Monday, February 7, 2011
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.
As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.
Rachel Hawkins created a wonderfully detailed world where paranormals of all kinds come together. The writing was clean and the pace flowed smoothly. Although I have read similar plot lines, Rachel's characters intrigued me, and I am looking forward to reading more in this series. Sophie believes she is nothing special, just your average witch trying to survive in the world of humans. But that all changes when she is sentenced to Hectate Hall, a private school where Prodigium's who have risked exposure live until their eighteenth birthday. Mysteries fill the halls of Hectate Hall and it is not much different from regular school; except that not only are there the "popular" kids and the "loner" kids, but there are different races attending the school and Sophie's roommate is the only vampire, Jenna, in attendance. Even though the stigma of vampires is not very comforting, Sophie pushes past her fears to befriend Jenna. This pits her against the other students, and even some of the teachers when students start getting attacked, and the result looks much the same as a vampire attack. Sophie finds herself falling for Archer, a warlock who at first gave Sophie a really hard time but seems to be falling for her just as hard. As they grow closer Sophie discovers the truth of who her father truly is, what she really is and what it means for her future, and Archer is keeping a dark secret from those he considers himself closest to.