Thursday, November 1, 2012
Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Hailed as “impossible to put down,” the Hex Hall series has both critics and teens cheering. With a winning combination of romance, action, magic and humor, this third volume will leave readers enchanted.
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?(courtesy of Goodreads)
In a world crowded with paranormal romance, an author has to work really hard to stand out. Rachel Hawkins does just that with her Hex Hall series. How? Humor. Snark. Like many well done paranormal romances, the Hex Hall series features a well developed world, a surprising plot, likable characters, and an enticing romance. But the use of dry wit alongside life threatening scenarios in a way that complements the tension rather than seeming out of place makes the Hex Hall series special.
Spell Bound, the final book in the Hex Hall series, satisfies just as much as the prior two. The last book left off with a huge cliff hanger. Interestingly, Spell Bound quickly moves into new, unexpected turn of events. Instead of falling off a fifty foot cliff, we dropped about three feet onto a ridge - surprising but almost a let down when you expected horrific danger. But not to worry, you soon fall into a river of raging rapids for the remainder of the book.
Many truths Sophie had long assumed are quickly called into question in Spell Bound. War can make fast friends out of former enemies. She soon needs her new friends as they face dangers they couldn't have imagined. Not only that, but they have the potential to overthrow the Casanoffs and save Hex Hall. I loved how the book kept me on my toes. Often, paranormal romance series are very predictable and while I'm not entirely surprised with the end of Spell Bound, I could not have anticipated the path it took to get there. I was at the edge of my seat for almost the entire novel.
As mentioned above, Spell Bound is more than just your average page turner. While action abounds in this story, the snark is by far the best part. All the characters are funny, but Sophie and Archer are definitely the best. No matter how serious the situation, both are armed and ready with a witty quip. Their sarcasm does a great job of breaking up the tension. I also love Jenna's cutesy jokes and Cal's subtle dry humor. Even Elodie garners snotty laughs. There are plenty of books full of sarcasm, but it usually feels unrealistic - like the characters are too smart - but all four of the main characters' humor felt genuine. Like people I've actually known.
Spell Bound is not a hugely romantic book. I love Sophie and Archer and even Sophie and Cal. We see the chemistry between the characters, but the physical interaction is relatively small. Instead, we feel the characters' connection through dialogue - especially Sophie and Archer who are a match made in comedic heaven. If you love hot and heavy scenes between love interests, you may be disappointed in Spell Bound (although there is at least one). But I thought the genuine connection between the characters was equally, if not more, satisfying.
Spell Bound is a satisfying ending to a fabulous series. Everything is concluded, but it also leaves open the possibility for future books. If you're looking for a well-written, laugh out loud paranormal novel with lovable characters, look no further than Spell Bound and the rest of the Hex Hall series.