Thank you to Jenetta Penner for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in any way.
Book: Spellcaster Academy: Magical Realism Episode 1 by Jenetta Penner
Release Date: August 18th 2019
Tags: Fantasy / Young Adult / Magical Academy / Talking Cats / Magic / Novella / Episode Style Book
Seventeen-year-old Josy Barrows thinks she’s an orphan.
So, when opportunity knocks in the form of an address and a plane ticket from a mystery aunt, Josy jumps at the chance to start a new life with her black cat, Nine.
There’s no aunt, no house… just a weird junk shop in a dark alley. And a strange owner with a cryptic message who hurries Josy to the back of the shop—Into a world she never knew existed.
Josy finds herself enrolled at the hidden Spellcaster Academy…with a now talking cat. With no friends and no magical abilities, Josy can’t stay at the academy if her hot, Enchantment 101 student-tutor, Aspen Rivers keeps refusing to help her pass.
Just when things couldn’t get worse, she may have discovered dark secrets about the academy…Secrets which could lead to a worse fate than expulsion… one that threatens both The Side of Magic and the regular world she grew up in.
When I got the chance to read an arc of the new series Jenetta Penner wrote I thought I’d give it a chance. They are written as episode style books so each story you read could be like an episode on a tv show. I find that an interesting concept. They are meant to come out every month so I am curious to see how that will work out. I also just really liked the cover because there are floating books around the character, okay. I am weak like that.
Spellcaster Academy stars us of with Josy. Recently her grandmother died, the one person who took care of her. She gets an invite from her aunt to come live with her. Or so she thinks. Instead she is plunged into an academy to learn magic. Straight away she is an outcast for the color of her hair. What is the meaning behind that?
If you think this sounds typical it is because it is. The magic academy, the bitchy classmate, being the underdog. However that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. When I started reading this book I knew what I was getting into and my expectations for a fun and quick read and that is what I got. Also this book is written as an episode and as such is only 90 pages long. There is still a lot left to be discovered where just wasn’t any room for here.
I will say however that the world building needs some work. This episode takes place over a few weeks and I do not have a good grasp on the academy or what they teach. I really hope that there will be some more focus on that instead of on inner monologues.
I also quite like the character. Josey is who she is. Despite the setbacks she just goes along for the ride. What other choice does she have? She isn’t quite so worried about being popular. So I have high hopes for the continued development of her character. However the true shiner of this book has to be Nine. Nine is a talking cat and he gives the book an extra magical boost with a bit of a sarcastic quip here.
So if you are looking for an easy magical read you can read a bit of every month, give this one a chance!