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Spellcaster Academy

Magical Realism, Episode 1
Narrated by: Aimee McKenzie
Series: Spellcaster Academy, Book 1
Length: 2 hrs and 51 mins
Categories: Teens, Ages 11-13
4.5 out of 5 stars (33 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Magic exists, Josy sucks at it, and now her cat won't stop talking.
 

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.

Fast forward.

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.

©2019 Jenetta Penner (P)2019 Jenetta Penner

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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What if magic did exist?

Loved listening to this first episode in the academy genre. The north gate /wind being one of the entrances was a unique touch. It was fun to see this world through the eyes of the main character who was discovering it all for the first time as well. I liked the description of the classes and professors as well as the students. I can picture myself there through the various events. I really enjoyed the way the narrator brought the characters to life and I found myself enjoying every minute.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Intriguing story line

This is a good book for middle grade students. There is a lot of action and intrigue.

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Magical Realism

This was a nice start . Cant wait to see whats in episode 2!
happy listening everyone !

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fun story

really enjoyed reading and listening to this book. While it's a quick read, it is still a great story with a lot happening in it.
Having no idea that she has magic or even that it's real, finding herself at a magical academy was not exactly what Josy expected when she went to meet her new found family. I can't wait to see what happens next in this series

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What a way to start!

what a great lead into a fantasic story. I want wait for all the episodes to come! great story telling

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Charming Tale

Spellcaster Academy is cute, fun and enjoyable. It’s slightly reminiscent of the Harry Potter series. Josie lost her family and was suddenly introduced into the magical realm. Josie’s differences set her apart from the other students. She struggles to make friends and find acceptance while also trying to figure out who she is and who she can trust. I liked setting out on this journey with Josie and I look forward to seeing where her path will lead.

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Thoroughly enjoyable

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this audiobook. I felt like I was drawn into the book and didn’t want to put it down. The narrator does a superb job of bringing each character to life.

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Exciting Read

I love this academy book. Josy has no idea magic exists and it's quite the adventure while she learns about her family's history. I thought the gates were quite unique and loved the cat.

The narration was great, she does a good job bringing the story to life and delivering the emotions.
I can't wait for the next book.

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Loved it!! Srsly get it.

This is a new to me author and I’m happy I actually found her. I really enjoyed this book. The narrator was great and I’m looking forward to listening to the rest of the books on audio. Patiently waiting for the rest to drop!

The narrator was good and brought the story alive for me. It did remind me a little bit of Harry Potter but it may have been because it’s a witch/sorcerer book but I honestly loved it and it didn’t bother me one bit.

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Magical

What a cute audiobook!

Spellcaster Academy is about a girl named Josy, who has nothing left after her family's death. Nothing, that is, save for her cat and a note from an aunt she's never met, inviting her to live with her.

Everything goes sideways for Josy pretty early on and she is flung into a world of magic and spellcasting.

If you're a fan of middle-grade to young-adult books filled with magic and mystery and talking cats, this one's for you. It also resonates well with any reader who has ever felt different and out-of-place, especially in school.

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Profile Image for Roberta Reads
  • Roberta Reads
  • 09-14-19

A solid first episode

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

This is the first episode in the Spellcaster Academy series. I enjoyed this audiobook. It seems like a fun introduction to what could be an interesting series. The balance of giving information about the world, but not giving too much away seems good. It is generally well written, the main characters seem likeable. My one criticism about the writing itself is the overuse of phrases like “my stomach roiled” and “my heart dropped to my stomach”, to the point where there’s at least one in every paragraph. Obviously, this is an adventurous book, but I prefer books that mix it up a bit, and sometimes describe the emotions instead of just the physical sensations. This may be more obvious in the audio version.

The narration was good, the expression/emphasis is generally excellent. The character voices were very good, but I found the general narration sounded a little stilted or robotic in places. I’m from the UK, so this may just be an American accent thing, but none of the character voices sounded like this.

Overall, a solid first episode. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a muggle discovering magical world type adventure, with a talking cat! It seems a little too dramatic for my personal taste, but for those who like slightly more excitement, it’d be spot on.

I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Elizabeth Robb
  • Elizabeth Robb
  • 10-15-19

I Liked It!

Enjoyable story about Josy's introduction to The Magic Side and the Borealis Academy of Magical Arts. Interesting characters and story. I look forward to seeing where it goes next.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-06-19

Interesting Story

At the beginning of the book the narrators cadence was a bit fast for me, I’m unsure of whether it changed or I just got used but a do feel Luke her voice matches her character and I enjoyed the first part of diving into spellcaster academy. I’m eager for the next episode.

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  • Nisareen Khan
  • 09-25-19

Encouraging start to a promising series

“Josy Barrows. We’ve been searching for you. It’s time to reclaim your place.” - Zayne Gabrick

Josephine Barrows is an orphan who has recently lost her grandmother. Faced with a stark choice to either go into foster care or accept an invitation by Olivia Spinner, an aunt that Josy never knew she had, Josy chooses the latter. With her scarce belongings as well as her cat, Nine, Josy sets out on her journey only to discover that Oliver Spinner is not a person but a password to a world she never knew existed. Now Josy finds herself enrolled at the secret Borealis Academy Of Magical Arts, her scholarship payed in full by a mysterious benefactor.

