Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel HawkinsMarch 1, 2011; Disney Book Group
Sophie Mercer's first mistake was thinking that she is a witch. Actually, she's a demon. Her second miscue was developing a throbbing crush on Archer Cross, a secret agent hell-bent on destroying her and her classmates at Hecate Hall (a.k.a. Hex Hall). In this second series installment, Sophie takes off on a transatlantic summer break project designed to de-demonize her; which, unfortunately, is a gnarly process complicated by a very new conspiracy. An entertaining ride for young paranormal fans. (courtesy of Goodreads)
*Don't read this if you haven't read Hex Hall. Contains spoilers for the big surprise in the first book.
Can you say cliffhanger? Demonglass ends on one of the biggest cliffhangers I've read in quite awhile. Now every time I think of the book, "cliffhanger" is the first thing that comes to mind.
Of course, Demonglass is so much more than its ending. It is a great sequel to an excellent first book. The setting changes from Hecate Academy to a big house in London where Sophie spends the summer with her father, the Council, two demons, and her friends Cal and Jenna. It's an opportunity for Sophie to learn a little more about demons, who up to now she only sees as evil, unthinking killing fiends. She wants to go through the Removal procedure to rid herself of her own powers in fear that she will one day turn into the demon she hates. The summer gives her the opportunity to get some context before making a decision.
Demonglass avoids the second-book syndrome by changing settings and opening up so many new plot opportunities. It was a brilliant choice by the author. At the same time, we still get to revisit characters and themes that we loved from the first book, including cute Jenna and swoon-worthy, maybe evil Archer Cross.
The book moves smoothly and is easy to read. It definitely becomes a page turner at the end, but there is plenty of action and danger interspersed throughout the book. I always like books that don't make me wait until the last 50 pages for things to start happening.
The highlight of Demonglass for me is the same as it was in Hex Hall. The humor and sarcasm. Sophie always has a snarky comment at the tip of her tongue, whether or not the time is really appropriate for sarcasm. It lightens an otherwise serious subject. A good sense of humor is so rare in paranormal romance that any book that employs it frequently is a welcome change. Demonglass definitely does that.
I continue to love Sophie. She starts out bound and determined not to become the thing she hates, but then is willing to consider other options as she learns more about what she is. She continues to be a good friend to Jenna, but also is not immune to jealousy and a quick temper. The book does a great job of showing how conflicted she is about Archer. Her inherent trust mixed with distrust of Archer and the things it leads her to do drives much of the book. And as I said, Sophie always has a witty comment to lighten an otherwise serious moment.
My only qualms with this book was a few of the secondary characters. Particularly Daisy and Nick, the other demons. I thought their characters could have been explored more fully, especially Nick's oddities that were introduced but not developed as well as I would have liked. I also would have like a little more Jenna time. She does play an important role in the book, but I thought there were a few loose ends. Perhaps that was on purpose.
Demonglass is another demonstration of Rachel Hawkins' talent as a writer. I highly recommend this series to anyone who has not yet read it.