• Bookish

    Book Review: Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins

    Just when Sophie learns to accept her powers and what she is, it all gets taken away from her. She finds herself defenseless and alone at the hands of her enemies. It’s not over yet! She uncovers another secret held from her and as an epic war looms ahead, will she be able to get her powers back to save everyone? Warning: Spoilers Ahead.

     

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    Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3)

    by Rachel Hawkins

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    Hailed as “impossible to put down,” the Hex Hall series has both critics and teens cheering. With a winning combination of romance, action, magic and humor, this third volume will leave readers enchanted.

    Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.

    Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?

    The end of Demonglass definitely left me hanging with Sophie using the Iteneris to travel to the Brannicks. Fortunately, I’m a late bloomer with the series and I’m reading the ebook so I was able to start reading Spell Bound right away. I can’t imagine being one of those people who had to wait till the last book of the series to be released.

    The moment Cal told Sophie to head to the Brannicks, I already knew what that meant. Why else would her mother be in enemy territory? That answers and complicates matters more.

    Sophie may be together with her mother but she’s separated from her friends and other loved ones. She has no news about Jenna and what happened to her, as well as with Cal, Archer, and her father. She doesn’t know if they’re still alive, if they got away safely or where they were. After a few days with the Brannicks, Izzy hands her a report about a vampire spotted with Lord Byron and Sophie was relieved to learn that Jenna is alive and well.

    A few more days, Cal and Sophie’s father show up at the Brannicks and that’s where more questions were answered. Cal and Sophie had a moment and then Archer finds a way to contact her afterward. They all hatched a plan on how to defeat the Casnoffs and before they could set out and act on it, something happens.

    Sophie finds herself back at Hecate Hall in Grimalkin island and it seems like all students were there. She finds Jenna and Archer and wonders if Cal is on the island too. Since they were trapped in the school and suspected that the piece of the spell to summon a demon was there, they did their own investigation and tried to recover it.

    I wonder, how they could have possibly run around the school and do their investigations without anyone else noticing? I mean, shouldn’t the place be packed with security or magic to prevent anyone from roaming around?

    Anyway, since Sophie’s powers are “caged”, she relied on Elodie’s ghost to possess her and use her powers instead. It was weird in my opinion, but it works so, whatever.

    I’ll just skip to the near end part. Sophie got her powers back and along with her friends, traveled to Ireland where she met up with the Brannicks and her parents. They had to get demonglass from hell and though she planned to get them alone, her plan to sneak out while everyone else was still sleeping failed. In the end, Jenna, Archer, and Cal went with her to “hell” and help her get more demonglass.

    The hell that was described in the book isn’t the real hell but instead was a place that showed them their most hellish experience. For Archer it was his parents dying in the hands of demons, for Jenna it was her maker’s death from The Eye, and for Sophie, it was her great grandmother’s experience when she was turned into a demon. Cal’s wasn’t revealed and it was something that involved Sophie. When they got out he said that hell doesn’t only show the past but also what would happen in the future.

    As they set out to go back to Grimalkin island for the big fight, Archer disappeared and this left Sophie hurt. But they had to push through and fight their way to save more innocent people from getting killed and/or possessed.

    The “big fight” was disappointing in my opinion. As much as I loved the whole series, there were a lot of plot holes and anticlimactic scenes. It felt rushed, especially the confrontational scenes, it made me think that Hawkins got lazy or something. There were also questions that didn’t get answered, like Torin and Izzy’s relationship. What was up with that? Isn’t Izzy young, as in really young to be involved with Torin? And then there’s the part where Cal sacrificed his life which was a big loss. I think it was made that way to compensate for the lack of excitement on how Lara Casnoff was defeated. But it is an explanation on what Cal saw when they were leaving “hell” and didn’t have to elaborate more about his life.

    I know it isn’t about the love story but even though there were lovey-dovey parts it felt short and rushed. Despite what is lacking and the pacing, I still gave this book a 4 out of 5 rating. It was still fun to read.

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  • Bookish

    Book Review: Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins

    Demonglass is where things get more interesting. I liked this more than the first book. A lot of things happened and the romance part made me giddy. Secrets were also revealed, things I didn’t expect. Read my review after the jump. Beware, spoilers ahead.

     

    Demonglass cover

    Demonglass (Hex Hall #2)

    by Rachel Hawkins

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    Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (a.k.a. witches, shape-shifters, and faeries). But then she discovered the family secret, and the fact that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

    Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world-the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will either destroy her powers for good-or kill her.

