Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books.
Paperback, 336 pages.
Release date: March 29th 2012
Rating: 3½ out of 5.
Series: Hex Hall #3
Other books in series: Hex Hall, Raising Demons.
Overall series rating: 3½ out of 5
Source: Received from publisher for review.
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?
Please note: This book is part of a series. There may be spoilers for previous book in the series in this review.
Queen of snark and all round kick-ass heroine, Sophie Mercer is back, in this, the final installment of Rachel Hawkins entertaining Hex Hall series. Spell Bound sees the stakes raised higher than ever in the ultimate battle of good versus evil, but first, Sophie needs to get her magic powers back!
Raising Demons (Hex Hall #2) ended on a cliffhanger of epic proportions, one which put this book firmly on my I-need-to-read-it-ASAP wish list. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened to Sophie & Co., but while the action in Spell Bound picks up pretty much in the immediate aftermath of Raising Demons, I felt out of the loop when I started reading this one. This was mainly due to the introduction of the Brannick family; Sophie’s supposed sworn enemies, who play a major role in this book. But while the Brannicks play an important part in both the plot and in Sophie’s life, I felt that the inclusion of so many new characters in a book where there’s already a whole lot going on, was problematic. While Sophie’s story is all wrapped up here, for the most part, there are definitely some Brannick character threads left hanging loose at the end of the book. I wonder if Hawkins plans to revisit these characters in a future series. It would make a lot of sense if she did.
Raising Demons rated very highly for me, and I have to say that while overall this book still had its moments, it just fell flat at times. My major qualm with Spell Bound is that it’s just too busy. There’s so much going on in terms of new characters to get to know, old characters to remember – the action takes us back to Hex Hall here, so there are some characters unseen since the first book – and a whole lot of location changes to take in too.
Unfortunately some of the things I love about the series got a little lost in the process.
Take the witty inter-play between Sophie and her love interest, Archer Cross, for instance. This was excellently portrayed in Raising Demons, but here it all seems a little forced at times, and there’s not all that much romance here either. I remained invested in these two because of what I remembered of them in the previous books in the series, not because of what I read about here. Sophie has a somewhat steamy interaction too with her other possible romantic interest, her ‘fiancé’, Cal, which could have consequences for her relationship with Archer, but which doesn’t because it is never discussed, never explored further on in the book. As for Cal, he’s a nice guy, but really, he never stood a chance against Archer Cross. I felt that the whole love triangle aspect of this series never really took off, and honestly I didn’t really see the point of it. It was always going to be Cross for Mercer.
With evil enemies to battle in epic final showdowns, and a shocking twist or two, there is still a lot to enjoy in Spell Bound, and I enjoyed this series overall, despite my qualms about the final book. I look forward to reading whatever Rachel Hawkins writes next, because I like her style and her snark!