Published: the 3rd of May 2019
Written by: Avery Song
Series: Spell Traveler Chronicles
Length: 300 pages
Source: Free copy generously provided by the author.
Disclaimer: I was lucky enough to ARC read this book, and received a free copy in exchange for my honest review. However, please note that all opinions and views are my own and I purchased the book myself after it was released.
Having magic is a blessing from the gods, and they gave me an especially powerful gift when they made me a Spell Traveler. Now if only I could use it properly without randomly teleporting, falling, and inevitably crashing into important people!
As the youngest member of the renowned Harlow family, I, Brianne Marie Harlow, have some big shoes to fill. With amazing parents on the magic council and a sister who works for Witchling Star Agency, I’m determined to prove that I can meet the expectations of our family name.
Getting accepted into Witchling Academy isn’t the problem, given my gift. But surviving in a school filled with witches and warlocks? That is a whole other dilemma. My game plan? Focus on learning, do my homework, and speak to no one — except for my best friend, Elijah, who I secretly have a crush on.
What could go wrong? Turns out, everything.
On the first day of classes, I managed to piss off the leader of the Notorious Four, a group of hot boys with their eyes all on me. As if that weren’t bad enough, now I’m getting death threats and random men are chasing me after school, trying to steal my power.
Now I only have two goals. One, survive long enough to graduate and make my family proud.
With craziness and danger coming at me left and right, it’s up to me and Elijah — with the help of N4 — to find a way to make it out alive.
Goal number two? Manage not to fall in love with all five boys in the process.
This is the debut novel of Avery Song but do not let that fool you!! The world building is strong, the character building is interesting and doesn’t seem out of place. The book is written from the heroine, Brianne’s, perspective alone. This does limit how much knowledge readers gets of everything that’s going on, but that doesn’t affect the story in a bad way as everything does revolve around Bri.
The beginning is a bit too confusing and it didn’t immediately grab my interest. It’s written in a way that gets us ahead of the story, before Bri decides to start at the beginning instead of the middle. Admittedly I do like the Pulp Fiction vibe, where you jump around in time, until you find the right breadcrumbs and get back on track. However, this just wasn’t executed in a way I liked, it felt a bit sloppy and weak to me. But… oh here comes the famous but….. From chapter two and for the rest of the book, I was happy that I stuck with it because that’s where the real magic begins (no pun intended). The writing picks up and I found myself being drawn in despite this book actually containing elements of tropes and genres I don’t care all to much for.
- Academy books
- Character in the YA catagory
Yes, I know, I know – I have issues!! But academy books and YA just aren’t for me. Or so I thought!!! Because Avery have just proved me wrong!!!!!
Bri is 16, but magically excels for her age and have skipped two years ahead to reach a level that’s suitable for her skills. The guys she ends up rooming with at the dorms are 18/19, and her (former) best friend is 18. So yes, I actually went into this thinking I might not like it much, but I knew I would admire at least aspects of the writing, which is why I applied to be on the authors arc team. That just goes to show that with the right writer, anything is possible!! If I really wanted to find something to dislike in the story, I’d focus on some of the less believable parts of Bri’s naivity. Sure she’s inexperienced, untouched and extremely innocent. But for a 16 year old to not know what “make a girl hot” means, just seems too ridiculous!!
“All that testosterone will make a girl hot in the you-know-where.”
The other two giggled in response. I had no clue what they were referring to.
Make a girl hot where? Their armpits?
Comedy value? Sure, it did make me smile. Believable? Hell no!! What 16 year old doesn’t know what “you-know-where” refers to?
Now I don’t believe it’s a secret that Avery Song is another pen name for Yumoyori Wilson. So even though this is Avery’s first book, this is a seasoned author!! I’m not really sure as to why this particular book warrants a change in pen name, as the recipe reads so much like Yumo’s academy and other books about attending some sort of educational institution. There’s also a lot of the same elements:
- instant attraction/interest
- powerful girl
- shy characters who blush at the mere mention of kissing (this makes more sense with YA characters, that Yumo’s that tends to be 23+)
- magical powers
Apart from this book being about the different powers the students have, instead of being different paranormal beings, I don’t see a lot of difference – and that did disappoint me slightly. This doesn’t mean that I didn’t like the story (because I do – a lot), I had just expected something different! But I’m still left feeling bummed that there’s no more pages to read, because I want to see what’s next for Bri and her guys!!
Do you think it’s necessary with different pen names? Do you like YA and/or academy books? How do you feel about characters that are that naive? Let’s chat in the comments!