Sunday, August 8, 2010

Review: Hex Hall, by Rachel Hawkins

Hex Hall, by Rachel Hawkins
Published: March 2, 2010
Publisher: Hyperion
Pages: 336
Overall Rating: 4/5

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.

I had a feeling I'd like this book. I've always had an interest in movies and books related with magic and witchcraft. The Craft, and Practical Magic are still two of my absolute favorite movies.

Hex Hall is fast-paced, and by the end I found myself feeling like not much happened. However, if you really go over everything that happened in the book, there was a bit of action. I believe it just goes by so quickly, you feel like you want more.

There wasn't any extreme depth to the characters, but I felt that they were developed enough to play their part in the story, successfully. Sophie was an enjoyable character. Every good character has a flaw or two, and Sophie was no exception, but her flaws weren't so apparent that it drew attention away from the story. She was quite snarky, which made the dialogue a lot of fun.

The premise for the story wasn't overly unique, as no one is a stranger to supernatural beings anymore. However, Hawkins did manage to put her personal touch on it, and take it to a place that seemed original.

I liked the school she created. Going in, I assumed Hectate Hall was just an academy for witches, and I didn't really see the other supernatural beings coming. I also didn't think the school would be what it was--which is more like a detention for kids who can't seem to keep their powers on the DL in the real world.

There are a few twists that you may or not see coming. I have a tendency to actually try to figure out where a story is heading, rather than sitting back and enjoying it, so I did find it a bit predictable. But, if you're the type to just relax and let things unfold as you go, you may be in for a few surprises.

The story did wrap up a bit abruptly. I didn't feel the conclusion packed enough punch, but Hawkins left us with a few loose ends, which makes me anticipate the sequel even more than I would have otherwise!

Writing Style