Friday, April 8, 2011

Book Review: Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins

Title:  Demonglass
Author:  Rachel Hawkins
Publisher:  Hyperion Books
Genre: YA / paranormal
Hardcover: 359 pages
Summary from Goodreads: 
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?

  • Overall rating: 7/10
To buy this book: IndieBound | The Book Depository Powell's | Amazon
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Rachel Hawkins' Demonglass picks up six months after the conclusion of Hex Hall.  Sophie is awaiting word from her father, the head of the Council, regarding her request to undergo the Removal process.  When he arrives, her father persuades her to spend the summer with him at the Council headquarters in England before making a final decision about the Removal, and they set off for England with her friends Jenna and Cal in tow.  Sophie is shocked by the grandeur of the expansive Abbey where they will be staying, but the beautiful and luxurious setting does not necessarily mean she'll have a peaceful summer vacation in the English countryside.  Instead, she finds herself hunted by the Eye, keeping secrets from her best friend, and unsure who to trust in this fun sequel to Hex Hall.

What I Liked:
-     Sophie's sense of humor is my favorite part of this series.  She has a sarcastic reply to lighten almost any uncomfortable situation, and her snarkiness helps make this book an entertaining, fast read.
-     Cal plays a much larger roll in this book, and I thoroughly enjoyed his interaction with Sophie.  He is kind, compassionate, and good with his hands.  Plus, he really does have the best power ever.  Demonglass put me firmly on Team Cal.
-     I enjoy Sophie and Jenna's friendship.  They complement each other well, and I like that they both try to be supportive and encouraging even when dealing with tricky situations or disagreements.
-     A number of new characters are introduced in this book, and they add some exciting twists to the story.  I also liked that characters from the first book played unexpected roles in Demonglass, specifically Elodie, Cal, and Mrs. Casnoff.
-     Demons, witches, warlocks, werewolves, vampires, and ghosts ... this series has a wide variety of paranormal creatures.
-     I enjoyed learning more about Sophie's long-absent father.  Sophie gains a better understanding of her abilities in this book, and I look forward to discovering what the third book has in store for her.

What I Disliked:
-     I found myself distracted by comparing certain aspects of this story to other book series, like Evernight, Harry Potter, and Twilight.  
-     I was a fan of Sophie and Archer's chemistry in Hex Hall, but I didn't find their chemistry nearly as compelling in Demonglass.  Perhaps that was because of Archer's minimal page-time, Cal's abundant charms, or the general seriousness of the situation keeping Sophie and Archer apart, but their Romeo & Juliet-style romance felt a bit forced to me this time around.
-     The second book in a trilogy can sometimes be more frustrating than fulfilling since none of the major conflicts will be resolved until the final book, and unfortunately this book felt that way to me.  The conclusion definitely leaves readers hanging in a huge way. 

Demonglass is an entertaining sequel to Hex Hall.  Fans of paranormal novels that blend suspenseful and romantic elements with a hefty dose of humor, like Kiersten White's Paranormalcy, will want to pick up this series.  If you would like to learn more about Demonglass, or Rachel Hawkins' upcoming projects like Rebel Belle and the Hex Hall spinoff series she plans to start writing this summer, please visit her website, blog, or twitter.  Or check out the Hex Hall facebook page.

Read the first chapter of Demonglass here!