Monday, February 15, 2010

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Published: March 2nd 2010 by Hyperion Book CH
Hardcover, 336 pages
ISBN: 1423121309
ISBN13: 9781423121305

When Sophie Mercer turned thirteen, she 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 Hecate Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward prodigium, a.k.a. witches, fae, 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, tag-along ghost; and a new roommate, who happens to be the most-hated person and only vampire on campus. Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her friend Jenna is the number one suspect. Meanwhile, Sophie has a more personal shock to grapple with. Not only is her father the head of the prodigium council, he's the most powerful warlock in the world, and Sophie is his heir. 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.


Wow. I don't think that there's actually been a debut start to a series that I wanted to know more about the second I finished it.
Sophie was exactly as the author made her out to be, "funny, sure and smart." Sophie's exact words. Hecate Hall is a boarding school like no other, houses witches, faeries, and weres; among other things. Hex Hall isn't famous for what it's occupants are but who they are and what they've done. Legendary stuff, my readers. Sophie was sent there after a little, tiny mishap in a love spell to help a girl out. No biggie. However, it caused enough damage to call the Council's attention and sent her where all Prodigium go when they expose their abilities in any way, shape or form. Soph quickly befriends a vamp with a history of bad rep, one that's been rumored but never proven. Makes instant enemies with other dark witches who wanted her to join their coven. And has a flame of desire burning through her whenever the school heartthrob is near; which sucks because he's basically a jerk. At least that was her first impression.

Secrets that were kept come out into the open and Sophie discovers the real reason her father was the one to send her to Hecate. Among other family secrets, Sophie has to deal with the fallout of a successful spell gone wrong; one that she didn't even cast. Everyone has their secrets at Hecate Hall, so many that Sophie has to question the most obvious facts: Is a ghost really a ghost at Hex Hall, is a dark witch really a witch? You'd think that after living and moving to so many places there's nothing that a simple change of scenery could do to affect our heroine, however, Hecate Hall throws that theory out the magically enchanted window.

You know when you buy a new Harry Potter movie from the nearest Target and as soon as you get home you can't wait to watch it as many times as it takes for the DVD player to break, cause you just can't get enough? Well, that's precisely how I felt about Hex Hall's awesomeness. It was such a fast-paced mystery that had me laughing and being empathetic toward all of the main character's feelings. The supporting characters just added to the plot line's surprises. I very much loved the Vandy, who is the P.E. (Defense) teacher at Hex Hall and has very unique "tats." She was sent to Hex Hall after her Removal as a punishment by the Council. I appreciated the type of dislike she radiated to the students, as if she would kill them all had there not been beings with powers all around her. She was definitely a tough nut. Closer to the ending of the story, there were even more unforeseen revelations that leaves the reader desperately wanting the next installment in the series.

Recommended to those looking for an intoxicating read that does not hold back and comes at you dead-on.

Grade: A+