I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect with this series. Honestly, I saw that the library had the audiobook series, and I thought, “Hey, why not?” Turns out, I ended up enjoying this series much more than I expected to!
What Fed My Addiction:
- A very snarky MC. I’ve always been a fan of snarky teenage MCs. As a mom, I should probably be irritated with Sophie’s constant sarcastic remarks, but nope – I enjoyed it the whole way through the series. Sophie handles difficult situations with snarky humor, so instead of getting overly emotional or angsty when things go wrong (which they do throughout the series!) she just cracks sarcastic jokes – I can relate!! I never got tired of Sophie’s voice, and while she definitely grew throughout the series, she never lost her “Sophieness” – which I appreciated.
- The secondary characters! There were lots of secondary characters in this series that really shone!
- Jenna. First off, there was Jenna, Sophie’s vampire best friend. I loved that these two shared a true, deep friendship that, even when it was tested for various reasons, stayed strong! Jenna wasn’t just a secondary character, pushed to the sidelines, she was incredibly fleshed out and had depth and a story of her own. (I should mention that one aspect of Jenna’s story is that she’s gay – it wasn’t really made a big deal of, it’s just a fact – but her backstory has to do with her first love and she has a bit of a romance in the series.)
- Archer. Then there’s Archer. He’s all dreamy and awesome – but he has a girlfriend, so Sophie knows he’s off limits. It’s hard for me to say much about Archer without spoiling things, so I’ll just say that he gets Sophie’s humor (he’s kind of snarky too) and that things between him and Sophie are far from simple.
- Cal. Cal is the groundsman at Hex Hall, and he has the ability to heal through his magic. He’s kind of the stoic type, and has a smaller role in the first book, but he becomes central to the plot as the series goes on. Cal is sweet and kind and selfless, even if he isn’t always incredibly expressive.
- Elodie. Elodie’s kind of a typical mean-girl at first, but she ends up playing a pretty pivotal role in the series. Again, it’s hard to say much about her without spoiling things, but I’ll say that her role in Sophie’s life changes more than once!!
- Sophie’s parents. Yay for parents who are involved in their kids lives and actually good influences. (Okay, this doesn’t apply to her dad in the first book, but there are reasons, and this isn’t an issue past book one).
- Pacing! These books kept moving and never lost my interest for even a moment! I felt like there was plenty of action and excitement to keep me interested, and I was invested in these characters, so that kept me engaged even when we were “waiting” for the other shoe to drop!
What Left Me Wanting More:
- Love triangle. A love triangle was introduced in the second book (sorry if this is a little bit spoilery, but I think people deserve to know). It wasn’t my favorite aspect of the book, and by the third book, I knew exactly how it was all going to end (not just the romance, but the story arc of the characters) – I was exactly right. This is pretty much the only reason the final book got 4 stars instead of 4.5 – I found it to be relatively predictable. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy it, but I did kind of think to myself, “I told you so.” (I found the revelations in the first book much more surprising!)
I thought that Cris Dukehart did a fantastic job capturing Sophie’s snarky teenage personality! Her narration was spot-on – fun, but also appropriately emotional in spots. She also did a great job with the Southern and British accents. I would definitely listen to books by this narrator again!
Overall, I give this series 4.5 stars! It was fun and perfect for the YA set!
Favorite character: Sophie Mercer. Like I said, I loved her snarkiness! But I actually kind of loved them all!
Favorite moment: The major revelations at end of the first book. LOVED them! Nothing else ever quite measured up or took me by surprise like those did!
Favorite villain: Elodie
Huh? What’s with the black cat on all the covers? There isn’t a black cat in the series.
Genres: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 323 (7 hrs 11 min audio)
Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father—an elusive European warlock—only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tag-along ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.
As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.
Pages: 359 (8 hrs 23 min audio)
Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (a.k.a. witches, shape-shifters, and faeries). But then she discovered the family secret, and the fact 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 either destroy her powers for good-or kill her.
But once Sophie arrives, she makes a shocking discovery. Her new housemates? They’re demons too. Meaning, someone is raising demons 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?
Pages: 327 (7 hrs 30 min audio)
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?
About the Author:
Rachel Hawkins was born in Virginia and raised in Alabama. This means she uses words like “y’all” and “fixin'” a lot, and considers anything under 60 degrees to be borderline Arctic. Before deciding to write books about kissing and fire (and sometimes kissing while on fire), Rachel taught high school English for 3 years, and is still capable of teaching you The Canterbury Tales if you’re into that kind of thing.
She is married to a geologist, which means that they have incredibly strange dinner conversations (“So today at work, I wrote a chapter where killer fog, like, ATE PEOPLE.” “Huh. Well, I was chased by an angry reindeer while trying to map parts of Norway.” “Um…okay.”)
Rachel also has a little boy whose main hobbies are playing video games, running around in circles, and plotting his Future Intergalactic Take-Over.
When not writing books, Rachel enjoys reading, travelling, and knitting (very terribly.)
this is one of those series I keep saying I am going to get to and never do. I need to though. I need to read all the series. I need more time. Love snarky mc’s love great secondary characters and no black cat in stories huh. strange.
I really liked this series too, and they were excellent audios. The second book wasn’t my favorite either, but the first one was awesome and the last one was pretty great too. I wasn’t as much a fan of the spin-off novel.
I haven’t read any of these, but I know they looked fun. That’s great you enjoyed them. Blah for love triangles but yay for great secondary characters. I also really love snarky characters. 🙂
I accidentally read the spinoff book a while back without realizing that it was a spinoff from this series^^ which I have yet to read. I enjoyed that one a lot though and have since added this series to my tbr shelf. I’ve heard wonderful things about these and now with you loving them as well, I really want to read them. I’ll have to check if they’re available on audio at my library! Awesome reviews Nicole! xx
I’ve listened to the first two in the Rebel Belle series by this author and loved them! I probably need to try this series as well since I enjoyed those. Great review, makes me want to read them!
That’s too funny that they have a black cat on the cover, yet not one in the book. Huh. I have only read the first book in her Rebel Belle series but it was super cute, funny and Harper (the heroine) reminded me of Cher from Clueless in some ways. I’m so happy to hear her other series is wonderful too! I definitely need to pick it up!
I love getting a whole series review in one time! It seems like all of these books were pretty solid and stayed true to themselves. One doesn’t seem particularly worse than another or anything like that. I really like the sound of the Main Character having a bit of snark and attitude to them, and it just seems like a fun lot of secondary characters too. I have the first book on my TBR!
I just finished listening to Hex Hall, and I’ll be honest that I can’t decide if I actually want to continue the series or not. I didn’t DISlike it, but I didn’t love it either. And it was one of those where I can’t seem to actually pin-point what didn’t really work for me :/ Glad you enjoyed them so much though!
I could see how, if you weren’t a fan of Sophie’s high school brand of snarkiness, the book might not work for you. Not sure if that was the issue for you, but it’s definitely a very specific tone that I could see some people not enjoying. For me, it was right up my alley!
I recently added these to my TBR, so glad you enjoyed them. I also enjoy a good snarky MC, that’s always a plus for me. These look really fun, might have to bump them up the queue.
I hope you love them! I thought they were great fun!