Spell Crazy, Julie Leo

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

I found the blurb of the book interesting yet was disappointed with the actual story. The idea of a witch university where they train to be a priestess of the moon was intriguing. Athena is a struggling witch, the bottom of her classes and always in trouble, she is just about to be promoted to a full priestess and she’s determined to make it. But when a love spell accidentally turns into a demon summoning spell, all hell breaks loose. Literally.

With demons strolling around the campus, Athena and her best friend Laurel attempt to send the demons back before the head of the school, Viviane, finds out. Meanwhile, to deal with the demons Viviane calls her old friend (and ex-lover) Tak the demon hunter to help. With two different approaches, the two teams try to solve the problem.

I found the characters flat, lacking any real spark to capture me. They were alright, but I wasn’t invested in any and could have easily left the book unfinished without a second thought. To make matters worse, Tak and Viviane had the arrangement that he would help with the demons, and in exchange, she would sleep with him. Through flashbacks, we discover the two had a sexual relationship years ago, and Viviane was deeply in love with him only to find he had a wife and children. Heartbroken, Viviane hadn’t spoken to him in years until the demon outbreak. You’d think that after such a painful betray and breakup, Viviane wouldn’t be keen to hook up with him again, especially not so suddenly nor as payment.

It was interesting that the demons weren’t mindless, violent beast. Instead, they speak and act human, though with exaggerated desires and behaviours. To send them back through the portal, Athena tricks them, claiming there’s going to be a big party tomorrow night. The demons all agree to go with little effort from Athena. Not matter the versions of demons, they are always shown as being very cunning and intelligent, yet these demons were anything but.

This book was very sex-obsessed, people always running around and hooking up. This was explained by the fact that the presence of demons makes humans give in to their baser instincts, especially sex. It was very tiresome. Instead of dealing with the important problem, they’d be having sex. Again. Everyone is sexually interested in Athena which made no real sense, she seemed average enough, yet everyone was infatuated with her. Even Tak, who you’d think with all the sex he’d been having with Viviane he’d be satisfied. The demons, though very inhuman in appearances, are seductive to humans. Very few people would find a huge beastly creature sexually attractive, and it made my skin crawl.

The writing could be improved by some more description of the events and the emotions and thoughts of the characters. Each event came across as rushed with little description or conflict. Every challenge was solved quickly and easily like there was no real threat to the characters. This writing style could have been greatly enhanced with some bolstering of each element to help fill out the story.

I did enjoy Moska the dragon. I love magical characters with a familiar, and it was great to see Athena and Moska bond. Overall, I found this book flat with uninteresting characters, conflict and plot. Perhaps this is because I found it frustrating when the characters would be having random sex while the demons ran rampant. I’m sure some people enjoy this type of story, but I am not one of them. Even skimming the book, I found it hard to be interested. I give it 1/5.

2 thoughts on “Spell Crazy, Julie Leo

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