The Dark Elite: Firespell and Hexbound by Chloe Neill
When Lily Parker’s parents go to Germany for work, she is sent to St. Sophia’s boarding school in Chicago for her junior year. Lily quickly becomes friends with her suitemate named Scout, but soon learns Scout has a secret and disappears at night. When she sees Scout being chased by a ruthless teens with strange powers, Lily becomes involved in a struggle between good and evil.
While out patrolling the Chicago underground for Reapers, Lily and Scout stumble across mutant rat-like creatures with a killer instinct. Meanwhile, Lily is trying to master her powers unsuccessfully. A boy with similar abilities claims he wants to help her. The only problem is that he’s one of the bad guys. Though, he claims the sides aren’t as black and white as they seem.
Firespell and Hexbound are the first two installments in the Dark Elite series. Lily and Scout are good friends with a great sense of humor. Their witty banter is what is most appealing about them. Add supernatural powers, a bit of romance, and plenty of mystery for a winning combination. Neill’s world of paranormal abilities, vampires, and werewolves does have something that sets it apart from others. It seems that magical abilities are given to a select number of teens, but when they reach adulthood, the magic fades. Reapers are super-powered humans who take innocent lives in order to keep magical abilities past adulthood. Factions of Adepts are their only opposition, fighting to protect humans, and willing to give up their powers when they become adults.
As Lily slowly learns more about the Dark Elite, she also discovers that her parents have been keeping secrets. Over the course of the first two novels, readers learn along with Lily more about her parents’ secret and more about the Dark Elite. But there are still many questions left unanswered that will keep readers wanting more. The suspense and danger is intense, and the intrigue and twists are fun and sometimes surprising. With plenty of humor to balance the drama, teen and adult urban fantasy fans alike will enjoy this promising series.