Firespell (Dark Elite Series #1)

( 197 )


New Girl.
New School.
Old Evil.

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 ...

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Firespell (Dark Elite Series #1)

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New Girl.
New School.
Old Evil.

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...

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451228864
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/5/2010
  • Series: Dark Elite Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 292,599
  • Age range: 18 years
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 197 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 197 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 13, 2010

    Don't Judge a Book by Its Cool Cover

    When I saw the cover of Firespell, read all the glowing reviews, and read the intriguing summary, I was sure this would be a worthwhile book. I bought it with high expectations of a weighty, thrilling start to my summer vacation only to be shipped a slim, pint-sized packet of inconsequence.
    My disappointment began with Neill's handling of Lily Parker, the protagonist, because, for me, the credibility simply wasn't there. Neill has Lily make the same dim-witted choice to do the same dim-witted thing with the same girls she already knows to be trouble at least three times and explains away Lily's actions as "nosiness" and "adventurous spirit", but that isn't how it comes across. Lily's actions and Neill's justification of those actions comes across as Neill obviously needing to somehow get her train of plot chugging doggedly down the tracks and using a sterotypical means of fuel to do so. Seriously, between every dramatic moment the reader can almost hear Neill thinking, "Oh, boy, how am I going to get Lily down there? Oh, I know!" And just like that, here Lily comes doing something stupid so Neill can get from point A to point B.
    Other than the transparency of the protagonist, I did think Neill pulled some unique twists to a fairly typical plot. More than anything, though, the story reads as some sort of history lesson seeing as it's set in Chicago and almost at every turn Neill has character, Scout, raving about what a great city Chicago is. Personally, I would've liked those scenes to be replaced by scenes that built up more intensity and character development, but remembering this is intended to be the first in a series, I suppose character development will come later...though I can't imagine why it was so wrong to explore in this present book.
    I'm not saying this book should never be read. I'm just saying that it reads like a good book that's been rained on so now the words are blurry and the story is a bit out of focus. Because of that, I don't recommend paying full price. I don't recommend that anyone recommends this book to anyone else. I don't recommend that anyone forgoes buying another book in favor of this book. Firespell should be read if you're very, very, very, very bored and desperately want a YA love/action story yet for some reason can't get your hands on any other book. In short, it should be a last resort.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A light and quirky read

    Chloe Neill spins a tale that is light, fresh and easy to read. The narration reads like a conversation with the heroine, and the main characters will instantly feel like the reader's best friends. Though the beginning of the novel feels a little contrived (why is Lily so obsessed with Scout's behavior? How does she sense that there is something monstrous in St. Sophia's?), the quirky characterization more than balances it out. Lily is energetic and adventurous, providing an interesting blend of wild imagination and cool level-headedness. Her character feels rounded and fully alive, drawing readers into her story with irresistible charisma. The stereotypical alpha clique with their catty angst is a little frustrating, but the narration provides a sassy, tongue-in-cheek humor that keeps the novel from falling headfirst into the teenage melodrama. The romance that develops over the course of the novel is also sweet and believable -- authentic teen infatuation, with the potential to be something more -- but none of the overdone love-at-first-sight that pervades too many YA novels. Overall, this novel is a fun, fast read that provides just the right mix of magic and mystery, snark and adventure.

    ~Review from thebookishtype[dot]blogspot[dot]com

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent debut!

    Chloe Neill's Dark Elite series begins with Firespell, which sets up a wonderful world of Adepts and the bad guys they seek out. The main character is Lily, a snarky teen who is shipped off to boarding school in Chicago so her parents may take sabbatical in Germany - or so Lily thinks.

    At St. Sophia's, Lily meets and quickly befriends Scout, the loaner and seemingly outcast young girl who's just as snarky but way more mysterious. Lily follows Scout on one of her many nightly outings and discovers a hidden world of magical teens and monsters - the latter of which attacks Lily, ultimately "marking" her and giving her powers of her own.

    The Adepts - the group Scout secretly meets at night - are a rebel group of magic users who want to keep peace and harmony in the normal world. They are willing to give up their powers once they reach the age where they would have to steal the "essence" from others to keep their magic. There are only a few of them - taking on the rest of the magical world who are abducting people. Lily is shunned by most members of this group for her lack of "abilities", but once she develops a power of her own, she leads the team in search of Scout, who has been taken.

