From that time on, the world was hers for the reading....

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Rachel Hawkins: Hex Hall

Ever since my first viewing of "The Wizard of Oz" at age four, witches have fascinated me. When I started hearing about Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins, I knew I had to read it.

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.

Going to school with witches, faeries, shapeshifters, and vampires sounds like an adventure. I mean, could you imagine eating lunch with a shapeshifter? Taking a class taught by a vampire? Having a witch (literally) as your worst enemy? The mind boggles.

Going to school with witches, faeries, shapeshifters, and vampires in need of a little discipline for magic gone awry sounds like a hazardous undertaking. But also kind of fun.

And that's just what Rachel Hawkins delivered in her debut--a lot of fun in the form of a magical, unique world housed within the walls of Hecate Hall (Hex Hall). Her sense of humor was also a nice touch.

The characters were unique, and the heroine, Sophie, is very likable--vulnerable, but also resilient and perceptive. More importantly, she's a loyal friend.

The story was chock full of tension, murder, romance, and "Mean Girls" antics, which moved the plot along at a quick pace. I couldn't stop reading and needed to know what was going to happen next. There were several twists and turns, which kept the ending from being too predictable.

I'm eager to see what happens in the sequel Demonglass, which is scheduled for publication in March 2011.

For more information, visit Rachel Hawkins at:

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