Mini-Review: Spellcaster, The Unseen, The Raft


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.


Title: Spellcaster (Spellbound #2)

Author: Cara Lynn Shultz

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

After breaking a centuries-old romantic curse, Emma Connor is (almost) glad to get back to normal problems. Although it’s not easy dealing with the jealous cliques and gossip that rule her exclusive Upper East Side prep, even for a seventeen-year-old newbie witch. Having the most-wanted boy in school as her eternal soul mate sure helps ease the pain; especially since wealthy, rocker-hot Brendan Salinger is very good at staying irresistibly close.

But something dark and hungry is using Emma’s and Brendan’s deepest fears to reveal damaging secrets and destroy their trust in each other. And Emm’s  crash course in spells may not be enough to keep them safe or to stop an inhuman force bent on making their unsuspected power its own.

Review: While Spellcaster didn’t rock my socks off, it was one of the more enjoyable YA paranormal romances I’ve read this year. The characters match, and even though their undying love is way too mushy for me, the book had some good aspects too, like an interesting story, humor and solid writing.

The Unseen

Title: The Unseen (Krewe of Hunters #5)

Author: Heather Graham

Genre: Paranormal Mystery, Romance, Suspense

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

1800s. San Antonio, Texas: In room 207 at the Longhorn Saloon, in the long shadow of the Alamo itself, a woman renowned for her beauty was brutally murdered. Her killer was never found.

One year ago: In that same historic room, another woman vanished without a trace. Her blood was everywhere…but her body was never recovered.

Now: In the last month, San Antonio has become a dumping ground for battered bodies.

All young women, many of them long missing, almost all forgotten. Until now.

Texas Ranger Logan Raintree cannot sit by and let his city’s most vulnerable citizens be slain. So when he is approached to lead a brand-new group of elite paranormal investigators working the case, he has no choice but to accept the challenge. And with it, his powerful ability to commune with the dead.

Among Logan’s new team is Kelsey O’Brien, a U.S. marshal known for her razor-sharp intuition and a toughness that belies her delicate exterior. Kelsey has been waiting all her life to work with someone who can understand her ability to “see” the past unfolding in the present. Now she has her chance.

Together, Kelsey and Logan follow their instincts to the Alamo and to the newly reopened Longhorn, which once tempted heroes with drink, cards and women. If the spirits of those long-dead Texans are really appearing to the victims before their deaths, only Kelsey and Logan have the skills to find out why.

And if something more earthly is menacing the city’s oldest, darkest corners, only they can stop it—before more innocent women join the company of San Antonio’s restless ghosts…

Review: The story had its intriguing moments, and well, after reading half a dozen books by Heather Graham, it’s great that she still manages to surprise me every now and then. The combination of the urban legend from the 1800s and present day ghosts was an interesting one. Unfortunately the romance was dull – rather boring even – and the characters had almost zero chemistry.

The Raft

Title: The Raft

Author: S.A. Bodeen

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Realistic Fiction

Rating: 3,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Robie is an experienced traveler. She’s taken the flight from Honolulu to the Midway Atoll, a group of Pacific islands where her parents live, many times. When she has to get to Midway in a hurry after a visit with her aunt in Hawaii, she gets on the next cargo flight at the last minute. She knows the pilot, but on this flight, there’s a new co-pilot named Max. All systems are go until a storm hits during the flight. The only passenger, Robie doesn’t panic until the engine suddenly cuts out and Max shouts at her to put on a life jacket. They are over miles of Pacific Ocean. She sees Max struggle with a raft.

And then . . . she’s in the water. Fighting for her life. Max pulls her onto the raft, and that’s when the real terror begins. They have no water. Their only food is a bag of Skittles. There are sharks. There is an island. But there’s no sign of help on the way.

Review: This is a survival story, and one of the first I ever read. I can’t say I enjoyed it very much though – it was all right, and the writing was decent, but that’s about it. Robie has to make some difficult choices, and her own survival is at stakes. I had trouble connecting to the main character so I didn’t feel much when she went through her ordeal.

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