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Chronicles of a Spell Caster: Book One – Orientation by J.J. Singleton

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ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

This review is being published before the release date (September 17th 2020)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Bullying, isolation, injuries, & violence

Friends, it no secret that I’m a devourer of fantasy. So when I was approached to receive a copy of Chronicles of a Spell Caster I, how could I possibly refuse? What I will say, it’s been a hot minute since I touched a fantasy book; So it was nice to finally jump back in the saddle with a fantasy read by a self-published author. It felt really good to get consumed by curiosity and a good fantasy storyline once again. I did have some issues with a few things, but overall I really enjoyed my time reading this book.

Jet has just started freshman year at Welwerth University and things are anything but easy. If you thought freshman year OF college was stressful, try being a student who wields magical power. Jet and his fellow students are put to the test with intense entrance exams, some landing students in the infirmary, which will place them in classes and with scholarships that will secure their future. However, that’s not the only issue Jet faces. With uncontrollable power and family history laced with mystery, Jet is facing a tough freshman year. Did I mention that trying to make friends is a challenge? In revealing some of his abilities, Jet has made his freshman year ten times more difficult by making enemies and causing everyone to either fear him or want something from him. Needless to say, it should be a very interesting year ahead.

Let me start by saying I fell madly in love with the world building. Any fantasy reader who enjoys detailed world building, you’re going to really enjoy the world in this book. It’s unique in it’s own way. Gives a lot of vibes similar to the world building in HP series, the Percy Jackson series, and I would even say even some vibes of The Mortal Instruments series. However, it remains uniquely it’s own world with it’s own rules and magic system. The author put a lot of thought and effort into the way the world was built and doesn’t shy away from the details. Even when writing the main character, we get to see, experience, and learn about the world and the way the magic system works through Jet’s eyes. I also enjoyed the history of this world. It was very easy to get drawn in with that.

Shifting to the topic of the types of powers and abilities, I thought the author did a fantastic job being able to make them incredibly interesting and making the reader want to know more. When Jet starts talking about the Casters, those who are descendants of the ancients, I was hooked. I wanted to know more and it really motivated me to keep reading on. With that being said, every battle scene was packed with action. I always felt like I was hanging on by my seat during these scenes, wondering how the battle would conclude.

“If they are afraid of what magic can do, wait till next year. I will give them something to be afraid of.”

With all of these good things that a thoroughly enjoyed, there were a lot of things that made it hard to read this book at times. One of these things were the large amount of side characters to keep track of and who was who. There were a lot of times where certain characters didn’t stick out enough that I didn’t even remember meeting them. When compared to other characters like Kyle, Kyle will stand out more due to his bully nature and his attitude towards anything that threatens his position in university. There were times where the amount of characters we meet in such a short amount of time felt overwhelming and we got small pockets of information dumps about those characters.

My biggest issue would have to be the repetition of things. There were a lot of times where the repetitions of things bogged the pace of the story down. There were times it felt like there were pockets of information dumping. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you need the details to understand certain things, but other times the extra details aren’t necessary. If there was more chopping and polishing, I think the pace wouldn’t have been impacted so much.

Overall, I truly enjoyed reading this book. The ending was probably one of my favorite parts of this book and I’m eager to see how things will unfold in the second book. I think this series has a lot of potential and I’m really excited to see it bloom. I would recommend this to any of my fellow fantasy lovers. And let me just say, reading this book on a stormy, rainy day is absolute perfection!

The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

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