Friday, June 15, 2012

Hex Hall Trilogy by Rachel Hawkins

Rating 3.5 out of 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 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."

So begins the Hex Hall series. We follow Sophie through the trilogy as she learns about her world and unravels.

There were a couple of niggly things that were more character driven then anything else. In book two Sophie goes to live with her dad. Now in book one it is clearly stated Sophie has never seen her dad, never spoken to him and maybe got a birthday card. Yet when they are thrown together there is no angst at all. So a 16 year old girl who is having a pretty rough time, gets thrown in with her estranged father and there is not one single "where the hell were you these past 16 years?" moment or a "I hate you, your didn't want to be my father so why start now" moment? It just felt a little off that all they had was a strange but civil chat in the garden then were bestie besties?

A similar event happened in book three when Sophie meets her cousins. One absolutely hates her and blames her for everything that went wrong with the family. Sophie spends very little time in their company, and bar one joint fight scene against a werewolf and a word from the other cousin which roughly went "hey lighten up on her she is cool", I could see no reason that would explain hate filled cousins complete lack of hate at the end of the book (and dare I say it she likes Sophie?). It just didn't jive for me.

Final niggle was some random loose narrative threads. It is never really explained WHY Sophie's parents stayed apart for so long. Yes reasons were given but they didn't seem enough to keep them apart for 16 years? Also there was this big prophecy hinted at for Izzy yet we never find out what it is EVER. They mention it about three times and it seems significant but then that's it we never hear about it again. So why mention it in the first place?? (Unless the author is going to do another series based on Izzy? which would be cool because I liked Izzy).

I did NOT like the convenient resolution of the love triangle. But this probably because the guy I liked for Sophie didn't win. But having said that it just felt well convenient, there was no emotional impact, because really through the three books its clear as day who is going to win her heart as the author didn't really invest in contender number 2.

Ok so bad stuff out of the way now on to the good.

Sophie is a fun character and I liked her snark (which wasn't bitchy snark) and spunk. Her best friend Jenna is a cute vampire who compliments Sophie's character very well. The other supporting characters are good as well fulfilling their roles well.

This series was still awesome. I loved it. Devoured it in about a week. Which for me is pretty freaking amazing these days as I rarely have time (or make time) to sit and read like that. I really enjoyed the books pacing and humour and even though I noticed all of the above niggles, at the time of reading I didn't care. Which for me is a big thumbs up, if an author can get me to keep reading even after I notice something that irks me then it is all good.

I would recommend this series to anyone who likes the genre.

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