Author: Chloe Neill
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: 01/05/10
From the author of the Chicagoland Vampires novels.
A new series about a boarding school filled with something worse than homework.
Lily's parents have sent her to a fancy boarding school in Chicago filled with the ultra-rich. If that wasn't bad enough, she's hearing and seeing bizarre things on St. Sophie's creepy campus. Her roommate, Scout, keeps her sane, but keeps disappearing at night. When one day Lily finds Scout running from real-life monsters, she learns the hard way that Scout is involved in a splinter group of rebel teens.
They protect Chicago from demons, vamps, and dark magic users. It's too bad Lily doesn't have powers of her own to help. At least, none that she's discovered yet...
Plot: 4 Stars
This novel was a very unique take on magic. I liked that each Adept had a different magical skill, instead of everyone being a catch-all of talent. I also liked all of the details of St. Sophia's and the surrounding (and underground) area of Chicago. It gave the book a more life and really came through that the author knew the area personally or researched it extensively.
Pace: 4.5 Stars
The story sucked me in within the first couple pages and didn't let go. This is the fastest I've read a book in a while, and I enjoyed the unable-to-put-the-book-down feeling. Although only about a week and a half passes from beginning to end, a lot of mayhem surrounds Lily and Scout. Between classes, fending off the brat pack, trying to figure out why her parents are in Germany, and learning about Scout and the Adepts, Lily's first week of school was anything but boring.
Characters: 5 Stars
Lily Parker is a very strong teenager, considering she's been sent to a new city to start boarding school. She has her insecurities, but she stands up for herself. Scout, her roommate and new BFF is a hoot. She was the offbeat, goofy character that I always hope for in a book, and she definitely didn't disappoint. Jason and Michael were interesting characters from the boys boarding school across town, and I hope we learn more about them in future books. The brat pack caused drama of it's own without being in your face annoying, which was refreshing.
Cover: 3.5 Stars
The cover was true to the feel of the book, especially with the time spent exploring the basement. I just wish instead of the bulk of the cover being black, that there could've been a bit of design or background (maybe a stone hallway from the school). I really like the font choices; they were simple but elegant in that simplicity. And the skeleton key was a nice touch.
Overall: 4 Stars
Disclosure: I bought this book for my own enjoyment.