Spells & Sorcery by S. Usher Evans
Published by Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing on October 4, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 230 Format: eARC Source: Author
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.
I received this eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not impact my thoughts and opinions in any way.
In Spells & Sorcery, S. Usher Evans makes her foray into Young Adult literature with a story of family, magic, and the difficulties of a teenager trying to manage both in her life. Out of the blue Lexie Carrigan goes from an overachieving student with school on her mind to a young girl thrust into a world of sorcery. Life moves on around Lexie as she struggles to come to terms with her power, but how will she use it?
S. Usher Evans without fail knows how to write a page turner. I’ve plowed through every one of her books in like a day each and just cannot put them down. Her stories are just so easy to get into and read quickly that I will always recommend them. Spells & Sorcery fits right in, with a spellbinding story that’s reminiscent of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. It’s perfect for YA and I’m glad to see Evans branching out to this age range.
Thank goodness for Lexie Carrigan! She was such a relatable character and that’s exactly what this tale needed. Lexie was the center of this story, from the discovery of her powers to the conclusion, and each decision she made was one I could totally understand. Her family was on the periphery, not offering much help, and it really took a toll on her. Gavon, the only one to aid her in her studies, was a helpful instructor and the only other character that stood out for me.
There are many ways to worldbuild within a narrative and the route Evans took was very fitting and well done. The reader essentially learned right alongside Lexie, taking in excerpts of the books Gavon had given to her. Knowing my love for history, I clearly enjoyed the little moments woven into this story, connecting Lexie’s studies of early America and the Salem Witch Trials to the magical split that took place during the Separation. It all came together in the end.
Now let’s get into my issues with this one. First of all, for a story about family, I felt Spells & Sorcery really lacked that emotional connection. Part of the problem was her sisters, Nicole and Marie, and her aunt, Jeanie, were all so distant from Lexie that those bonds didn’t translate. Secondly, the pacing of this story was just off the mark. Everything happened at the end and it was so rushed. Plus it was very predictable.
Overall I enjoyed Spells & Sorcery by S. Usher Evans quite a bit. It’s hard for me not to like a magical story and the writing is just so easy to get into. I felt for Lexie and understood her difficulties which made me become more invested. There were a few things that kept me from loving this one but I will definitely be returning for the next installment and hope everyone gives this one a shot.
So, are you looking forward to Spells & Sorcery? Excited for a YA novel from S. Usher Evans? Ready to discover a new magic system? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below!