April 10, 2014

Review ~ Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

“I may be a loser, but hey, at least I'm a loser who can do magic, right?” 

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 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.

Title: Hex Hall
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Series: Hex Hall #1
Length: Paperback, 323 pages
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Original Publication Date: February 1st 2010
ISBN13: 9781423121398
Goodreads || Amazon || Book Depository

Another YA book in my repertoire. I never really liked witch books, because the authors never like to put a twist on the usual, known-by everyone facts about witches. Same powers, same problems, same world building. Witch stories (at least the YA and/or Adult Fantasy novels) supposed to be fun in a basic level but I never really enjoyed reading about them. But that's where Hex hall really delivers.

It's not just about witches. There’s a secret school, hidden away from mundanes called Xavier’s School…
okay, not really, but there’s an unmistakable resemblance. However, this place is called the Hacate Hall. It’s kind of a boarding school for shifter, fairy, witch and occasionally vampire kids called “prodigium”. Hex Hall introduces us to an outcast, hilarious vampire girl, some ego-b*tch witches and fairies, just-a-bit-more-aggro-than-wanted puppies... I mean werewolves, and even Caspers. Thus 'Hex Hall' automatically transports us into Fun Realm. Add a few piece of humor bonbon, a gallon of mystery, a big chunk of evil and you got yourself a perfect witch book.

There's an ingredient that makes a witch story even more interesting: DEMONS. Yes, those evil to the core bastards have a pretty important role in the series. However, they're not the only extremely hostile entities. And this is where ‘Hex Hall’ started to remind me of Cremer's Nightshade series. The Prodigium has a Council and there are several groups in war with the supernatural and with each other, but there’s a particular not-so-secret organization hellbent on permanently wipe out every supernatural creature or “monster” as they like to call them, off Earth. They called L’Occhio di Dio. Eye of God. They are the most dangerous enemy. Reminded me a bit of Templars, actually. We don't really get more of them besides their basic history with the supernaturals, but something tells me there's more to their ongoing never ending war than we know. Talk about serious conspiracy theories.

But of course it's a YA, so let's spice our perfection with a pinch of a totally expected-but-passionate romance with the bad boy on duty (named Archer. Had to put it out there, I love this name!) from every other YA book you've read before (a jerk, who's actually just pretending to be a jerk, and has a vulnerable heart and a full, perfect six pack...or something totally else - though the six pack IS requirement - underneath his shirt.). Okay, there's a GREAT mystery floating around him, in kind of a 'too good to be true' way and really, nothing is sure where he's concerned. Nothing special but a good character (and expected, but great twist) nonetheless. Oh and I see a love triangle. All the time. They're everywhere! And again.. I like the other guy, Cal the warlock (even better name than Archer!!) more.

Now that we discussed everything major in the book, let’s talk about the main character; Sophie. Honestly, I don’t know what to do with her character. She’s equally the con AND the pro of the book. Her sarcasm is greatly appreciated. Not many YA heroines has such witty humor like hers. However, on the other hand, she’s a contrary person. The good part is that she’s not a saint, and doesn't see rainbows and unicorns in every corner. Doesn’t see the good in everybody. The bad part is that she hates mean people, but still believes them instead of her friend, just because the poor thing is a vampire, a monster. Okay, I’ll say it. She’s a racist! You don’t trust easily? Awesome, you’re precautious that means you’re smart and probably will live a long life. But don’t turn into a b*tch witch all of a sudden for no reason! Besides this, she’s good, but not awesome. Neither is she annoying (most times), so I guess that makes her an overall pro.

Hex Hall has a similar structure to Vampire Academy. (I know, I really should stop with the comparisons!) It’s a set-up novel. kind of like a prequel before the big important staff. It sets up the world and its rules, the overall story line of the series and introduces half of the major characters and one side. And LOTS of high school drama. Obviously Ending with a big cliffhanger that makes sure to let us know that we haven’t seen ANYTHING yet.

To wrap this novel sized review up, we can say that ‘Hex Hall’ is the perfect blend of magic, refreshing humor, passion and great twists. Add a great amount of mystery, several fantasy creatures, a dangerous and lethal enemy and BANG. You got yourself the pattern of a perfect YA series. THAT is Hex Hall.

DhesiX Web Developer

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