The reception she receives is initially hostile due to her ghost white hair which is a trait of the Morelli, a group of people who were feared and shunned by the magic society hundreds of years ago. Josy comes to realise that she must embrace her magical heritage in order to stop the Morelli who are intent on destroying the balance between both Sides. When the Academy comes under attack, shocking revelations come to light including the identity of the mysterious benefactor...

Magical Realism is the first episode of the Spellcaster Academy series and was my first introduction to the author. While the book did fall into the usual cliches of Academy books, I found myself intrigued by the authors world building. We have The Side Of Magic, The Middle and The Other Side which consists of humans or Commons. The Middle is inhabited by the Four Points: Mrs North, Mrs South, Mrs East and Mrs West, who are immortal gatekeepers that keep a record of everyone who comes in and out. The Morelli were originally born on the Side of Magic, but due to a genetic abnormality which made their hair white, they were feared and shunned by the magic society. Somehow they found an alternative route into the Middle and for hundreds of years have remained in hiding growing in numbers and strength as well as resentment. While their leader wanted war, other Morelli wanted to peacefully join magic society. It seems that Josy’s parents were among the latter.

While Josy is an appealing relatable protagonist, it was her talking cat Nine, however, who stole the show. I loved their interaction. The inclusion of a ghostly roommate was also clever and I look forward to learning more about Merrygold and the reasons why she has been stuck in Room 104 for the past five years.

The book flows at a steady pace and held my interest. My only gripe was that it was in episodic form which can be quite expensive when it’s a lengthy series. Apart from that I thought it was an encouraging start to what looks to be a promising series which will appeal to fans of Harry Potter and Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

I received an advanced free audible copy of Magical Realism that was narrated by Aimee McKenzie. I was impressed by the way she was masterfully able to bring each character to life with their own unique voice, switching effortlessly between characters and accents.

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Profile Image for Layla
  • Layla
  • 09-23-19

Spellcaster Academy

This has all the ingredients of a YA book. If you love this sort of thing then it is for you.
There is nothing new from this book but it is a quick listen.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for L. A. Greenbank
  • L. A. Greenbank
  • 09-17-19

Really Promising

Stuff I liked: I liked that the main character falling in love wasn't the central part of the story; the main theme comes off as being more about self discovery and acceptance. Even in a fantasy world; Josie was highly relatable as a heroine and some reviews have commented that they find her winey, but - teens are! It just all added to the realism of her for me. I haven't read any of these as print or e novels but I enjoyed spending time in the world and look forward to hearing how the story develops (publishers take note: more audio please!)

Stuff I'm hoping for in future books: Josie and Rosalie to reconcile their differences (because they would be a formidable pair if they did), Josies parents to have faked their deaths, some of the faculty to turn out to be distant relations - perhaps on Josie's fathers side....

There is lots of possibility here and although short, I really enjoyed it.

What I will say is that the narrator appears to have taken elocution lessons and when she is thinking about it, her ennunciation changes and I found it quite jarring - it kept jerking me out of the story.

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  • locky8
  • 09-17-19

Magic

Absolutely loved the story. As always with audio book I'm not always keen on the voices. But I have to admit apart from Josie being a bit whiny I really enjoyed it. One of the voices actually sounded like a character in The Goldbergs TV series and was a brilliant take on the bitchy girl who we all love to hate.
An excellent start to the series.
Josies grandma dies and she's trying to find her long lost Aunt. Her cat Nine escapes and whilst trying to find him she stumbles on a junk filled shop. She doesn't realise it's a doorway to a magical academy and she comes from a magical family. Well worth a listen.
I received a free Copy of this book from the author but this opinion is mine and mine alone. I'm grateful to have been given the opportunity to listen to this book.

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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Liz Moriarty
  • Liz Moriarty
  • 09-15-19

Enjoyable narrator voice.

The story is enjoyable and the idea is a good one, but I noticed the story kept circling back over minor details. The narrator's voice was really well matched and woild be great if she continued into the next audiobook, but I woud only listen to it if there is more happening. I did find it easy listening for bed time though, and that is a great find.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Annette Schwartz
  • Annette Schwartz
  • 08-27-19

Great story!

I definitely enjoyed listening to this audiobook. A great start to a new series for me. This book has magic and is the first that I have listen to by this author.
The narrator does a fabulous job with the characters and voices of each character. I enjoyed listening to this narrator.
I would recommend this book

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  • Amber N
  • 08-20-19

Intriguing

There is a lot of questions and mysteries that develop in the first book of this series. I love how the heroine and hero meet and slowly develop. Perfect that they're both book readers ;) The supernatural aspects are fun, especially the cat, but I wasn't crazy how she was judged based on her hair color. I'm intrigued to find out how things turn out so I will be looking for book 2. The narrator was new to me and I really liked how well she brought the story to life. Easy to listen to!