By Rachel Hawkins
March 13, 2012
Source: bought from Barnes and Noble
Mature Content: some kissing scenes, mild profanity, non-graphic violence
Spellbound is book three in the Hex Hall series, so as I usually do, I'll run through a quick bit of non-spoilery recap before launching into my thoughts about this book.
In Hex Hall, Sophie Mercer -- half-human, half-witch -- is sent to a reform school for Prodigium (supernatural beings) after she has trouble keeping her powers under control. When students at her new school are attacked, the blame falls on Sophie's roommate Jenna, a vampire. To make matters worse, a coven of mean girl witches has it in for Sophie, who's secretly in love with Archer Cross, the boyfriend of the rhymes-with-witchiest of them all.
In Demonglass, Sophie learns that she's not a witch after all. She's a different kind of Prodigium (no spoilers!) and her powers may be dangerous. She's convinced that she needs a Removal, a procedure that will take those powers away. Sophie's father, convinced he can teach her to control her powers, whisks her to London, along with her BFF Jenna and attractive Hex Hall groundskeeper Cal. There Sophie learns that a) someone is creating an army of demons, b) Archer is a member of a group that wants to eradicate the Prodigium and c) she and Cal have a surprising connection.
My summary of Spellbound: The book opens as Sophie is unceremoniously dumped in front of a castle belonging to the Brannicks, a group of Irish monster hunters. Scary, yes, but Cal told Sophie she might find her mother there. Sophie's not sure what's happened to her father or Archer. But she does meet up with her mother, who confesses that she's been keeping a BIG secret. Sophie gets to know the Brannicks. Torin, a warlock trapped in one of the Brannicks' mirrors, reveals to Sophie that the evil Casanoffs are raising a demon army to wipe humans off the face of the earth. He claims that Sophie is either the one who will lead the army, or the only one who can stop them.
My thoughts: The Hex Hall books are paranormal light: fun, entertaining tales that never get too dark or philosophical. While Demonglass had a fair amount of action, Spellbound is more weighted toward snappy dialogue, which is something that Rachel Hawkins does well. She's one of the funniest YA writers around-- Queen of Cute Quips and LOL One Liners. In this book, Sophie remains adorably snarky, even in the face of adversity. Plus, the ghost of former mean girl Elodie and man-in-the-mirror Torin also provide a lot of comic relief.
I can't say much more without spoilers. But after a lot of clever banter, the last few chapters are action packed. Sophie's final showdown with the forces of evil results in --as Sophie might call it -- a pretty major sad moment. I just wish more time had been spent on both the set up and the aftermath of this event. The whole thing felt a little rushed, even confusing. I actually had to re-read just to be sure I understood what had just happened. And when I did, I felt pretty conflicted about it. And I think other readers will too.
Spellbound wasn't my favorite book in the Hex Hall trilogy. But I'd definitely recommend these funny, fast-paced paranormal books for young teens and/or those readers (like me) who like to take a break from the disaster, death and dystopia that's so trendy in YA these days. I laughed out loud numerous times while reading the first two-thirds of Spellbound, reminding me what a pleasure it is to find something that completely cracks me up. As Sophie might say, "Yay for books that make you laugh!"
Have you read Spellbound? Planning to?
I'm planning to read Spellbound as soon as it shows up on my library shelves. I really enjoyed Hex Hall and Demonglass. I'm glad you thought this new one was still clever and funny.ReplyDelete
Come back as soon as you finish reading it. We have to talk!!!!!!Delete
This series sounds good, but I am reading so many series, I don't think I could possibly add another one in. Especially with all the new books coming out this year too. Great review though!!ReplyDelete
I know the feeling. I tell people that about TV series -- i don't have time to commit to another series and no one makes standalone TV shows either!Delete
I absolutely loved Hex Hall. I have yet to read Demonglass but that is definitely on my TBR list. This is such a great series and I can't wait to read books 2 and 3.ReplyDelete
I think the humor is the best part of them. They're just really fun to read. Come back and we'll chat after you read books 2 and 3.Delete
:) I was a bit dissapointed at the rushness. The resolution battle was too quick. I still greatly enjoyed this book! I love how hilarious Sophie and the others was. I would be so happy if the spin-off series is in Torrin's POV! I love how emotionally connected i'm with this book.ReplyDelete
Torrin was really funny -- I do hope he's a big part of the spin-off!Delete
I haven't read it. it sounds super fantasy-likeReplyDelete
It's a really fun series.Delete
Off to check out your teaser Tuesday now that I am home :)
I finished this book last week and it is so AWESOME ,,, AWESOME review by the way :)ReplyDelete
So glad I read your review, it's helped me make my decision to hold off just a bit on reading it until my library stocks it. I love Rachel Hawkin's voice too, I think she has great sense of humor and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next. Goodreads says her new series "Rebel Belles" is slated for 2013, can't wait to check it out! Thanks for the informative review Jen:)ReplyDelete
Please come back and let me know what you think after you read it!Delete
I actually haven't read Spellbound or any books in this series. And to be honest, I had no idea that they were humerous! Just from the cover and stuff I figured they were serious and dark. I agree, I love my dystopians but...it is NICE to have a break sometimes! I am really curious about this series. I am always up for a good book that will make me laugh. I think I'm gonna have to add these to my TBR list.ReplyDelete
Give the first book a try -- they are really super-funny!!Delete
Aaah, I can't wait to read this one! I'm really excited now, especially since you say its funny, but then if you say the ending's rushed... Well, I'll just have to read it for myself! (And probably reread the first 2 books...) Thanks for the review! :DReplyDelete
Yes, hurry up and read it and then come back and we'll talk!Delete
I have a copy of spell bound. I can't wait to read it, but I have a feeling it is going to be on my shelf unread for a while because I usually read library books first since they have a due date.ReplyDelete
I know the feeling!!!Delete
I have no idea what Disney- Hyperion is!! I could probably hazard a guess or Google it. Google it is!!ReplyDelete
Maybe they don't publish in Australia?Delete
When I look at this book on Book Depository, it looks like it's published by Simon and Schuster. Interesting!!
Great review! I agree, it's not my favorite out of the three either. I think I like book one the best.ReplyDelete
I loved book one and I really liked book two also. I don't know, I just felt a little let down by this one. But I'm still a huge fan of the author and the series!!Delete
I am sad about the ending from what you say (I'll still read it, of course). I hate it when endings are rushed. I do love her humor. Thanks for the review.ReplyDelete
I keep hearing so many great things about this series but I just haven't gotten around to it yet.ReplyDelete