    But once Sophie arrives, she makes a shocking discovery. Her new housemates? They’re demons too. Meaning, someone is raising demons in secret, with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

    After finding out that she was descended from the first demon, Sophie decided to go through the Removal process in fear of snapping and hurting anyone/everyone she ever cared for. But everyone discourages her from going through with it. Her father suggested that she goes with him in the summer to learn more about being a demon and maybe afterward she’ll change her mind. She agreed to go to London with her father with the condition that Jenna would go with them too.

    Aside from Jenna, Cal was also asked to go with them so they’d get to know each other better. It was also revealed that she’s betrothed to Cal, since she dislikes the idea of being paired off like that, she informed him that it will never happen.

    Upon their arrival to Thorne Abbey, they were welcomed by some of the other council members and a couple of teenagers like them who Sophie identified as demons right away. This came as a shock to her because she thought that the only demons left were her and her dad. This is what they try to uncover in this story, who is behind the summoning and turning people into demons.

    Still wondering about Archer and his lies, Sophie tries to learn more about her origins with the help of the teen demons and then her father. She uncovers more information about their ancestors and helps her father investigate about the “demons rising”.

    When Archer came back to Sophie’s life, he helped her uncover more secrets, told her about his association with The Eye, and showed her what he discovered while he was in Grimalkin Island. She realizes she’s still in love with him and it seems like he is too, risking his life just to be with her. Sophie feels conflicted because of Cal, they have grown closer together in the past weeks that they’re together in Thorne Abbey, but decides that her feelings for him are of a close friend or a brother. [Which is kinda sad because I was rooting for him. 🙁 ]

    Things got exciting when Sophie and her dad are almost getting to the bottom of things. There was a commotion and Sophie was found saving Archer’s life. She and her father were sentenced to the Removal ritual while Archer was sentenced to death. They were locked in the dungeon waiting for their sentences to be served. Sophie’s father was first, and when he was returned, weak and covered with the ritual’s marking, Sophie was taken next. On their way to the chamber, she heard another commotion somewhere in the house and got away. She ran and stumbled upon Cal, who came back because of a suspicion. Sophie begged him to save her father and Archer, and Cal insisted that she goes to the Brannick’s where she’ll find her mother.

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  • Bookish

    Book Review: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

    One of my new year’s resolution is to read more books but every month, I fail to read anything. A few weeks back I started reading Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins. It had an interesting plot and once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down.

    One way a fan described the book is it’s like Harry Potter and Mean Girls got married and had a kid. The school and the classes it offered is similar with Hogwarts in some ways, even some parts of the story reminded me of Chamber of Secrets. Spoilers ahead.

    Hex Hall cover

    Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1)

    by Rachel Hawkins

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    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.

    The story revolves around Sophie and finding the truth about her origin. Her powers are nothing like any ordinary witch, whether white or dark. She grew with a normal mother who separated with her father when she found out that he was a warlock. While in Hecate Hall, Sophie finds out that her absentee father is the head of the Council, and some of the students do not like her because of it.

    On her first day, she meets the gorgeous Archer Cross, who made fun of her magic skills when she failed to cast a spell on a wolf who was about to attack her. Sophie develops a crush on him but turns out he’s dating Elodie, a witch who dislikes her. Fate seems to bring them closer to each other like she was paired with him in Defense class, and when Sophie was sent to cellar duty [detention] for the whole semester, Archer “defended her honor” and got sent there as well. They became close after a while, and Sophie considered themselves to be good friends.

    Sophie’s roommate Jenna is the first and only vampire that was allowed to attend Hecate Hall. Jenna was accused of killing Holly, her former roommate and former girlfriend of Archer, and was also accused when Chaston and Anna were attacked. But Sophie was convinced that she had nothing to do with it and was being framed. This was part of the mystery of the story.

    Elodie, Chaston, and Anna are the mean girls of the story. They are the only dark witches in school and are in a coven. They have been trying to recruit Sophie to be part of it since she’s listed as another dark witch. Apparently, the coven needs a fourth member for a spell they’re trying to do, and Holly used to be their fourth. It was rumored that their coven is trying to summon a demon, hence needing four members for the spell to work. Of course, they denied the rumors.

    Mrs. Casnoff is the head of the school. At first, she reminded me of Dumbledore, she knew the secrets about Sophie’s father’s side of the family.

    The book is easy to read, quick to finish, although it took me more or less 5 days to finish it. While in the middle of reading, I didn’t jump into conclusions unlike how I usually am with other stories. I just waited for things to happen and didn’t burden myself with guessing who’s behind the attacks or what will happen in the end.

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