    Firespell is very well written and has a nice flow. It's a tad slow at the beginning - like most first installments in a series - but the characters are so well-developed and enjoyable that you barely notice. Lily's crush - a werewolf named Jason - is the one member of the Adept team (other than Scout) who believes in Lily and draws the other reluctant members to her side to find Scout.


    Chloe Neill has begun such a wonderful world of magic and mystery and well-written characters that I find myself eagerly waiting for the next installment. I give Firespell 4 stars.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 17, 2011

    BookWhisperer Review: Firespell

    Firespell is a tremendous start for the Dark Elite series that promises much more to come. While Lily Parker is a straight forward no nonsense kind of girl; she offers a very humorous balance of wit and charm. This is a very easy character to fall for immediately. Following this series is a no brainer after having met this one character alone, but Neill offers such a wide variety of awesome characters through this first novel readers will have many more to choose from. Unfortunately the storyline did seem as effortless as the characters in Firespell; from the start this story carried a very slow pace and the direction of the story was very unclear. While I know that some things are to remain a mystery; this story spent an excessive amount of time in the transition that left me wondering about quality of the story. Beginning to end this story is a short 204 pages, with the story transitioning for more than 100 pages I was naturally concerned about the direction of the story. Fortunately, once the story changed it's direction in the second half the story soared; picking up speed and intensity that carries you throughout the remainder of the book. Rest assured that the second half definitely restores the entire book, but it was still frustrating to know that the first half was lacking in comparison. Neill is a fairly new author that proved her ability to run with the big dogs. This author has much more in store, and I look forward to the unfolding of Lily's future, and the future of her new adept friends. Hexbound is my next to read, and having experience such brilliance in the second half of this novel; I am anticipating an excellent read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    Definately a book you would want to read!!!

    I was held captive by this book! I finished reading this book in one day, I had a hard time putting it down. The story and the characters were well written. The story is about Lily (a young woman) who has to go to a private school in Chicago because he parents are going away to work out of the country. Lilly makes friends with Scout almost instantly. They become best friends. When you are new to a school, the best thing is to make at least one best friend; who will watch over you and someone you can confide in. The only problem is that Scout leaves the school every night; saying that she has something she has to take care of. What could be this secret; that she can't tell her BFF? Of course Lilly is nosey and tries to follow Scout to discover her secret. Strange things happen, and she is on a quest to find the answers. This story has quite a few twists and turns, and it keeps you guessing until the very end. One thing I might mention; there is something strange about Lilly's parents....but you need to read this book to find out. Thank you Chloe Neill for writing this book. I definately would be interested in reading more of your work....You are a good writer.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Good Start to the Series

    I picked up Firespell after seeing it on numerous blogs, and added it to my 2010 Debut Author Challenge list. I'm still debating how I feel about the story, because there were things that I really enjoyed, and a few things that pulled me out of the story.

    What I enjoyed most were the strong characters in the book. In particular, I thought that Lily was a strong, mature girl. She reacted pretty reasonably to being completely uprooted and shipped off to a prestigious boarding school. Lily was befriended almost immediately by one of her roommates, Scout. She was another strong character. She a loyal friend to Lily, despite only knowing her for a short time, and she had made the choice to use her abilities in a positive way. There was also a group of mean-spirited popular girls, nicknamed "the brat pack" , who served to make life more miserable for Scout and Lily. By the end of the book I realized that the brat pack was relatively harmless. Obviously they were obnoxious, but they paled in comparison to the real villains of the story.

    My main issue with the book was the pacing of the story. Despite the interesting characters, the plot was slow-moving for almost half of the book. While this lack of action gave me a lot of time to learn about Lily, and to question what was really happening at St. Sophia's, I would have enjoyed a bit more action. Firespell ends in a setup for a sequel, and I'm fairly certain that the issue of pacing won't be an issue. I would like to learn a little bit more about the individual abilities of the Adepts. I'm also looking forward to Lily confronting her parents about their lies.

