Source: Personal Copy
Sophie Mercer is sixteen years old, and has already attended nineteen different schools in nineteen different states. Her mother is desperately trying to allow Sophie to have a normal high school experience but the problem is that Sophie is not like the other students; she was born to a warlock father, and human mother. Her powers are too tempting to resist however, she hasn’t perfected a spell and attracts attention. Usually, she is discovered for who she is. Her father is not actively in her life, but she does speak to him occasionally. When a love spell goes wrong on prom night, Sophie is sent to Hectate Hall where she must stay until she is eighteen years old. She is banished to a reform school for prodigium students. This is the first time Sophie will live among witches, warlocks, faeries, and shape shifters and they are astounded that she knows so little about who she is, or who her father is. On her first day of school she is singled out and clearly doesn’t fit in. Within her first few minutes on school property, a handsome boy saves her from a werewolf when Sophie is caught off guard and can only muster “bad dog.” Her roommate is the only vampire on campus, and a group of three witches try to convince Sophie to join their coven. When Sophie turns down their offer, they quickly become her enemies. Sophie is not looking forward to the next two years.
Hex Hall is a fast, fun, entertaining read. Sophie is a very sarcastic character, and I really enjoyed her. She begins the novel very naive, and clueless. She is years behind the other students in her knowledge of prodigium but her knowledge doesn’t grow too much throughout the novel. As Sophie learns about her past, it felt very patchy. I don’t understand why she wasn’t trying to seek out more concrete answers. The book doesn’t have many twists or shocking moments; it seemed more about world and character building. Since it was a fast read, this didn’t bother me too much. I would have liked more action. When characters are being attacked, I didn’t really feel the fear of the other students. It seemed downplayed. This is the first book in the series, and I’m interested in the progression of the characters. This book does have some flaws, but they may be redeemed in the later books. Many YA novels have teenagers who seem wiser than their years, Sophie clearly is a teenager. I really enjoyed that aspect of her character. Overall, I enjoyed the novel but I’m curious about where Rachel Hawkins will go next. I think this was a great first novel. The ending certainly leaves you wanting more, giving me a lot of hope for the next book. If you’re curious about this one, give it a try. I honestly enjoyed it, and I’m looking forward to book Demonglass.