Misfortune seems to follow the Sayers family. Georgia has tried to reestablish normality since her mother died, and she’s no closer to escaping her strange past when a mysterious fire destroys the only other high school in her tiny Texas town.
Georgia is thrown into the company of Luke, a cryptic senior who brings her face to face with the truth about her heritage. Her loving, perfect mother created her family for the singular purpose of birthing five of the most powerful witches in the world, capable of terrifying magic.
Now that she knows the truth, can Georgia keep her siblings safe? Who is behind the dark cult that’s after her family? And does Luke know more about her powers than even Georgia does?
As Halloween is right around the corner, Spelled by Kate St. Clair could not have crossed my path at a more perfect time. With tales of witches and spells and a high school twist, I was curious what I would find beyond the cover. I expected there to be more romance than suspense, with not too much graphic violence and adult themes as it is a Young Adult novella. However, as soon as I started reading, there were plenty of fantastical gruesome details and an intriguing story.
But there was a disconnect between the first two chapters that tripped me up. It wasn’t until the end of the novella that the reader truly understands the significance of the opening. However, as the story progresses, we get little glimpses of understanding, propelling the reader through its entirety. It’s in that second chapter that we are introduced Georgia Sayers, our main character, and all that comes with it–siblings, absentee parents, best friends, and old acquaintances. All throughout the first few chapters, there’s this sense of foreboding, and that feeling gets exaggerated thanks to the heavy amount of foreshadowing.
The character development we see in Georgia seems to happen more “off-screen,” as she comes to learn of her true heritage and what that entails. She starts out as this almost shy, quiet girl that catches the eye of a dangerous new boy that inadvertently changes her life, and not necessarily for the better But as the story progresses, we don’t really see her practicing her craft, growing her power–it’s just there one day as we get to the end of the story. This could have been fleshed out to make her character more engaging, but this can happen throughout the rest of the series.
What was interesting about this novella was its take on witchcraft. It was traced back to Ireland, which practices a very focused kind of magic, and then related it back to Brujeria and Hispanic culture. Not many authors delve into the origins of where the specific magic in the story comes from, and it was a nice change to get a fuller understanding of the different backgrounds that create this story. There were elements of both types of witchcraft interwoven so perfectly together that it was easy to see why these two cultures were chosen.
Rating: 4/5 Stars
* * * Read my full review when it goes live later this week! * * *
Kate was born in a tiny town outside of Austin, TX. At fourteen, she was accepted to a creative writing program at Oxford University in England. She attended boarding schools in Texas and California. When not writing, she’s contending with her activity ADD, which entails horseback riding, aerial silks, and playing with her menagerie or rescued animals.