*Yes, I suppose the phrase "reading pants" warrants extra explanation, but I'm not entirely sure what I am talking about either. Perhaps that will be my next entrepreneurial investment... a reading pants company........?
Spellbound by Rachel Hawkins
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Related Reviews: Hex Hall and Demonglass
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
It’s been less than a year since Sophie was shipped off to Hex Hall and started down her dangerous road of self-discovery. She’s learned a lot (many things she wished she hadn’t), and lost a lot too. Unfortunately for Sophie, Spellbound continues this trend, with some big revelations in the very first chapters.
This review is going to be a little tricker than most, as the final installment in this trilogy is truly jam-packed with new information and surprises. I don't want to give anything vital away, so forgive me for any vagueness.
It grieves me to admit how disappointed I was by this book. I took a pretty sizable amount of time to write and consider my review, to make sure that the let down wasn't my own fault for making my expectations too high, but no, I truly believe that this book did not live up to the awesomesauce that was the first two.
The things that I love about Rachel Hawkins writing were all still there yet they felt more few and far between. The process of reading the book was slightly dissatisfying, the ending unbelievably so. I remember saying in my previous reviews how impressed I was that she could fit so much into 300 pages without anything feeling cramped or skimmed over, but unlike the first two, Spellbound felt horribly rushed. It felt like there wasn't enough room for everything to exist and breathe within the pages. I think with all falling apart that Sophie's world was doing, the story got caught up in doom-and-gloom. Understandable, but I still wish there had been more banter, more parent-daughter moments, and more romance--I mean come on there's nothing like a dangerous situation to turn on the passion. And lemme tell you, this book had so little sexy I was shocked! You're a teenager; lemme see some of those infamous raging hormones!
Though speaking of dangerous situations, another part about this book that frustrated me was the convenience of Sophie's powers. I'm going to tip-toe around this so as not to spoil anything, but lets just say that Sophie gets put in way more than her fair share of situations that should end in death, and gets way-way more than her fair share of convenient outs or saves by various *unnamed* sources. One of these--ahem--*unnamed* sources, also forces Sophie's--ahem--hand in a couple of personal situations, which felt equally as contrived as her unlikely escapes from death. I'm not saying I didn't soak up the drama, in many respects I'm like a 13-year-old girl so of course I did, but I still wish all of these situations hadn't seemed so forced.
The good news: the book is still funny, honest, and sexy. You still get Archer; you still get Cal, and you still get kissing (though I wont tell you with who!) Sophie is still quick as a jack rabbit (a cricket? light?) and there is some of her trademark banter, just not as much as I wanted. There are a few lively new characters, interesting new locations, and as you know from the publisher's summary, we get to meet the terrifying Brannick family (or are they?)
I by no means regret reading this book, and will definitely be picking up Rachel Hawkin's future novels. I give this book 3.5 out of 5 Stars. 3.5 stars because Rachel Hawkins is still a fabulous writer who has created a wonderful world that I enjoyed living in. I'm holding hostage that last 1.5 stars because I wanted mooore, and because I'm truly angry and destroyed by the ending... which I wont talk about, but suffice to say that I want to kick it in it's perfectly made-up face.
Have any of you read the book? I would love to know if your reaction was the same!