Monday, 29 July 2013

Review: Dark Spell

Dark Spell
Author: Gill Arbuthnott
Release date: August 1st 2013 (first published July 1st 2013) 
Source :  Received a digital copy via Netgalley. (In exchange for an honest review. Thank you!)
Fifteen-year-year-old Callie Hall has just found out that she is a witch...and things keep going wrong. Sometimes her mind seems to make things happen, things she cannot control. She can set fire to things without a match, and when she's angry people can get hurt. Her friend Josh understands that she's a bit strange, but it is only on a dark and dangerous visit to the tunnels beneath the ruins of St Andrews' castle that he realises just how strange she really is. Something comes back with Callie--in Callie--something she cannot escape. Can Callie control her power long enough to send back the darkness before it takes over her life? Will Josh ever understand her secret?
This will be a short review, as I neither enjoyed or hated Dark Spell, it was just...there.
Fifteen year old Callie thinks her life is boring. She isn't popular, and she really doesn't have any friends, (well, not in her town) her only solace being Josh, whose from Edinburgh and keeps in contact via facebook. Me, being in Wales , knows this method very well as I have a really good friend in Canada.

(If you're reading this, hi Britt!) Though, our conversations aren't as vague as Josh and Callies'. Finding out she's a witch is both a curse and a blessing to Callie, since hello, she's interesting now. Apparently. She quickly dislikes it when things start happening around her that she can't control.
Right okay, I'll start with plot.
I liked it, kind of. I love Scotland, and I loved the parts with St Andrews Castle, but that was pretty much all I loved. Don't get me wrong, I'm not hating on this book, trust me you'd know if I was hating on it. I just felt like it went too fast, one minute it was one day, the next a month went by, a week, etc, and without much actually happening. The story's told from multiple P.O.V's, all which are a little bland, and some of them switched  between characters within a few sentences and without warning, which you can easily get lost trying to keep up. I guess that's what mainly irked me about it. Generally, I'm not opposed to multiple P.O.V's, when they're done right (Chapter by chapter, or at least the character's names before hand) and sadly Dark Spells didn't have any of that. It also had a more "tell" than "show" feel to it, too.
When I think of magic, I either think Merlin. Who doesn't like Merlin? Or Charmed, and Charmed doesn't need explaining. I've read a lot of books to do with magic, because I love the different interpretations of power and how it can be used or made. Callie's magic wasn't anything big or special, the only incline to her having any power is the "tingling" in her fingertips, there wasn't any big reveal or slow build up, just a "Oops" moment with a certain bitchy character, and then "oh, I'm a witch."
Onto the Characters, we have:
Callie- Who the book is supposed to be about but kind of get's left behind a little. She was quite boring, there wasn't any "voice" to her character, and she was a little whiny.
Josh- The friend. He was okay, I mean he wasn't a well-rounded character, we didn't know that much about it, and even he pretty much admitted he was pretty fake back home. Which made him come off as shallow.
Rose & Bessie- Do "Old" people really come across like that? Pretty stereotypical, my nan talks nothing like that and she's almost 70. (She'd kill me if she knew I just said that.) Rose, she was nice. I guess. Bessie had some great one-liners. I liked them better than Callie anyway.
Callie's parents- Are kind of like robots. Eh.
Overall, like I said, I didn't like the book or hate it, but it definitely wasn't for me and it really didn't impress, and though I finished Dark Spell, mainly because it was short. It didn't hold my attention.
Rating: 2/5