Firespell was definitely an addiction. It reminded me of Kelley Armstrong's YA series. Not that they're a like, just both very addicting.
Firespell takes a slower pace then most UF books, letting you enjoy the world Neill has created. The beginning of the books really helps to establish Lily so the reader can connect with her. Getting a feel for her family life, and how even though they're dumping her for their sabbatical in Germany Lily understands and loves them. But it doesn't mean she can't feel a little spited and sarcastic about it.
Lily ends up being one of the most mature characters I've read. She thinks things through and takes things in very mature strides. She can concede a point, even if she feels she's in the right. Lily's maturity does not take away from her sarcastic charm, and I greatly appreciated that. She's still a teenager after all, so juvenile behavior is still a go.
For some reason I though this book was about seeing when people would kick the bucket. Instead, to my delight and surprise, I'm introduced to the Dark Elite. People who at puberty get special powers, spell casting, powers over elements, and even gifts of the wolfy persuasion. When the Dark Elite get older their powers return back to the universe. Unfortunately power corrupts and some cling to it. The power eats away at the soul of the wielder unless they use the life force of other people. The Dark Elite who choose this life style are nicknamed Reapers. (Which just tickles me!) Those who choose to do the right and give up the powers are called Adepts.
The cast of Firespell is pretty standard. Lily, is a nerdy-sarcastic-trendy lass who could probably be on the top of the food chain at school, but chooses the forces of nerdiness. Her punk/goth new BFF, Scout, is the misfit of the school who talks big, but is really a softy. Veronica is the evil blonde with the cash and rudeness to fit the role of Lily's rival. Neill doesn't waist time getting these characters into their roles, I like to think Neill's just skipping to the good stuff. The Mean Girl group is pretty standard, even leading up to Lily getting locked into a basement closet. (Which was really silly as the character saw it coming ad still fell into their girly trap.) The love interests are pretty basic too. A werewolf lad, and a hint of an Evil, handsome, Reaper who helps her out.
Even with the slow pace we get a lot of action packed in. Lily's new powers, a rallying rescue, defying authority, mysteries about Lily's parents that could change her life forever, and private school fun.
While this book is clearly not a genius piece of work, it is addicting and very fun. The sarcastic humor was healing to the soul. Certain cliffhangers about Lily's parents (and the good or not Reaper) leaves readers in desperate need for the next book. I can not wait to see were Neill takes this series! Until then I'll be checking out her Chicgoland Vampire series.
An almost kiss scene, Neill keeps it to hand holding. (But I'm cheering for that kiss.)