Friday, April 20, 2012

Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins

Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publishing Company: Hyperion
Genre: Young Adult--Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 327
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Rating: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
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?
Oh. My. God. (Yeah, I start most of my reviews with that now, huh? I think that's because while some people may be in a reading slump, I'm at a reading high. All the books are good right now!) Before I start gushing and ranting, I want to clarify two things: I've had a lot of sugar and probably just gained back the five pounds that I lost last week :(, thus meaning I'll probably have spasms of sugar rushes; and I'm on a really spastastic laptop so I might have a few typos and crazy things going on that might not normally be there.

Spell Bound takes off right after where Demonglass left off, so for those of you who read Demonglass and were pretty much ripped apart by the cliffhanger (like me) then this is the book to be getting next, since most of your questions will be answered quickly. This book didn't move slow at all and was the perfect conclusion to this trilogy. I really couldn't have imagined it any other way. The action was well-paced and it wasn't a big bang that got all obnoxiously into your face, but a buildup that led to a bang-like ending that, quite frankly, made me want to re-read it. And I did. Well, mainly because I read half of it on the plane, and I get plane sick easily, and then I also went to a party before and my stomach was upset, so I spent most of the time reading a page, shoving it at my brother, throwing up, sitting in the bathroom for half an hour, and coming back. But I would've re-read anyway. :)

Sophie was as snarky and sarcastic as ever, which is the Sophie that we've grown to love and cherish as an awesome heroine and character. She remained remarkably strong and stayed a very resilient thing, even after she basically lost everybody she ever cared about in the last few months. I really admired Sophie for her entire character and it's something that I've always loved about these books since I started with Hex Hall. I love Rachel's ability to turn any sticky situation into something really comical and will make me just break out into this huge grin, and I love even more how it reflects a little bit on every one of her characters, but in just the right amounts so it doesn't seem like everybody's a snarky little thing, which would grow annoying pretty fast. The characters are extremely well-developed, and you really get into their minds. I'm pretty sure I went through all my emotions while going through that book.

Now, this book wasn't like one of those hardcore books like the Hunger Games or Divergent or something like that where the heroine's always in the fight of her life, but the whole plot made up for it. In Demonglass, the book, which is about three hundred and fifty pages, sped by really quickly that I was on page fifty and then I'd find myself at the end and I'd just think: "Wow. I'm here already?" That's exactly what happened in this book, because there would be a few action scenes that kept you engaged, and then the rest would be leading up to that next action scene. And it wouldn't be random action scenes spread willy-nilly around, they were the important scenes that required a lot of buildup and Rachel delivered on that perfectly.

Now, as a lot of you may have noticed from previous reviews, many people find the ending quite a bit rushed. I think I have to agree, because in the end, that big moment that tied the main dilemna up--followed by the smaller moments that tied the smaller problems up--left me basically shattered. I think it was very well done, and it follows that rule that "sacrifices must be made in a good YA book," if some people follow that. So a sacrifice was made, and I was heartbroken, and I wanted some good closure at the end. Instead, I got a friendly wave and tears. There was no little meeting, with an emotional moment that would have given me full closure and I would be happy and satisfied, albeit a little upset. I really wished we'd gotten a nice heartfelt ending where we'd be assured that the sacrifice wasn't made in total vain. I mean, I'll admit, I got a little of that, but not as much as I would've liked to make me believe that it really was "okay," as said in the book. The rest of the ending was a little rushed, but it was still good. There were still a few plot-holes, like between Izzy and Torin--you'll get what I mean when you read the book--and like I said, not full closure for some parts, only partial closure.

Archer Cross is one very fine love interest and badboy. I'm sure you know that badboys are the number one thing that attracts me in a good book love interest--pity they're not as good in real life--and Archer was definitely a badboy. The great thing was that Archer got his own closure in the end regarding who he really was, since he was found by the Eye with no name and all that. I really appreciated that the love interest and the "sidekick," Jenna, both got closure in their own forms, as well as Elodie, Cal, and Sophie's parents, in a way. Not every author is able to do that, but I'm glad that the characters I've grown to love and cherish were able to get some form of a happy ending, though in an odd way.

So there really isn't a reason not to read this book, because everything makes up for the ending, even though I almost started crying near the end. I read it, blinked rapidly for a minute or so, and then turned the page and re-read that section. The ending was really sad and some may argue unfair, but I think, personally, that there was no other way to solve it. Okay, yes, maybe, but in the end, that sacrifice wasn't made in vain and it seemed like all the characters were happy in the end, even though what happened did happen. I'd definitely recommend you to read this book because you will devour it, and you will be immersed in this book from head to toe. Rachel Hawkins has grown a mile as a writer and I will read every one of her books that she writes afterwards because she has proved what she can do in this trilogy, and Spell Bound was the perfect conclusion to it. I honestly could not have imagined it any other way. The Hex Hall trilogy really is "impossible to put down."

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