    I'll be reading book 2, and it's a worthwhile read if you don't mind a slow start.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Firespell by Chloe Neill Reivew

    For her debut YA novel, I think Chloe Neill is off to a great start with the Dark Elite series' opener Firespell. I found Firespell to be a light and fun read and a nice chance to escape reality for a while and trek through the underground world that she has created with her fresh new characters. As light as this novel was I did find that it took me slightly longer to get through than some other novels I've read in the past, and would have liked some parts sped up, but overall it was worth the wait. If you're a lover of fantasy, this novel is right up your alley. Mystery, magical powers (and not just your normal hocus pocus), werewolves, vampires, energy sucking "reapers", oh my!

    Neill has created memorable characters in Lily, Scout, Jason and the rest of the gang. These guys are sure to stick with readers and keep them entertained throughout the pages. The protaganist, Lil Parker was adorable, she was funny, and easy going (maybe a little too much so at times, I would have been freaking out) and my heart went out to her on more than one occasion.

    But overall I thought her best friend Scout stole the show. She was sharp minded, had a quick wit and always managed to throw her sense of humor into the situations, no matter how dire they may have been. She never lacked for spunk and often kept the story moving, however I would have liked to have learned more of her back story. I'm hoping we'll get more info in the series later on. I also appreciated how she was completely reliant on herself and no one else, not even the adorable Michael Garcia. The two of these girls put together were fantastic, the perfect balance for each other and will be very relatable to most readers I'm sure.

    Now in these types of novels, there's always a boy...which is often why we love them so much, and Neill did not let me down on this one. I thought Jason was great, I will admit that a guy in a prep school uniform always did catch my attention, and let's not forget those gorgeous baby blues, right? Wow! Let's see more of him please! And just like the necessary male love interest, these novels rarely leave out the "mean girls", am I right? The brat pack, as Neill has dubbed them drove me up the wall, lol. I wanted to shake them half the time and just tell them to be nice, but regardless they were highly entertaining all the way through.

    As always, there's usually a background character that I'm always hoping to learn more about. With Firespell it was Sebastian who caught my attention. He's dark and mysterious and seriously on the wrong side of the whole good v. bad side of things, so-to-speak but what's his deal? I can't go into any more detail without spoiling it, but once you read Firespell I'm sure your curiosity will go up as much as mine did.

    I had fun reading Firespell and I'm looking forward to the next addition to the Dark Elite series. I can't wait to see what else Chloe Neill has up her sleeve.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2013

    Kemon miller Kemon miller

    I love this book ya :

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2012

    Tell yout friends

    This book is really good. But Chloe might not write any more in this series because not a lot of people are buying it. I ABSALUTLY LOVE THESE BOOKS SO SAVE THE DARK ELITE!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 22, 2012


    I want more...I cannot wait to see what Chloe has in store for this series....i am hooked....i love private school stories too

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2012

    It's So Frickin' Good!

    Okay, so when I first saw this, I thought it was cheesy. But I bought the book anyways, so when I start reading it I couldn't stop! It's so romantic with Lily and Jason with Scout and Michael! It's about a girl name Lily Parker, whose parent ship her off to a private school. There, she found out she have magical powers after getting Mark by a Reaper.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2012

    better than expected

    when i got the book i did not think i would really like it but the store is actually more interesting than the summery leads you to believe if you are looking for a fun and adventurous story i would recommend this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2011

    read it read it read it!

    if you like magic love at first site and a little werewolf love in the mix you will absolutley love this! so check it out read a few pages and you'll be automatically hooked!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    review taken from One Book At A Time

    I've been meaning to start either of Chloe Neill's series. But, there many books and so little time. I started with this one because I have the 2nd in the series available, while I'm still collecting the book in the other series.

    I felt like this one started out really slow. It just didn't grab my attention at first. But about the time Lily follows Scout after one of her disappearances, I finally felt like maybe the story was going somewhere. The rest, I just devoured.

    I really liked Scout and Lily's friendship. It clicked for me as much as the instant best friends did for them. I liked their conversations and how they interacted with each other. I also like both of the interactions with the brat pack. A couple times, I actually laughed out loud at their witty remarks. I liked the romantic interests in the story as well. Especially how Scout downplays her relationship with Michael. I was a little perplexed at the sudden decision of Lyndsay to be included in everything. I didn't think she was going to play into the story at all and then she was. I wonder how that will play out in future books.

