Author: Rachel Hawkins
Release: March 22nd 2011
Genre: Supernatural, Magic, YA
#2 in the Hex Hall trilogy
Series: Hex Hall (#1), Spell Bound (#2)
Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (a.k.a. witches, shape-shifters, and faeries). But then she discovered the family secret, and the fact that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.
Turns out, Sophie's a demon, one of only two in the world-the other being her father. What's worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will either destroy her powers for good-or kill her.
But once Sophie arrives, she makes a shocking discovery. Her new housemates? They're demons too. Meaning, someone is raising demons in secret, with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they're using Archer to do it. But it's not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?
Oh jeez, where is my fan? 'Cause I seriously feel like this fiery ending calls for a dramatic fanning of the cheeks.
This novel. Just wow. It was intense right from the get-go, and it never stopped being surprising and suspenseful. So many things I never would have suspected happened, and I was amazed by how well Hawkins disguised all of her evil schemes, only to pull them out later and slap me with them. No, hold that, it wasn't just a simple bitch slap, it was actually more like punching me in the face repeatedly.
Hawkins has a knack for making all of her antagonists extremely likeable, so when they turn out to be the villain, you gasp like in a bad movie and actually feel betrayed and shocked. It felt so very personal, like they had done something evil to me, not the main characters. Again came another punch in the face with this reveal of the bad guy(s).
And can I just say that I really REALLY like Sophie? She has proven just how very awesome she is in this novel. She was so rational, so sensible I could kiss her. She took the time to think decisions through and weigh out the options before making impulsive choices, and was even able to ultimately put her own selfish desires away and do what was best for everyone. Even if it meant she couldn't have what she wanted. I was so very impressed and pleasantly surprised. She was awesome. So, so awesome. Not to mention that she still maintains her sassy attitude and I loved her snark. Seriously, Sophie is such an awesome character. And the others were still great, too, I especially admired Sophie's dad. Because he surprised me with how well-rounded and developed he was, Hawkins made this guy really stand out in a good way. One of the best dads ever.
Something that I really hadn't expected to throw me off this much was the romance. And I feel so fickle admitting this, but for the first half of the book, I was rooting for Cal and Sophie. Even though their "attraction" literally got pulled out of freaking nowhere, because they had absolutely no build-up whatsoever in the previous book, heck, they didn't even have much interaction at all. So where their relationship suddenly came from was a mystery to me, and yet I still loved their dynamics. Not only that — and this is where the fickle part comes in — at the same time, I was also still rooting for Archer to come back and swoop Sophie off her feet. I was literally so indecisive about which guy I wanted her to get it on with. And while, at the end of the novel, I do lean more towards Archer, I don't mind Cal at all. I'd love to see more romance between him and Sophie as well... this has never ever happened before, that I enjoyed both relationships this much. I'm truly speechless about that.
A lot of elements this book has going for it are so terribly, horribly clichéd, but so well done and well rounded they can get away with it and I don't even mind anymore.
Yeah, I'll go crawl back into my cave now and read the hell out of Spell Bound, okay? Okay.