Sunday, January 31, 2010

Firespell: Chloe Neill

SUMMARY (From Amazon):

New Girl.
New School.
Old Evil.

From the author of the Chicagoland Vampires novels.

A new series about a boarding school filled with something worse than homework.

Lily's parents have sent her to a fancy boarding school in Chicago filled with the ultra-rich. If that wasn't bad enough, she's hearing and seeing bizarre things on St. Sophie's creepy campus. Her roommate, Scout, keeps her sane, but keeps disappearing at night. When one day Lily finds Scout running from real-life monsters, she learns the hard way that Scout is involved in a splinter group of rebel teens.

They protect Chicago from demons, vamps, and dark magic users. It's too bad Lily doesn't have powers of her own to help. At least, none that she's discovered yet...


The plot is interested, the characters are endearing and the story is well put together. But the humor is amazing. Even in tense moments, at least one character would shine through with some comment that cut right through the thickness- comedic relief was rampant and perfect in this book. The pop culture references throughout the book were also great, from Man vs. Wild to X-Files to Buffy. I wholeheartedly appreciated the humor in this book.

Things moved at a decent pace in this book, putting Lily in boarding school almost immediately with more of a summarizing of how she came to be there. Of course there is the usual cliques and popular versus freaks incidents but I actually really enjoyed the fact that while Lily did dabble with the populars, there was never really any choice to be made for her. Scout offered friendship and she took it without needing to question it. That is actually really rare in books even though it is such a natural thing to happen and I applaud Neill for making it so simple in this book.

Lily's character was very likable for me. She was strong willed and had some brains, plus a very snarky, sarcastic attitude that I most definitely could identify with. She didn't just accept things at face value, take no for an answer, or ignore someone's safety. She fought for what she wanted and wasn't easily deterred. I didn't really find myself yelling at her for being a total idiot which is always nice. She was, of course, different than her classmates and even from Scout's group, but it wasn't a cliche way of being different just for the sake of it- the reasoning behind it was explained and actually done in a very interested, brilliant way.

Scout was just as snarky and big on the sarcasm- the banter between Scout and Lily kept me reading as much as the plot did. I love when banter is in a book and this particular set was well written. Scout has her own sordid past but she doesn't really dwell on it or play the victim- she accepts it as just being and goes on with what she has to do and even expects other to do the same. In that sense, I feel she actually made Lily an even stronger character and it was great to see the way these two girls effected each other.

The plot is a nice take on the good verse evil scenario, pulling several commonly used elements together in a new way. Neill has definitely made this book unique and all her own and apart from being paranormal, there isn't any singular book that stands out as similar. I look forward to more in this series- the ending certainly closed off the events of this book but by no means left me placated- and things are set up for almost endless possibilities which is the best for a book to end.

Overall, this one gets 4 stars from me. The characters were strong and the plot was great although I admit, I wasn't just all out wowed like other 5 star books have made me. However, this is just the first in a series and with Neill's strong writing abilities, I could easily see future Dark Elite novels earning 5 stars.

Source: Purchased purely for my own enjoyment from
Reading level: Young Adult
Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Signet (January 5, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0451228863
ISBN-13: 978-0451228864

Author's Website

Other Reviews:
Opinionated? Me?
The Book Spot
Peace, Love & Pat
Bookworming in the 21st Century

Blog With Bite

This review has been entered onto Blog With Bite reviews


  1. This book looks pretty interesting. Even if the plot isn't amazing, I'd like to read about the characters.

  2. I'm almost done reading this one*loving it* i wonder if something is going 2 happen between Lil and Jason...

  3. I want to read this so badly! I am so glad you enjoyed it!