Publisher: Delacorte Press.
Hardcover, 384 pages.
Release date: June 10th 2014.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Source: Received from publisher for review.
If high school is all about social status, Indigo Blackwood has it made. Sure, her quirky mom owns an occult shop, and a nerd just won’t stop trying to be her friend, but Indie is a popular cheerleader with a football-star boyfriend and a social circle powerful enough to ruin everyone at school. Who wouldn’t want to be her?
Then a guy dies right before her eyes. And the dusty old family Bible her mom is freakishly possessive of is stolen. But it’s when a frustratingly sexy stranger named Bishop enters Indie’s world that she learns her destiny involves a lot more than pom-poms and parties. If she doesn’t get the Bible back, every witch on the planet will die. And that’s seriously bad news for Indie, because according to Bishop, she’s a witch too.
Suddenly forced into a centuries-old war between witches and sorcerers, Indie’s about to uncover the many dark truths about her life—and a future unlike any she ever imagined on top of the cheer pyramid.
If life is a popularity contest, then Indigo Blackwood is winning. School is all about cheerleading and her boyfriend, the hottest jock around, Devon, while work revolves around her wannabe witch mom’s occult shop ‘The Black Cat’. Okay, so having a mom obsessed with all things weird is so-not-cool, a fact that Bianca, Indie’s BFF turned ‘frenemy’ teases her about relentlessly, but whatever; Indie has the social smarts to shrug off such bitchery. In any case, she knows that it’s just jealousy and that Bianca wants Devon for herself. So Indie’s life is pretty plain sailing. That is, until one day, while on the way to work accompanied by her nerdy-next-door-neighbor Paige (according to Indie it’s total social suicide to be seen with lame Paige) Indie witnesses an actual suicide –or maybe it was murder. In any case, a guy has died right before her eyes. And when Indie steals a note he had in his possession (I don’t really know why she thought it was okay to do this?) she finds out that the guy was on his way to her mom’s shop. Dun, dun, dun…
Indie’s life is about to get a whole lot more complicated than cheerleading, doing the mean girl thing with Bianca, and making out with her hot boyfriend. When an old bible in her mom’s possession is stolen, a sexy stranger called Bishop informs Indie that, in the wrong hands, (i.e. the sorcerers who now have it) this could mean death to all witches. Oh, and did he mention that Indie is a soon-to-come-into-her-powers witch too? Oh yes. The race is on go get that bible back, or Indie’s life as a witch might just be over before she can cast a spell that turns Bianca into a frog.
A fast-paced tale that moves at page-flipping breakneck speed, HEXED, the first in the Witch Hunter series by Michelle Krys, contains snappy dialogue, a snarky heroine and a hot guy—literally. Bishop, who has a tattoo of a naked Betty Boop on his neck and a supermodel-esque ex-girlfriend called Jezebel—insists on wearing leather despite the L.A. heat. I mention this only because it’s something that plays on Indie’s mind. A lot. Ah, Indie. She’s an acquired taste, this one, by which I mean, you’ll either love her or hate her. Now, I like the fact that Krys did something different with her main character – too many female protagonists in YA paranormal fiction follow the tried and tested Bella Swan routine. Indigo Blackwood is no Bella Swan, that’s for sure. The problem with Indie, though, is that she’s just unlikeable. Sure she’s snarky, and she’s funny at times (in that I laughed once or twice but her humor was mostly a miss for me), the problem though is that Indie is just so shallow. She’s a popular girl – and she’s the worst kind of popular girl in that she feels entitled to a lot of things in life. She shuns Paige, because as previously mentioned, it would be social suicide to be seen with the girl, but then, when she needs help, who does she turn to? Yes, Paige. According to Indie Paige should abandon all her plans and rush to Indie’s aid, because it’s not like a loser like Paige would have plans for the weekend anyway. Right.
And then suddenly, Paige is Indie’s best friend. When I said this book was fast-paced, I wasn’t kidding. People die, and it’s a blip on the radar, relationships end, and it’s like it never happened. Bishop and Indie have this flirty back and forth where they insult each other for a few days, but in the end, it’s basically the same old insta-love, just wrapped up in a different package. Bishop is pretty hot all the same and he’s nice to dogs so major bonus points for that (although he really needs to get that tattoo laser-removed). The story itself is predictable paranormal fare, with a few easy-to-guess twists along the way. As is seemingly mandatory in first-in-a-series YA books nowadays, this one poses lots of questions, answers just a few, and leaves us with a regulation cliffhanger ending. HEXED makes me wish for more standalone novels in YA. I feel like despite the frantic pace, there wasn’t a whole lot of substance to this story. I love the premise of this one, the writing is stellar, the voice pitch-perfect, and I guess feel like it could have been so much more. Maybe as a standalone. The epilogue, though offers an interesting twist, and it’s left me thinking that even though HEXED was just an okay read for me, maybe the next book is where things start to get really interesting. FYI: This was also my experience with one of my all time favourite series - Vampire Academy. I thought the first book was just okay, then loved the second, and the third, and the fourth…
If you like a sassy, sometimes bratty heroine and you’re pining for HEX HALL, snarky Sophie Mercer and hot-as-hell Archer Cross, then check out HEXED. Certain aspects of this one were not to my personal taste, but there is still a whole lot to enjoy and I look forward to reading more from Michelle Krys in the future.