Early Review: Spells & Sorcery by S. Usher Evans

Title: Spells and Sorcery
Series: Lexie Carrigan Chronicles #1
Authors: S. Usher Evans
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Sun's Golden Ray Publishing
Publication Date:  October 4th, 2016
Page Count:  386 pages
Format:  eARC
Source: From author in exchange of an honest review


Summary:
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.
*The Reader's Review*
My rating: 3.5/5 stars
When I heard that S. Usher Evans was starting a new YA fantasy series, I knew I just had to get my hands on the first book pronto. If there's something that Sush can do is create magical worlds with their own set of awesome new rules.

So really, it was no surprise that one of the biggest things that I enjoyed of Spells & Sorcery was how the magical system works. It reminds me of the one found in Sabrina the Teenage Witch, how with the flick of her wrist and a thought she can get what she wants without being tied down to a wand. It's a lot more practical! I also loved how S. Usher Evans includes small snippets of history and magical writing from Sorcery books. I wouldn't mind more reading like that inside the book, it's informative and pretty darn cool.

Now, Spells & Sorcery per se was a bit of a slow read in the first half since there's a lot of world-building going on.  Lexie learns about her magic, how it works, about her family, and so on. I wish things would have been a lot quicker, like in the last quarter of the book. We get to see a new dimension parallel to the normal world and I wish we could have spent more time on it, to explore it & meet interesting characters. 

The characters we get to meet in Spells & Sorcery are not bad, but I honestly couldn't care less about them in the first half. It's not until the last chapters that I finally warmed up to Lexie because in the beginning she was just a silly and immature character who trusts in strangers too much and doesn't question things enough in a smart manner. I liked her sister Marie more than her or her other sister, Nicole, because at least she showed some attitude. Everyone else was just too infantile regardless of their age.

I also feel that Spells & Sorcery needed some normal non-magical human characters to make the experience all the more real. I wish I could have seen Lexie struggle hiding her powers from her non-magical best friend (who does not exist) or just getting her as a side-kick. There is a couple who hang out right besides Lexie's locker but they don't really add much to the story. Hopefully in the next installment though!

Final Verdict:

Spells & Sorcery is a new fantasy book that I would recommend to the younger Young Adult audience. S. Usher Evans introduces an exciting new magical dimension in the second half of the story and the magical system is really fun to read about. And although the characters weren't as great, I feel that they will be better in the sequel now that Lexie knows about magic and some secrets have been exposed. :)

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