Book Review: Chloe Neill’s Charmfall

Posted February 28, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Young Adult readers

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Chloe Neill’s Charmfall



Chloe Neill

fantasy, paranormal fantasy that was published by NAL Trade on January 3, 2012 and has 242 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Some Girls Bite, Friday Night Bites, Twice Bitten, Hard Bitten, Firespell, Hexbound, Drink Deep, Biting Cold, House Rules, Biting Bad, Kicking It, Blood Games, The Veil, Midnight Marked, Dark Debt, The Sight, Blade Bound, The Hunt

Third in the Dark Elite urban fantasy series for young adults and revolving around Lily Parker and her small gang of militant magic users.

My Take

Omigod, this is s-o-o-o high school! The most high-schoolish of the three.

The primary theme is reversing the theft of magic from all magic-users in Chicago all within the framework of Lily being on the Sneak [fall formal for the juniors] decorating committee for St. Sophia’s. The Reapers have decided that the lack of magic is through something the Adepts did and want to steal Scout’s Grimoire. All the holes are filled in with the typical high school dramas of who’s wearing what or going out with who. Who’s hot. Who’s a Freak.

There’s a rather important side theme here of gray. As in not everything is black-and-white with most of life lived in shades of gray.

Really?? Ending a “love note” with “yours truly”???

The Story

All’s going on as usual at St. Sophia’s until Lily stumbles across Charlie Andrews, a Reaper on Jeremiah’s crew, harvesting Lisbeth’s soul. But when she tries to take him out with her firespell…there’s nothing. Absolutely nothing. Thank god for Ms. Foley coming out to see what’s happening!

And it just got worse from there: “a trig test, magic has disappeared, the fall formal to prep, and a secret meeting with a vampire to arrange”. Fantasy basketball line-ups to make up. Then there is the sneaking around to spy on the Reapers, conducting secret negotiations, sussing out what has Fayden fascinated. Beating off Reaper invaders at school. Using their emerging detective skills.

The Characters

Lily Parker is fairly new to using magic and has been dumped at St. Sophia’s School for Girls in Chicago by her parents who are off in Europe supposedly on a research grant.

Her particular friends include Scout Green, a suitemate at school and her BFF there; Jason Shepherd is a werewolf and Lily’s boyfriend; and, Michael Garcia who wants to be Scout’s boyfriend. Daniel Sterling is their studio art teacher as well as the leader of their Enclave group. Other members of their Enclave include Paul, a magically-enhanced warrior; Jamie is a witch with firepower; Jill is Jamie’s twin and a witch with ice power; Detroit who has an odd magic — she makes machines that interact with magic; Katie; and, Smith (these last two were leaders who were replaced for non-action in Firespell).

Lesley Barnaby is another suitemate who plays cello and is a very unique individual. The St. Sophia brat pack includes: Veronica [Nicu is bugging Lily to set him up with her], Amie who is like, totally into pink, Mary Katherine, Lisbeth Cannon is a wannabe. Marceline Foley is the headmistress of St. Sophia’s and one of the teachers who knows about magic.

Sebastian Born is a Reaper, but seems to want to be Lily’s friend. He accidentally gave firespell to Lily when he attacked her. Fayden Campbell is Sebastian’s cousin and, supposedly, magic-less. Jeremiah is a leader of the Reapers in Chicago. Charlie Andrews is part of his crew.

Nicu is a vampire leader of the city’s newest coven fascinated by Veronica. Kite is the primary clerk at Gaslight Goods, a magical trade shop considered Switzerland by the Reapers and Adepts.

The gift of magic is a temporary state for all magic users. Adepts promise to let the magic go when it’s time while the Reapers steal others’ souls in their attempt to hang onto their magic. Scions are leaders for the Reapers with Sanctuaries as their places of operation while Adepts have Enclaves.

The Cover and Title

It’s all smoky purples and black with a side profile of Lily sitting with her right hand spread along the outside of her thigh and her left propping up her chin, dressed in skintight black. Her hair is loosely coiled at the back of her neck while an earring dangles from one ear and several necklaces grace her neck with fingerless gloves on her hands. Her nails are black with decorations and the only bit of color is a red-violet top with one thin strap falling off her shoulder.

The title is an awkward complement towards the previous titles in the series with reference to the fall of magic.