Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spell Bound

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?
This is such a good series. Rachel Hawkins created not only a world but a culture of magic that was believable, fun, and entrancing. One of my favorite parts about this series, too, is the humor that goes along with it. You can tell that Hawkins doesn't take things too seriously and likes to have fun when she writes which makes it all the more enjoyable. Sometimes humorous writing is almost too light and there is not any depth, but Hawkins plays this balancing act really well. 
This final installment in the Hex Hall series (I'm assuming it's the final installment, but don't quote me on that) is decent. When compared to the other two it isn't so great. As far as plot goes it feels rushed and surface-level where the other two were a little more complex and exciting. I hate to say it but Hawkins dropped the ball. Somewhat. What it lacks in plot development it makes up for in funny quips from the characters. Those are always entertaining and it seems that both Sophie and Archer are extra funny in this book. All these plot points that she spends a long time building up end up being no big deal. It just seems very blase. Hello, they go to the Underworld aka Hell. Yeah, Sophie gets nervous. Yeah, she gets claustrophobic. Yeah they see some scary scenes. And that is it. The scene in the cellar where they discover what Lara is hiding is very noncommittal also. The discoveries, twists, and plot points in the story seem so casual and easily overcome that it's hard to take them seriously. All the buildup doesn't add up to what you get.
Before I get haters who absolutely adored this book and want to send me death threats for even considering negative things about it, I would like to add that I did not re-read the other two before I read this one. Some of my time was spent trying to recall what had happened. My opinion may change once I've read all of them at once. This is one series that I would re-read and that says a lot for it because I never re-read. I actually re-read Hex Hall but didn't have time to re-read Demon Glass. 
With that little addendum, I do have to add that the final installment should be able to stand by itself. It seems to be the ongoing trend that, in these trilogies, the last one always seems rushed and not quite as impacting as the beginning. The Hunger Games is a fantastic trilogy but Katniss' character is significantly weaker, more whiny, and passive in the final book. Breaking Dawn in Stephenie Meyers' Twilight series is a sad ending to a creative and beautiful love story. I was hoping Hawkins would break the mold but it seems she succumbed to the pressure and didn't really give it her all. 
My final point is about love triangles. If you're going to have a love triangle, carry it through. The love triangle between Sophie and Cal, and Sophie and Archer is good. Hawkins spent, from what I remember, a good bit of time getting the reader to like Cal in the second book and there was definite chemistry between the characters. The answer just seemed too simple and I wasn't a fan of the ending to that whole scenario. It just seemed like a copout. Read it and you will see what I'm talking about. If you disagree with me feel free to comment. If you agree, you can comment too. 
All in all, it is still a good series. I would recommend it for anyone wanting a light read and likes a good bit of magic in their books with a sense of intrigue.     

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