Thursday, June 9, 2011

Jenn's Review: Hex Hall

Hex Hall (Book 1)Summary:  Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.  -product description

Review: I have been wanting to read this book for a while because the hype has been great.  Plus the cover is gorgeous! -While I would never judge a book by it's cover, I mention it because there are several adult reviewers out there that think it makes the book look "too young." However, the colors and the concept are incredible, even if the girl on the cover looks young. Oh, and the book's good too...

I love the idea behind the plot. Rachel Hawkins has created a fascinating world where all magical creatures, or Prodigium, go to school together, although this particular school is more like reform school. The only paranormal being that is not welcome at Prodigium schools are vampires, though there is a new exchange program and Sophie is rooming with the only teen vampire at school. As outcasts, they become fast friends.  There were lots of nice developments in the story that made this a quick, fun read.  Though I didn't find any of the plot twists surprising, none of them were obvious and I did enjoy watching them come to fruition.

Sophie is a likable character, though I don't think I completely connected with her, perhaps because she seemed so accepting of her situation.  While I did appreciate that she tried to get to the bottom of the attacks at school to clear her roommates name, I was surprised she wasn't doing more research about being a witch, especially as her classes aren't really teaching that.  Actually, I was surprised she hadn't been in a Prodigium school prior to this.  As we discover more about her, I can see that there may be an argument against sending her to one, but I see a stronger case for helping her hone her powers.  I hope this is something that gets addressed in the sequel.  Jenna, her vampire best friend, is intriguing and I hope that we get to learn more about her too.   Elodie makes a wonderful nemesis, and I would like to explore her history further as well - and I'm sure we will learn more about Archer, who is at the heart of Sophie's and Elodie's conflict.

Although my expectations may have been a little inflated, I think this was a solid debut novel for the beginning of the series.  This book is the tip of the iceberg and I can't wait to get a more involved with all of Ms. Hawkin's world of Prodigium.  I look forward to starting Demonglass -though I hear there is a killer cliff hanger, so maybe I'll hold off until the the release of book three (2012) gets a little closer...

Final Take:  3.75/5.0



quirkygirlsread June 11, 2011 at 1:04 AM  

I have a weakness for paranormal YA. I'll keep my eye out for this one. :)


Fiktshun June 14, 2011 at 7:13 PM  

This was a really fun read. And the cliffhanger is completely killer on Demonglass so it might be worth the wait!

I know what you mean, though about Sophie not learning more about who she is during the course of the book.

Can't wait to see what you have to say about Demonglass when you decide to read it. Definitely different than Hex Hall.

Amy @ bookgoonie June 15, 2011 at 8:41 PM  

My 12 year old gobbled them up. The covers are fab. Can't wait to read. Great review.

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