    I liked the explanation of magic and the reapers. It was an interesting twist on how people come into magic and what happens to them. I also thought it was interesting on how all this is occurring in Chicago. It made me wonder if this is happening in other locations or is Chicago just special. A couple things definitely left me curious as to what is truly going on. It's a series I will be continuing that's for sure!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2011

    Story then magic

    Chloe Neill did a great job building up to the magic with story. She builds her characters masterfully. Scout and Lily are both sarcastic which makes for witty conversation, and retorts when talking to the brat pack. Ms. Neill also paints an enticing picture of Chicago, helping the reader understand that it is old and has aged beautifully. All-in-all, a great story worth owning and sharing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2011

    Wonderful! Must read!

    Great characters, great story! Counting down the days until the next book comes out. I highly recommend this series.

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  • Posted August 11, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    Slow start to a potentially good series

    I read the Chicagoland Vampire Series from Chloe Neill and thought i'd give her young adult series a try, granted i am 28 years old. But i've enjoyed books in this age range before, anyways...I had high hopes for the Dark elite series.

    First off, i love that the book takes place in Chicago because its my favorite city! And her descriptions of the school were fantastic, i could picture the building and the atmosphere clearly, so she did great with that.
    I really liked Scout and Lily and throw in some superficial snooty girls and it's normal high school drama. BUT...the book forever to gain any thrilling scenarios, it wasn't until chapter 19 that things picked up and even then the event wasn't all that exciting to me. I was just expecting more and am hoping that the next book in the series is more exciting, in this book we only got a glimpse of what the storyline was about.

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  • Posted July 7, 2010

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    An unexpected surprise

    Even though Lily Parker never thought she'd be spending her junior year anywhere except in Sagamore, NY, here she is - bag in hand, on the doorsteps of Chicago's most exclusive girls' boarding school St. Sophia's, while her parents spend the next two years on sabbatical in Germany. Not expecting to fit in with any of her trust-fund-baby classmates, Lily resigns herself to two years of torture until she finds an unexpected friend in the quirky Scout. Vastly different from all of Lily's Ivy League bound or spoiled rich girl classmates, Scout has a witty sense of humor and the two become instant friends. But Lily will soon discover that Scout's dark humor isn't the only thing that separates her from the other girls - it's her late night forays into the underbelly of St. Sohpia's that have Lily curious about and anxious for her friend's safety.

    Firespell surprised me on so many levels. I don't know what exactly I was expecting from Chloe Neill's first foray into the YA genre, but Lily and Scout's constant stream of snarky commentary and firm friendship instantly struck a chord with me. I loved how their exchanges, while always funny, always managed to also convey a reminder of the dark and evil things Scout is trying to defeat.

    Their relationship reminded me of the first few weeks of my own freshman year at college in the dorms, where lasting friendships were instantly created - albeit lacking the whole magical spellcaster, demons, and werewolf thing. That said, I too found Firespell to be a little slow going from the outset. I mean, come on, you know from the get-go that something shady has to going down at St. Sohpia's School for Privileged Girls. There's the creepy headmistress, prone to pop out of secret passageways, multiple dark and scary underground passageways and a roomie sneaking out during middle of the night. It's the perfect setup for some major reveals, so once the story gets going, it really takes off. About half-way through the novel Lily begins to uncover reason for Scout's secret comings and goings and even gets herself a glimpse of the magical power-corrupted Reapers.

    If this is the type of snarky and witty dialogue I can expect from all of Chloe Neill's books, then I'm more than ready to track down her Chicagoland Vampires books right now. Anybody know if this is the case? I sure hope so, because Firespell was a pleasant surprise, full of twists and sarcastic teens fighting evil. At the very least, I'll be sure to pick up the next Dark Elite novel, Hexbound.

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  • Posted May 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    2 thumbs up!

    I have only 80pgs left or so but I can tell you this, I cant seem to put it down and I honestly dont want to.

    It took me a bit of time to get into, just because I wasnt really in the mood to read but once I finally made myself pick it back up, Im definitely having a hard time putting it back down. Im definitely loving the characters Scout, Lily and Jason and to find out what is going on under Chicago and such.

    All in all I would highly recommend this to someone who loves this genre.

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  • Posted May 6, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    Secret super powers anyone?

    This book was really good. I can't wait for the next one.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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