struggles together.

Adding to the list of fabulous characters, Emma's best friend Angelique is quite a sassy one. I admired both her strong will and her restraint towards bickering with Brendan for Emma's sake. Often times in YA I've seen "friends" and even "best friends" who spend half of the book pissed off at the protagonist over some silly little spat. I'm happy to say that Emma and Angelique never have, and hopefully never will, fall under that category because their friendship is what truly matters.

The fantasy/magic elements in the book were spot on. Additionally, perspective came into play in Spellcaster, which was quite fascinating as I got a glimpse into Angelique's fierce little mind. The touch was just enough to spice things up but also keep attention on the main characters. Like Spellbound, Spellcaster ended with just enough resolution to tie everything together but also leave remove for possibilities, which is nice because I can anticipate the next book without having an anxiety attack over the potential outcomes of a cliffhanger. Looking forward to more Emma, Brendan, and Angelique in book three!

Rating: 4/5 stars

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