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Steadfast: A Spellcaster Novel by Claudia…
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Steadfast: A Spellcaster Novel

by Claudia Gray

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If I'd only read the first book in the series, I would've given it four stars in the hopes that subsequent books in the series would get better. But I found the opposite to be true.

Verlaine remains the most compelling character (despite being the least compelling to those around her!), and her relationship with Asa was the most interesting part of the book (except for the part about Verlaine finding the body Asa is inhabiting so attractive -- that wasn't necessary). The fact that Asa can truly "see" her isn't about physicality, so why did that have to be?

The so-so interesting part: the relationship between Nadia and Mateo (there's not much "there" there)

The least interesting part: Elizabeth's quest to release the "One Beneath," a kind of generic, one-size-fits all big bad. Honestly, Elizabeth pretty much kills the story, as she's just evil for the sake of being evil, with nothing potentially redeemable or sympathetic about her (in stark contrast to Asa). I don't even know why she's so intent on releasing "hell on earth," except that that's what evil witches do.

I'm sure by the end of the last book, Nadia will vanquish her, as is right and proper for the heroine to do, but I unless I decide I really want to know more about what happens to Verlaine, I don't think I'll want to go along for that ride.


( )
  PerpetualRevision | Oct 25, 2015 |
If the book had continued on in the same fashion as the first half, I would have rated this book three stars, maybe two. The beginning was almost torture to get through. I wanted to skip over the parts that Nadia or Mateo narrated. Their relationship is sooo boring to me, I can't stand it. I hate that they love each other so intensely after knowing each other for only, what, three months?? It's ridiculous, and every time they narrate it's nothing but cringe worthy sappiness. It's not even good romance. Their relationship sprung out of nowhere and means nothing to me.
Don't get me wrong, I love romance. I absolutely adore it, but only when it grows on me and allows me to fall in love with it as well. That is why I love the relationship between Verlaine and Asa. Now this is a relationship that grew over time, developed, and manifested into something so strong and beautiful and forbidden that I swoon whenever they happen to be together in a scene. Verlaine is my all time favorite character. Her narrations are always the best, they're probably the ones that I rely on most to keep the story going. She has shown SUCH character development that I find myself feeling proud of her. I found myself practically skimming the parts when Nadia/Mateo narrated, and then clinging to every word whenever it was Verlaine/Asa. They're the good ones, they should be the protagonists.
Other than these drastically different relationships aside, the story has definitely gotten better. Like I said, the beginning was tough to get through. There was so much Nadia/Mateo going on that I felt as though we weren't progressing at all. Finally, it happened. Sure, there was weird stuff going on left and right, with Elizabeth slowly starting to build a bridge for the One Beneath, but it was moving so slowly that I was losing interest. Then, suddenly, all hell broke loose (pun intended). Elizabeth was getting desperate and her plans had to move a little quicker, which I was grateful for. It's hard to believe that I was actually just as impatient as the One Beneath to get this show on the road. Once that crap went down, I was hooked. I couldn't put the book down, and to my relief, the romance between Nadia and Mateo turned up less and less. There was a lot more Verlaine and Asa, and I'm not just talking about their relationship, but what they had to offer to the whole equation. These two characters really brought everything together and helped to completely build the suspense and action. They're the only two characters that showed any form of character development and progression. Is it obvious I adore them? Without them, this book would be an absolute bore and I probably wouldn't have finished it.
I'd like to say a thing or two specifically about Asa. Claudia Gray definitely did her research on the typical demon stuff. He's exactly the way you'd expect a demon to be, except not. He's a complicated character with actual depth (unlike Nadia or Mateo). I felt a connection with him and I found myself getting excited whenever he turned up.
A few things to make note of plot wise...We finally discover the true meaning of the dark magic that blocks anyone from truly seeing Verlaine, and we discover the mystery of Nadia's mother's sudden disappearance from her life. Both of these revelations are emotionally painful. And then there's Elizabeth being her typical psychopathic Sorceress self, except ten times worse. Or should I say better? I can honestly say that she is officially on my top ten list of Antagonists Of All Time. She's power hungry, ruthless, and capable of way more than you could have imagined from just reading Spellcaster or The First Midnight Spell.
As I mentioned above, the first half of Steadfast is painfully slow, but once the shit hits the fan, there was no turning back. It was all rise from there. Things just kept getting more intense, suspenseful, action packed, and emotionally painful. I loved every moment of that ride. If the entire novel had been as good as the second half, I would have given this five stars. I absolutely recommend this book. As long as you fight your way through the beginning, you will not be disappointed. I for one cannot wait to get my hands on Sorceress, book three of the Spellcaster series. ( )
  nikkiplusbooks | Aug 1, 2014 |
Having survived the Halloween fire, Nadia, Mateo and Verlaine are hoping to move on in a wonderful dark magic free world. But dark witches don't give up so fast and they find themselves once again fighting the evil Elizabeth. The odd thing is, Elizabeth wants Nadia to join her. Huh?

I love Claudia Gray. This book is no exception. It is young adult so there is the teen angst thing. But mostly it deals with the problems they face fighting to save the town and themselves. Moral dilemmas abound and I think they are handled well. Nadia and her friends are strong characters with their hearts in the right place. More please. ( )
  TheLibraryhag | May 5, 2014 |
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"Nadia must stop the evil sorceress Elizabeth before she lures the One Beneath to Captive's Sound, destroying the town and everyone Nadia holds dear at the same time"--

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