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3.0 out of 5 starsHas potential but...
Reviewed in the United States on July 29, 2017
I teach high school English so I'm always looking for something I can recommend to kids. I wish I could recommend this but after reading two books of the series, I'm tired of not feeling any closer to knowing any answers to the mysteries presented even in book 1, which this is. I lost patience in the second book because I started feeling like the plot was drawn out on purpose. The quality of writing itself diminished in the second book, as if it were being written in a hurry. Also in the second book, there was a plot twist clearly intended to be astonishing that I saw coming. Lots of mystery, which build interest, leading to more questions and no satisfaction. So after book 2, I feel like this could end up being a situation where you have to read the whole series of, what--5? 7 books?--to start finding answers to any of the mysteries, small or large. It's frustrating because the author and this story have potential. I just feel like it's being dragged out indefinitely.
Elias is a shadow figure in more ways than one. It is good to get his perspective and adds much to the mood of the story.
Jari annoyed the ever loving crap out of me for most of the story. I can't say he has ever been someone I much liked. But he is a necessary part of the storyline.
Everyone else remains interesting to me. I am as invested in the story and fates of the characters as ever. I'm pleased that I'm still not sure I'm rooting for the right people and the right things.
As a parent, I still feel okay with letting my 12 year old read this series. I won't make the final decision until I get further in and see where the author takes it, but so far I have not run across anything too graphic and there is so far no sex or sexual violence. Girls and women are given equal status as friends and heroines and villains as the male characters.
I am editing and updating this review to address some statements made in other reviews. I have to disagree with those who say if you love Harry Potter, you will love this series. I believe that is not necessarily true. This series has to be considered on its own merits. There is none of the charm and cohesive atmosphere of Hogwarts in this story. Spellshadow Manor is a very sophisticated magical prison masquerading as a school of magic. The students are taught and trained in magic not for their own benefit but for some darker and still undisclosed purpose.
There is not the same joy and wonder for the Spellshadow students because they are all abductees. On some level most, if not all of the students resent being "enrolled" here. And they have serious concerns about their fates, for good reason.
There is only a superficial resemblance to the magical world of JK Rowling. So don't automatically assume the love of one series will translate to fondness for the other. As I have seen in reviews for the first story in this series, it does not, and many customers were angry and resentful that any comparisons were drawn to Harry Potter.
My other addition to my review is to remind people that this book is part of a series. The books must be read in the order of publication for the story to make any sense. Someone gave this story a one star review because they were unaware of that fact. So please be aware this is the second book in the series.
Good storyline, constantly keeping you on the edge of your seat. It's been a while since I've read 2 books in a series as fast as I did these. I had a hard time breaking myself away to get things done around the homestead. The only parts I had issues with were the description of the spells described by Alex could've been less descriptive. I mean did I really need to know every movement of the mage spells? If magic was real, maybe. A brief description would've sufficed and there were times when it was brief, just not everytime . Other than that I can find nothing else to complain about. I hope the 3rd book doesn't start to fizzle out as a lot of books do after the 1st one because I am looking forward to book 3. I'm hoping that little weasel Alias gets what's coming to him and I don't want the story to end but I do hope Alex, Natalie, Jari, Ellabell, and Aamir get to go home at some point. Maybe the could go home and explain to their parents what has happened but they will have to go back and help the others 5o escape.
Reviewed in the United States on September 30, 2017
First, after reading some of the reviews it made me mad everyone kept comparing SpellShadow to Harry Potter, No folks these are not anything like Potter. This is not about magical people, it's about Alex and his anti-Magic and how Alex and his magical friends help other students to be free from the Head. I really like reading The SpellShadow series and yes some parts are a little wordy, but so was the Harry Potter books
Like the first book, this one kept me on the edge of my seat. I can usually predict where a story is going, but this series is intriguing. It creates enough suspense to keep me interested but not too much where I'm utterly frustrated. Good series so far. I'm hoping the next release in June is the end of the series, though. I hate waiting for the next editions to be released.
4.0 out of 5 starsThe Secret of Spellshadow Manor 2: The Breaker by Bella Forrest
Reviewed in the United States on March 12, 2019
This is a good story, although both books end in cliff hangers that leave me little frustrated. Well I guess that is the description of a cliff hanger Isn't it? I hope that Alex and the other kids are o.k. where ever they landed. I predict another struggle and hopefully working together to find a safe place to be or to get out of. : )
Bella has created another masterpiece. Full of life characters. Can't put down. Desperate to know what will happen next. Hooray for another great series. Five just doesn't seem to be a high enough rating for the story and it's characters. They come alive in your mind.
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this series . I wish it was never compared to Harry Potter . Other than involving magic there are no real parallels. The characters become more interesting as the story progresses and much of the storyline is surprising and fresh.
This is a great sequel to the Secret of Spellshadow Manor and continues the adventures of Alex, Natalie and Jari and reveals some more secrets about the mysterious head.
This book was fast paced and had me turning page after page to find out more and it did not disappoint. It's an original take on magic, mages and has a dark undercurrent. There is so many turns and excitements I don't want to spoil it for you but The Breaker is a tale of trials within friendships that ultimately shows how friends are there in the end no matter what has happened previously. It's a tale of strength in numbers, of adventure, learning and standing for a shared purpose.
This book takes the reader on many twists and turns and the author brings out many emotions showing the talent in her writing. There is also an undercurrent of a love interest for Alex which I would like to see play out and the books ends on such a cliffhanger I am left with that empty feeling.
Absolutely brilliant book. I was gripped almost from the first page of book 1. Couldn't wait for book 2 now got to wait for book 3 which is pre ordered. Really well written story.. the main characters are Alex, Natalie, amir and jari. Alex and Natalie are kidnapped from their home in America and taken to a mysterious magic school . Alex is a spell breaker while Natalie soaks up the magic lessons and helps Alex so no one can guess his secret. Absolutely love the books
4.0 out of 5 starsAnother great book, but a disappointing ending
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 23, 2017
I couldn't wait to read this book after finishing the first book in the series, and it is just as well written and just as gripping. I loved the characters and the unexpected twists in the plot. I only gave this book four stars because I was really disappointed in the ending. Other reviewers obviously loved it, and I will read the next book to find out what happens to the characters I have fallen in love with, but the end was a damp squib. No spoilers, but after ratcheting up the tension, the final twist was a disappointment.
5.0 out of 5 starsMore gripping than the first book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 18, 2017
I really enjoyed this book and found myself reading for longer periods to try and finish the book. It is easy reading as per the first book. As some people have previously commented; it doesn't delve far into the characters but this doesn't bother me. The story is good. I think it would be a much bigger book and heavier reading if Bella was to delve into all of the characters further
Yeah, sadly book two in this series is a bit slow to get going but eventually gets there in the last six chapters. It's still a good story, much like the Harry Potter novels and would make for great entertainment if turned into a movie, or movies and I'm sure the special effects would look amazing on the big screen. Meanwhile, book three will be with me soon, so I'll get ready for what's about to happen next.