Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publication Date: 3/1/11
Blurb (GR): Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch.
That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.
Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.
But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?
I usually don’t give a crap about love triangles. When people are like “Team BLAH!”, I just kind of half-heartedly smile because I couldn’t care less. Except in this series, I actually do. Given the choice between a jerky douchebag maybe-traitor and a sexy, sweet lumberjack-type of dude, I’m gonna go lumberjack every day of the week. I remembered the love triangle from the first book in the series, Hex Hall, but I didn’t remember a lot of the plot before I started the second installment. As it turns out, that didn’t really matter because Rachel Hawkins reacquaints readers with all the characters and important plot points in a conversation early on. I was happy for the reminders but fans who remember more about HH might be a little bored for the first bit.
The majority of this book is interesting but not riveting. Hawkins has a great sense of humor but there were a lot of 2011-type jokes, (e.g. “Cryptic Dad is cryptic.”) and I wonder if the humor will date itself in the future. In terms of plot, without spoilering the last book, Sophie, Jenna, and Cal go to England for the summer so Sophie can learn more about herself/her powers and spend time with her father. Aforementioned lame love interest Archer Cross has been sighted in England so it makes the situation more dangerous than it could be, as does the fact that L’Occhio di Dio (The Eye) has been more actively attacking Prodigium all over the place. Also, someone is raising demons . That bites.
Back to the love triangle. Archer is still all over the place in this one but I still didn’t really enjoy him as a character. Every time Archer showed up, I secretly hoped someone would just walk by and kill him. I laughed about that one for a while—imagining what books would be like if, out of the blue, some random person just showed up and killed a main character. Everything Cal does makes him more endearing, and there is a plot twist regarding him in the first few pages that surprised me and then left me a little frustrated throughout because there were several scenes dealing with it and I wish Sophie would just get over Archer.
I said earlier that most of the book was interesting but not riveting. The last fourth or so of the book—RIVETED. There is just tons of action going on and I flew through it. I would’ve given this book 3 stars had it not been for the last section of the book. And that ending? Way to leave a series wide open, Rachel Hawkins. Who the hell knows where it will go next? I’ll definitely be getting the next one.