Saturday, January 19, 2013

Supernatural Saturday Review: Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3)

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?
[from Goodreads]
Rating:   4.5 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience:  Fans of Firespell, paranormal and boarding school stories
High point:  The complete package
Low point:  Archer
Reader maturity: 13+
Spell Bound is a great addition to the Hex Hall family. The premise of these books is amazing (boarding school for "troubled" supernatural adolescents, secret scientific experiments, generations-old family feuds), as is Sophie. While the book blurb may say she's defenseless and at the mercy of her enemies, she's really quite resourceful. Hers is one of the best YA characters I've read about because she manages to be strong, while still being feminine, and smart, yet still accessible. (I can't say that I agree with her choices in men, but...)

Action scenes can quickly fall flat in literature, but Spell Bound pulls them off with aplomb. They're incredibly easy to visualize but with enough detail to cause nail-biting (metaphorically speaking; that would be rather hard to do while reading). Everything and everyone is rich in character and backstory with one exception...or rather, two of them:  the guys.

I'm Team Cal, no question, but both Archer and Cal felt very dull to me in the third installment of the Hex Hall series. Sophie's attraction to Archer in Book 1 was understandable, if questionable, and there were some serious sparks flying between Sophie and Cal in Book 2, but Spell Bound actually had me rooting for a guy in a painting! (If you read it, all will be explained. I promise.)

The ending was a fantastic smash-bang mix of action, magic and mystery that I just loved. It's rare for me to get so excited while I'm reading, but it actually made up for the lack of excitement in Sophie's dating life.

Title:  Spell Bound
Author:  Rachel Hawkins
Genre:   Fiction - Supernatural
Year:   2012
Book Source:  Purchased