I will warn in advance, this review will probably include some spoilers for Hex Hall. If you missed my review on this book’s predecessor last summer, I would recommend you read that review instead, and go out at your earliest convenience and find a copy of it. These books are the most fun I’ve had since I finished Percy Jackson.
For the rest of the you, onward!
I was hopeful for another laugh out loud easy read. I got it.
Sophie is still witty and all the teens are very natural teens…for being demons and vampires. Most importantly, they’re not teens that annoy me. Usually teens in YA novels grind on me after a while, but Hawkins’s way of writing them never brings me to that point. I was a little slow to start (but only a little), and I sailed through the last two-thirds of the book.
Now that we know that Sophie is a demon, and therefore very different from her fellows at Hex Hall, the story is allowed to take a dramatic shift. So dramatic of a shift, in fact, that this book does not even take place at Hex Hall: it’s set almost exclusively in the UK (something that tends to make me a happy reader). While Hex Hall clearly had echoes of Hogwarts antics and situations, this one broke away from the Hogwarts formula into straighter fantasy adventure. Sophie’s dealing with a big problem: whether or not to keep her demon powers. This drives much of her actions throughout the book, and colors some of her decisions, which make them more interesting, and usually causes negative consequences.
This book gave me just about everything I would have wanted from a sequel. Further character development, the introduction of new and interesting characters, a change of scenery, a new problem, romantic and friendly tension. Oh, and moments where I physically laughed out loud.
I guess my biggest criticism is, you guessed it, the same problem I have with most YA literature: the introduction of a love triangle. Honestly, is it a requirement these days? For the YA heroine to have two viable likable guys to choose from? I swear, my high school experience was nothing like that, and I don’t think I would’ve wanted it to be. New romantic plot device now, please.