Thursday, March 15, 2012

SPELL BOUND by Rachel Hawkins

Spell Bound
Rachel Hawkins

Rating: B-

Synopsis from
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?

My thoughts on the book:
Let me begin this review by stating that Hex Hall and Demonglass are two of my favorite Paranormal YA books of all time. I really loved the world that Hawkins created, the easy to relate to and likable characters, and the exciting story lines. That being said, Spell Bound fell flat for me. I was a bit disappointed in this book because I had been waiting so long for it. Based on the previous two novels, I felt that this would be Hawkins best work yet. Needless to say that wasn't the case. Sure, all of the characters I loved from the first two books were present, and Hawkins' writing style and pacing were still top notch, but the plot was extremely boring.

There was action in the book, but there was no suspense. Sure, Sophie had to overcome some things to save the world, but there was never a split second in which I wondered whether or not she'd succeed. It was obvious from the start of each event that she would succeed. There were no obstacles once an event started, and some of the things she had to overcome didn't even seem to be that difficult. Also, I didn't feel an emotional bond with Sophie like I did in previous books. And lastly, Sophie didn't develop at all from the beginning to the end of this novel. Since this is the last book in her story, I felt that she still had some growing to do that was left unfinished. Maybe this was done so that Hawkins could revisit Sophie's story later, if need be, but I wanted at least a little development. All of that being said, this book still wasn't bad. It just wasn't my favorite in the series, either.

I still love Sophie, and Archer is still fantastic. He grew a bit, but since the trilogy is told from Sophie's perspective, and Archer's growth occurs while they're separated, we don't really get to see how that happens. I just could not engage with this book, or the characters that I adored so much. The ending didn't upset me that much, though I don't understand why a certain thing had to happen. However, I don't feel like that thing was a cop out. I think it was just an attempt to add some pathos to a book that was sorely lacking in that department.

There were a few surprises in this book, but there was no big reveal. No betrayals really occurred, and from what I could tell, there was no "big finale" going on. At least I didn't see one. Nothing was exciting enough to be a big finale. I feel like I'm still waiting on the big finale, actually, so that I can close this story in my mind and move on. Enough about the stuff I didn't like, though. Let's move on to what I did like.

Hawkins has created a captivating world and wonderful characters. She has a great voice, and she's fantastic at showing instead of telling. The events in her stories move in logical order, and her books are easy to follow. The characters she's created are flawed, but not bad. No one is perfect, and the characters of the Hex Hall series have always felt real to me because of that. Nothing in the book is trashy, and Hawkins stays true to herself, her characters, and her world. She doesn't compromise to sell more books, and I completely respect that. This novel was no exception to all of those things. I just feel that the third book of the trilogy, Spell Bound should have been more suspenseful. However, I can't wait to read whatever projects Hawkins produces next.

Overall, I'd recommend this series to everyone. I mean it. Every single person in the world needs to read this series. These are "feel good" books that leave you smiling when you're finished. The pacing is pretty quick, but not rushed, and the novels have all been fast reads for me. If you've read the first two books, then you need to read this last one for closure. It's good to know what happens to the characters after spending so long with them. Don't expect to be blown away or kept on the edge of your seat with this one, though. To me it felt more like simply tying up loose ends, which is necessary, but not exactly exciting.

Want to buy Spell Bound?


  1. This is such a great review! Hex Hall is also one of my favorite series out there, and I really want to get my hands on this book! I'm a little worried now that the suspense seems to be lacking and that Sophie doesn't really develop throughout the book, but I still think it's going to be awesome!

    1. Thanks! I'd definitely recommend it. It's just not as intense as the first two, and I think because of that, I didn't feel much about it. It's a good book though, and she wraps things up nicely. I just wish that I'd had a some "oh my God is she going to make it?" moments, and I didn't. But I read it quickly, so it still kept me interested. You want to find out what happens, but at the same time, it's just a little less intense. You'll still love the book, I'm sure! I like it and I'm sure I'll reread it a few times at least! :D

  2. Ok, i recently started reading YA..(it isn't the YA i knew as a kid) and I haven't read this series..but I love paranormal and your review has itching to buy it..adding book one to my list :)

  3. I have Hex Hall in my shelf waiting to be read! I really need to read this series very soon. thanks for the great review! x



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