Review: Dark Spell by Gill Arbuthnott

Dark SpellDark Spell by Gill Arbuthnott

Series: None listed (for now, but I’m pretty sure there will be a second one)

Published by Kelpies on August 1, 2013

Pages: 216

Format: Ebook

Source: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review on Netgalley

Rating: 3 and a half stars

The complete lack of romance in this book made me very very happy.

There are so many YA authors out there that feel like just because their book is about teens and is classified as “YA”, everyone wants a paranormal romance book.

Just no.

There can actually be girl/boy best friends *and the crowd gasps*. Callie and Josh are just great because they don’t try to make a relationship out of a friendship. Some other characters could take lessons from them (hem hem Katniss and Gale). I got the slightest hint at the end of the book that something else might develop, but I really hope their best-friendship stays the same for the next book.

The plot was generally exciting and most of the settings were well written and easy to read. However, it was a bit cliche. I’ve seen this plot done so many times that it has really started getting old to me. The whole girl discovers that she’s a witch (or has powers *oooo*) and then her friend(s) and parents have to accept her for who she really is plot is almost carbon copied from book to book. This one wasn’t worse than others I’ve read, but it didn’t stand out.

Some of the other characters were a tad sloppy. Callie’s parents and grandparents all felt like teenagers rather than mature adults. It didn’t help that Callie called them by their first names. I think that the author was trying too hard to make their relationships seem casual that she went a little overboard and they ended up sounding like they were best-friend-granola-eating-hippie-parents  as my dad calls them.

The magic was pretty fantazmic.

It was strange, fiery and well… just look at the cover.

But wait theres more


Creepy house and body possessing ghosts.

So yes, the magic and creepy witch parts were just great.

I had a really hard time deciding what to rate this book. I sat at the computer for about 10 minutes trying to decide whether to give it three or four stars. There were so many positives, but the cliche plot and informal character relationships just kept getting on my nerves. Finally, as you can see form the top, I just gave up and gave it 3 and a half. If you’re tired of awful YA romance (not that all YA romances are awful) and are looking for a decent magic book, I would wholeheartedly recommend Dark Spell. ~The Red Queen


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