Spell for Sophia by Ariella Moon
Publisher: Astraea Press
Genre: Young Adult/Middle Grade, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (228 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe
Sophia Perez-Hidalgo’s survival depends upon her mastering magic and the supernatural before her lawless parents and their vengeful boss catch up to her. How far must she flee to escape them forever? Sophia runs until she’s out of stolen money, then… Fate delivers her into the arms of Louisiana teen Shiloh Breaux Martine, and his grand-mère, a reclusive voodoo priestess living deep in the bayou.
Breaux knows Sophia is trouble — but he’ll travel through time, battle zombies, and risk his bright future to protect her. While Ainslie, best friend extraordinaire, will jeopardize her sanity to find and aid Sophia. When friendship, magic, and love are not enough, Sophia will have to save herself. But first, she must believe she’s worth saving.
No one can outrun all of their troubles.
It was interesting to see the narration jump back and forth between Ainslie and Sophia. This isn’t something that’s easy to do well, but it worked for this story. There was so much going on that certain scenes would have been much more difficult to describe from only one point of view. Writing it this way was a good choice.
There were a few too many characters running around. It was sometimes difficult to remember who was who because so many different people were introduced in a short period of time. Something as simple as a list of major characters and short descriptions of how they were all connected would have been really helpful.
With that being said, the plot itself was easy to jump into. I’m curious to one day see what happened in the earlier books in this series, but I understood what was going on in this one perfectly without any advanced knowledge of Sophia’s incredibly difficult childhood. The flashbacks gave me more than enough information to understand why she acts the way she does.
Sophia is described as someone who has had extensive training in spell casting, so it wasn’t easy for me to understand why she made so many mistakes when practicing magic. There was nothing in the rest of her character development that would explain why she had so much trouble learning new things though. As a reader, it was distracting to try to figure out why this might be the case while also paying attention to everything else that was going on.
The romance was well done. The characters involved in it had strong chemistry. More importantly, they genuinely seemed to like one another as friends first. This is something I consider to be vital in any romantic storyline because friendship is such a big part of what makes relationships last in the longterm. Luckily the characters involved in this one have a bond that runs much deeper than physical attraction.
Spell for Sophia is a good choice for anyone who likes contemporary fantasy.