Title: Spell Bound
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Also available in digital:
May Contain Spoilers
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.
Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?
I have been waiting with a great deal of anticipation for the final book in Rachel Hawkins’ Hex Hall series. I found the first book rather predicable, but Demonglass kept me on the edge of my seat. I hated the cliffhanger ending! How could you do that to me? I was finally onboard with Sophie and her acidic personality, and then – WHAM! We ran into a brick wall of “See you later!” Ugh!
Anyway, a copy finally came in at the library, so I hustled over to pick it up. On my lunch break. Even though I couldn’t read it until after work. I dove into the book as soon as I arrived home, and after that uncomfortable few moments of trying like heck to remember what happened in the previous book, and who all of the characters were, I was in! There is such a loss of momentum when you have to wait for over a year to read the next book in a series, and most of the time, they don’t work as well for me. When I am in the reading zone provided by a book, I am also in a particular frame of mind at that place in time. Sometimes I don’t get it back. Sometimes I no longer click with the protagonist. Sometimes I discover, with dismay, that I don’t even like the protagonist anymore. While she hasn’t changed in the year and a half since we last met, I have. I am a different person, and there have been times when I have outgrown a series or cast of characters, and I am always bummed when that happens.
Don’t worry, though! That didn’t happen with Spell Bound. While some of the plot points didn’t work for me, I still enjoyed Sophie’s occasionally grating personality. Her coping mechanism is to get sarcastic, and I actually liked when she was blasting out snarky comments, or better yet, making unfiltered inner commentary about whatever person happened to be pissing her off. I didn’t like the back and forth between Archer and her fiancée, Cal, but heck, I usually never like all of the romantic triangles cluttering up YA PNR these days. It is the one trope that drives me batty, and the one that I find the least interesting. The resolution to this one was a cop-out, with Sophie not making a decision so much as having it made for her. I don’t want to reveal any spoilers, so I’ll just say UGH! Sophie gets off guilt free, and I didn’t like that. I felt that it belittled her emotional conflict and her feelings for both guys was also trivialized.
Moving on, I love the action in the these books. Sophie has to always be on her toes, ready to fight for her life. She also has to be ready to fight for the lives of her friends, and now, her family. In this supernatural war, there are many casualties. Sophie is under so much stress to ensure the safety of her loved ones that I’m surprised she didn’t lose all of her hair from the stress. Worse yet, she didn’t have her powers, because they had been locked away by the villains at the end of the last book! Her father’s powers had been completely and forcibly ripped from his body. Sophie was running on empty, and ouch! it wasn’t easy for her to escape from all of the danger she repeatedly found herself in. That is one of her traits that I admire most about her character; Sophie has an innate ability to think well under pressure. While she may lack the common sense to keep her out of danger in the first place, once she’s in it, she is able to stay relatively calm, examine the situation from every angle, and find a way to get her out of trouble without getting killed. That she is ready to sacrifice her life when the stakes get so high that I would have crumbled into a ball of black despair, is another reason why I enjoyed Sophie, and these books, so much.
All in all, Hex Hall was a fun series, and now that they are all out, I recommend that you give them a try. Each book was better than the last, and all of the characters, especially Sophie and Elodie, are likeable.
Review copy obtained from my local library