Review and Blog Tour: Spells and Sorcery - S. Usher Evans

Spells and Sorcery by S. Usher Evans
(Lexie Carrigan Chronicles, #1)

My Rating : {★★★★☆}

Young Adult Fantasy
Publication date: October 4th 2016
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
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.
Spells and Sorcery is the first YA fantasy from S. Usher Evans, author of the Razia series, the Madion War Trilogy and Empath.
This book actually surprised me - I went into it fully expecting a light-hearted young YA read full of reminiscing about my childhood of "Charmed" and "Sabrina The Teenage Witch." and what is great is that I got that; but I also got a well plotted story and interesting world building right alongside the magical coming-of-age of Lexie Carrigan.

That's not to say that I didn't have some issues with this book - I did, but the overall enjoyment factor leads me to a 4 star rating. 

The main character, Lexie, is only just turning 15 years old - and that means there's a whole lot going on in her life right now - normal teenager problems. And then there's the fact that she didn't know that she was magical and would suddenly be growing into her powers on her 15th birthday.

I think that the portrayal of Lexie is done fairly well, although she does make some frustratingly silly decisions throughout the story. I could see that most of these are probably age appropriate decisions/mistakes. The one thing that really irked me is that when she met Gavon in the park there wasn't truly a hint of suspicion from her side - she didn't find anything worrisome about meeting a strange man in the park who knew about her magic and just happened to hand her a magical spell book. Other than this though I was able to accept that for the most part Lexie was acting like a normal 15 year old girl - angst and all.

There's a bit of extra fluff around the story that didn't really need to be there - there's A LOT about her schoolwork which isn't really important to the overall plot (although obviously I'm not sure where the series arc is going) and these pages could have been better spent growing the characters of Lexie's family or possibly introducing some regular human friends to Lexies life (even a geeky introvert has at least one friend at school, right?) but I managed to overlook these issues when it came down to the second half of this story. It's a short and quick read but the first half of the book is relatively slow as there's the introduction to magic and some world building. I did appreciate that it wasn't a huge info dump and that it did unravel as we went through the book.

Another thing that I loved about this book was that there is ZERO ROMANCE. These days it feels as though YA authors think that it's an unwritten rule that we need romance in YA books - but that is not true! This is about the bonds of family and how they can be strained, tested and broken. There's not one hint of a love interest and I thoroughly enjoyed that fact. Again, I'm not sure where the series is going to take us but for this first book, the focus was entirely on family.

At the end of the book I was more than happy with how things had progressed. The plot had definitely thickened, there was some great character growth and a very interesting set-up for book number two.

Overall this was an entertaining and fun read and I'm going to be eagerly awaiting the release of the second book.

"I used to be calm and rational. I also used to not shoot purple flames out of my hands. Things had obviously changed."

Author Bio:
S. Usher Evans is an author, blogger, and witty banter aficionado. Born in Pensacola, Florida, she left the sleepy town behind for the fast-paced world of Washington, D.C.. There, she somehow landed jobs with BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Television before finally settling into a “real job” as an IT consultant. After a quarter life crisis at age 27, she decided consulting was for the birds and rekindled a childhood passion for writing novels. She sold everything she owned and moved back to Pensacola, where she currently resides with her two dogs, Zoe and Mr. Biscuit.
Evans is the author of the Razia series, Madion War Trilogy, and Empath, published by Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing.



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