Title: Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1), Raising Demons (Hex Hall #2), Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3)Author: Rachel HawkinsPublisher: Hyperion, Simon & Schuster Children’sPublishing Date: February 2011, March 2011, March 2012Length: 352 pages, 359 pages, 336 pagesKeywords: YA fiction, romance, warlocks, witches, vampires, fairies, shape shifters, boarding schoolSource: Bought, For ReviewThree 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 student 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.Hex Hall summary by Goodreads
HEX HALL, RAISING DEMONS and SPELLBOUND belong to an original series of an imaginative world building, boarding school setting filled with magical beings of all kinds that is definitely worth visiting. The story is stretched out over three novels. Usually I write reviews for every book in a series. As the HEX HALL series felt like one seamless and big adventure to me, because I read them all in one sitting, I can’t but review it as a whole and wholesome good read.
What’s Hex Hall? Hecate Hall is some kind of school to control very capable witches and warlocks. It’s a place of order and restrictions. At the same time a chance for the powerful teenagers to learn more about their powers and get to know other magical beings. Important is that Hecate Hall does not only house witches and warlocks but all kinds of inhabitants of the magic world, like shape shifters, vampires and faeries. Bit by bit more details about these various species are revealed.
Sophie just wanted to do a small spell to help one of her classmates. Prom evening and a small love spell gone wrong, catapult young witch Sophie Mercer into Hex Hall and seal her fate. After many years of being left in the dark about essential aspects about her family and her past, Sophie finally starts to come behind all the mysteries and secrets that have made her always feel a bit left out.
Hecate Hall means new friends and new chances at love. There’s Sophie’s friend Jenna, who’s also a vampire and main suspect of the various attacks concentrated on Hex Hall students.
Then there's Archer. The moment she steps on Hex Hall grounds, Sophie’s thoughts almost immediately start to circle around this good-looking boy, who always seems to have a witty retort ready for Sophie, but who also seems to understand her better than all the strangers passing her every day in the corridors. The problem: this boy, Archer, is the boyfriend of school beauty Elodie.
Sophie’s and Archer’s advances and their growing friendship made the whole Hex Hall boarding school setting with its numerous conflicts even more appealing. His character, as other character’s like Jenna, Elodie, Sophie’s mother and father just as another bunch of magical creatures, has several secrets of his own. There’s more to his person that will be revealed during the course of the story. The characters in the HEX HALL series and the story itself might not be exceptionally surprising and mind-blowing, but it was nice to spend time with them nevertheless.
My major point of critique is that HEX HALL has a love triangle in it which just didn’t work for me. I liked both boys, Cal and Archer, but somehow it didn’t feel necessary to test Sophie’s relationships and emotions as there was already so much else going on in the books and there already wasn’t that much romance in it. I would have preferred a stronger accentuation on Archer and Sophie and them being together, working things out, talking more often and a deeper insight into Archer’s thoughts.
In HEX HALL we’ve got a mysterious series of attacks on the kids at Hecate Hall. And from there on the story continues to get more dark magic with RAISING DEMONS featuring literally demonic events and SPELL BOUND culminating in one last gruesome battle against the evil in the world, including mean teachers and demonic creatures from hell.
There are always new alliances to make and old as new enemies to fight which give Sophie the opportunities to grow in character and work on her magical abilities. She goes through a pretty strong change over the course of the three HEX HALL novels just as her past is revealed bit by bit. With Sophie Mercer, Rachel Hawkins, provided us with a lively and funny, very ironic, young heroine, who tells the story from a first person narrator point of view. Rachel’s writing is comfortable and to my joy contains several pop culture references.
1) of cellar duty
2) of a ghostly cute ending
3) of an inseparable quartet against evil
4) of a new boarding school setting
5) of a youthful and fun writing
4/5 **** HEX HALL series - An entirely new boarding school, a bunch of troubled teen warlocks, witches, vampires, fairies and shape shifters and a demonic force to fight. So magical!
HEX HALL, RAISING DEMONS and SPELL BOUND are all part of an otherworldly boarding school adventure. Dialogues and relationships, like the major love story, might not be that profound and throw-you-of-your-feet surprising, yet there are a bunch of mysteries and secrets about several characters that keep the story going and interesting enough. It was a nice change from all the YA contemporary and dystopian stories I’ve been into a lot lately and a series that can be read in a short amount of time thanks to its easy writing and story flow.
* Want to read more by Rachel Hawkins? Her new book REBEL BELLE comes out in 2013.
* Visit www.readingwritingrachel.blogspot.de for further information about Rachel Hawkins and her books.
* Thanks to Simon & Schuster UK for sending me a copy of SPELL BOUND for review!