Saturday, 26 May 2012

[REVIEW] Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins

Published: March 2012
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Hex Hall #3 [end]
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? [From Goodreads]

As much as it hurts me to say this, I will admit that I was one of those people anxiously waiting for this book to be released. But I am happy to say that it took me about one month to actually start reading it.  I guess I was only excited for the waiting...  Well, it all went down hill from there.

Spell bound isn't a bad book, it just seemed to emphasize every flaw I missed in the prior books in the Hex Hall series.  Firstly, Rachel Hawkin's writing is very simple, border-line elementary (and I really don't mean to be harsh.)  Of course there are many other books that I absolutely love that write like this.  Twilight, Fifty Shades of Gray (which is a little bit different because it's adult fiction) all use very simple structure and dialogue.  The only thing that bothered me in this book was that the simplicity of it made me feel disengaged from the reading. Unlike the other two series' that I mentioned, I never once felt like I was a part of the story, which sort of ruined part of the experience for me.

Secondly, Rachel Hawkins assumes that the reader will not remember what happened in previous books and opts to put in detailed explanations to allusions of events from the first two books.  I hate that.  If the reader really wants to know what happened, they can go read the book, there is no need to waste words re-iterating what happened.

Also, this may tie in with the elementary writing but when I was reading this book, it was very, very, VERY evident that Rachel Hawkins was pushing the plot forward.  I find that the best books have the plot advance seamlessly.  Characters can travel between locations without you even fully realizing that the plot has moved forward.  That wasn't the case for this book.  [SPOILERS START HERE] At the beginning Sophie finds the Brannicks, then when it is clear that Sophie needs to get her powers back but the only way to is unknown, BAM, Sophie "magically" gets whisked away to the location.  Conveniently she meets Archer there, who was missing for the first half of the story mind you, and the romantic love triangle between Sophie, Archer and Cal starts again. Oh now Sophie's unsure of getting her powers back, oh, lets make a random guy send her a message, AND now she's all powerful and off to save the world.  She also conveniently breaks free from the bad guys even mind control in just a paragraph.  No waste of words there. [END SPOILERS]  I may just be being picky here but it really seemed like all this events were just happening because the story needed to move forward - and possibly end.

There was one part that surprised me, so kudos to you Ms. Hawkins. [SPOILERS START HERE AGAIN]  When Cal sacrifices himself for Sophie, I was shocked. Truly.  Then I realized that Rachel Hawkins probably killed him off so that there was no dispute over who Sophie would end up with.  Well Rachel Hawkins, I liked Cal more than Archer...just saying and I found the death to be unfair and forced, like the rest of the book.[END SPOILERS]

Lastly, the covers.  I know that for every review I've written on this series, I've said how much the covers suck. Well this is no exception.  It really sucks.  I don't think I need to re-emphasize that.



  1. I HATE this review. It is simple a bunch of opinions that are all subjective. Unbelievable.

  2. Thank you for taking the time to read my review! I'm sorry you felt that way but I was merely writing what I felt at the time. Will my opinions differ (probably greatly) than others? Most definitely. But I still stand by what I said. To be honest, I battled with writing this review for the fact that I really didn't have anything nice to say about it, but nonetheless I wrote it because I figured there must be someone out there who feels the same way as I do and would benefit from this review.

    Again, thank you for visiting my blog and I hope you'll find some of my other reviews more favourable :)