Whoever said being a teenage witch would be easy? For fifteen-year-old Julie Richardson and the city’s resident protector from supernatural evil, the Left Hand Path doesn't give a damn if you've found true love for the first time in your life. There’s someone lurking the halls of Crescent Ridge High School with enough malice to unleash an epidemic of Soul Worms – supernatural larvae that feed on the very fabric of a victim’s humanity.
After witnessing the death of one of the most popular kids at school, Julie and über genius boyfriend Marcus find themselves in a race against time to find out who is behind the attacks. All the evidence points to a horrifying plot at the City Weir during the Winter Solstice; the place where icy waters of the Bow River and a thunderous spillway will mean the deaths of more than a hundred of Julie’s classmates.
If she has any hope of saving their lives, she’ll need a little help from a coven of white witches and an Aboriginal mage whose snarky attitude is matched only by her magical prowess.
Student Bodies takes all of the things that I loved about Poltergeeks and takes it up a level, Julie and Marcus are back and this time the stakes are much higher and the creep is taken up a notch. The action picks up pretty quickly and the high stakes keep the pace high from there until the finish, then Cummings finishes the book with a gripping climax that will leave you with no fingernails and a sad ending that will have you screaming at the characters.
I really liked the addition of a new character and Twyla, an aboriginal practitioner of 'ancient magic' really gave this book something new. Our two heroines make the perfect investigators, being put in some scary positions that had me absolutely terrified for them. I loved Twyla and Julie as a team and I'm looking forward to reading more of that in the next book.
The only thing that was a bit of a let-down for me, it was the romance. I'm really glad that Sean Cummings writes romance so differently, probably because he's a man so it takes a bit of a backseat and I appreciate that. The thing is, I really enjoyed the romance in Poltergeeks because Marcus and Julie were friends that were just beginning to see each other as something new, so I would have liked a bit more of the friendship side to come out, I kind of see the pair as a Ron and Hermione pairing, rather than a Bella and Edward type of thing. Am I making sense? I really hope so!
Also, Julie refers to Marcus as 'the object of my affection' at least twice. It kind of made me cringe. I don't know if fifteen year old girls actually think of their boyfriends using phrases like that... I mean, I don't think I did, but I was fifteen five years ago, I can't remember what my thoughts were like back then.
Still, the 'flaws' that I found in this book were only little things that barely bothered me, so I can't fault it too much. I think this is such a fun series, with paranormal aspects that I love but without all of the darkness. This is definitely a step up from Poltergeeks!
Overall Rating: A-
Book released 3rd September 2013 by Strange Chemistry
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (NetGalley)