Although having failed to read "Poltergeeks", the first book in Sean Cummings young adult urban fantasy series, I picked up "Student Bodies" http://www.amazon.com/Student-Bodies-Sean-Cummings/dp/1908844221to read via Net Galley, because of the rocking cover. It was a very good decision.
Sean Cummings has penned a fun, fast paced novel about the further adventures and tribulations of Julie Richardson, a young witch, who has gained power as a Shadowcull, while being a student in high school. Shadowculls are witches who must face the most evil of black mages and defeat them. Julie is up for the challenge.
While not having issues with her abilities (which is the theme of so many urban fantasies), Julie is going through a lot of teen angst. Her mother, a powerful witch in her own right, is dead set against Julie dating her boyfriend Marcus because he has no magic of his own. Julie is not willing to give up her boyfriend.
Meanwhile Julie and Marcus have witnessed a popular jock in high school come under the attack of powerful magic -- maggot like beasties are all over his body turning the jock into a zombie.
It turns out the maggots are a sign of a powerful evil spell and are used to take over people and use their bodies to power other even worse spells. The evil witch is also using a local boy, who was bullied by his classmates, as a source of anger to fuel her spell.
It will take all of Julie's skills and the powerful magic of a local coven of witches and other magic users to combat the evilness and find the local student before the evil witch can destroy her fellow classmates.
Cummings does a good job with keeping the story relevant to high school teen readers and keeping the action high and fast. I also liked that the book tried to have an underlying message about the dangers and abuses of bullying in high school.
Although I liked Julie and the final confrontation with the witch was convincing, I was not crazy about her relationship with Marcus. I think, without having read the first book, I could not connect with him as well. But for that disconnect, this young adult urban fantasy was really good. I will definitely be on the look our for the next adventure in Sean Cummings Poltergeeks series.