Review - "Semester Aboard" by Elizabeth Kirke

More Than Magic: Semester Aboard

I'm so excited to introduce you to a new author for whom I have quickly become a HUGE fan! Elizabeth Kirke is the author of several books, including the More Than Magic Series. The book I'm reviewing today recently received a Gold Medal award for "Reader's Favorite" at the Miami International Book Festival.

Book Overview

Jen is looking forward to spending an entire summer studying abroad on a cruise ship and she knows the experience will change her life. Then she sees something she wasn't supposed to see, something she can't explain. Jen finds herself thrust into a world she never knew existed and her life will change more than she imagined. That is, if she can survive the dangers lurking on the ship.

My Take

Semester Aboard is a whirlwind book that is chock full of adventure. Jen, our protagonist, is in college and taking a summer-long semester aboard a cruise ship, where students are traveling to various areas and learning about different cultures. One night on the ship, she runs across a group of strangers who realize a moment too late that Jen has seen something she wasn't meant to see. The group begins to follow her everywhere and she cannot help but think that her life is in danger as the strangers appear to be trying to keep her from revealing their secret. 

What she doesn't expect is that the group knows a secret about Jen that even she doesn't know, Jen's a witch, and what she has stumbled across is a world of magic she never new existed. Unfortunately for Jen, her new discovery may be too late, as students on the ship are being attacked by a Vampire and Jen's life is in danger because of her witch blood. Can these strangers become her new friends and help guide her through this new magical world in order for her to end her semester aboard alive? One thing is for sure, Jen is getting a bigger education she ever could have dreamed of during her Semester Aboard. 

Elizabeth Kirke's characters are quite a delight and I couldn't help but be drawn into the fantastical world she created. The story moves along and doesn't slow down very often; the adventures and dangers come one after another! My favorite part of this tale is the new and refreshing twists that Kirke has put on the often played out "magical" creatures that are becoming more and more prevalent today. Her "magics" are elementals, werewolves, vampires, and witches with a twist. The book isn't a "short" read either, which I liked. The author created a world and allows the reader time to learn about the various magical "rules" in place in her world, rather than throwing in a few quick items and then finishing the story prematurely. The story feels fresh and moves through a natural progression. 

My only complaint with the tale is the number of characters we are introduced to at the beginning of the book. It took me a few chapters to remember who was who, but please don't let my saying this deter you from reading this book. Although the various characters may cause you to pause at the beginning, before you know it, you're a few chapters in and everyone feels like an old friend. 

Overall I give this book:

Kirke's fresh take on magic, introduction of new magical people, an engaging story-line, and a ton of adventure provide for an excellent read. I highly recommend this story!

Get your copy today!

Amazon Kindle and Paperback
Barnes & Noble Nook and Paperback
iTunes and iTunes UK

About the Author

Elizabeth Kirke wanted to be an author before she even knew what an author was. She used to say that she wanted to be an artist, but that was only because she was too young to write and had to tell stories with pictures instead. She hasn't stopped writing since she learned how. It wasn't long before she dreamed of becoming an author and couldn't be happier now that that dream is a reality.

If she isn't writing...well, let's be honest; if she isn't writing she's probably on Facebook thinking that she should start writing. But, if she isn't writing or on Facebook, she's probably doing something involving books, baking, gardening, or yarn. In an ideal world, she'd be reading and knitting while something from the garden is in the oven. Then again, in an ideal world, she'd have a flock of ducks and a couple of goats.

Like most slightly-nosy, avid readers, Elizabeth can't resist trying to catch a peek at books she sees people reading when out in public to see if she can figure out what it is. While doing just that one day, she realized that it would probably be the coolest-thing-ever if she caught a complete stranger reading one of her books. That's her new dream.

Connect with the Author:


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  1. I would be a centaur because I loved Nancy Straight's take on them.

    1. Absolutely! Nancy's the best (but I guess we are a bit biased!)

  2. I would want to be a Kracken so liam nelson can yell, "RELEASE THE KRACKEN!!!"

    1. That's awesome! You had me laughing on this one! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. A dragon, so I can fly and breathe fire! But only to warm people. :)

  4. If I were a magical creature I would surely choose to be a unicorn. Because they are big, can move quickly and fly!

  5. Id be a Phoenix legendary and aw inspireing

  6. A dragon would be fun! Thanks for the giveaway
    Ann S


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