Spells and Sorceryby S. Usher Evans
Series: Lexie Carrigan Chronicles #1
Published on October 4, 2016 by Sun's Golden Ray Publishing
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
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You have magic.
One sentence, three words, four syllables. Enough to change my life forever. And I'm not talking about the whole spells and sorcery thing.
Lexie Carrigan thought the weirdest thing about her was she preferred watching documentaries and reading the newspaper to reality TV and Twitter. But on the eve of her fifteenth birthday, her aunt and sisters drop a bomb--she's magical.
Now the girl who never made waves is blowing up her nightstand and trying to keep from wreaking havoc on her school. When a kind stranger shows up with all the answers, Lexie hopes he'll be able to help her control her newfound powers. But Gavon may not be as kind as he seems, and soon Lexie finds out that being magical is the least weird thing about her.
We open to Lexie, a teen girl on the eve of her 15th birthday and guess what? She has magic! Add in a few trope-type sisters, a mysterious but wise older man who somehow makes her understand that magic exists better than her own family, and you have the start of this story.
I got all of 3% before putting this one down and picking up something else. Well over a week later, I came back to it and at around the 8% mark was ready to put it down once more. If I haven’t clicked with the protagonist by that point, there’s a problem. So, by the 30% mark, I decided that Spells and Sorcery wasn’t working for me and considered it a DNF.
Lexie has just found out that magic exists and I understand that such a revelation is going to be a bit shocking but for the first 10% of this book, she’s primarily freaking out over all these things that no one told her about. And frankly, while I understand that, I really didn’t feel the urge to root for her as a character. I wasn’t hooked, I wasn’t invested, and for me, the characters are going to make me continue reading versus the plot.
Also Lexie runs off because the idea of magic is so overwhelming and then randomly starts talking to some middle-aged man who appears and knows all about magic??? She gives him her name?! And then on top of that accepts a book from him that will explain everything she needs to know about magic. First off, for a young teen to just trust a stranger so quickly was literally something out of a book and far from the realms of relatable for me. Plus, the only thing he was missing was a name tag that said “Hi my name is Your Magical Mentor” because what coming-of-
age magic story would you have without a wise mentor?
The sisters also took on stereotypes with one being the “cool” one, one being the “bitch,” and the last being the “mature one.” Tied in with the mentor, I felt like I already knew them and that isn’t a bad thing. But the fact that the only characters I met in the beginning also fell into those roles had me questioning whether they would really do anything different.
Then there’s the magic. Pretty much run-of-the-mill spells, healers, potions, everything you’d probably think of if you had to make a list of words associated with witches. Though in this world they’re called “magicals.” While I applaud the effort to change it up from the usual, the name felt awkward more than anything. I think I’d have been totally fine with witches and wizards/warlocks, sorcerers even.
Side note, I loved the Harry Potter references and those made me chuckle each time.
The thing with Spells and Sorcery is that the writing is good, the idea is good, but the actual characters executing this idea didn’t work for me. I couldn’t get behind them enough to warrant reading further as doing so would have likely amounted to a review that would be saying much the same as I’ve already mentioned here. I think that fans of young adult urban fantasies may enjoy this book but as someone who reads the genre often, this one sadly just didn’t work for me.