March 21, 2012

Book #31 - Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3)

Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3), Rachel Hawkins
327 pages
Paranormal romance, urban fantasy
Started 3/13/12
Finished 3/14/12

UGH. I am so disappointed. I was so looking forward to the final installment of the Hex Hall series. I guess I'd built it up in my mind a bit too much, but why wouldn't I have, really? I loved the first two - especially Demonglass. The story was interesting, the characters were snarky and cool and the romance wasn't too much or not enough. But, I gotta tell you, Spell Bound really fell from the lofty perch on which I sat it.

Although the book is divided into three parts, in my mind, it's really in two parts - the "good" part and the "*sigh* - really?" part. The first two-thirds were really good. (view spoiler)I KNEW there was something up with Sophie's mom, and it was kinda cool to find out she was a Brannick. My favorite parts of the book came in part II when all the kids were transported back to Hex Hall. That was a really cool twist, and I thought the story moved at a great pace and was exciting at that point.

The last third felt like Hawkins gave it "The Hunger Games Treatment." You know - you spend two-and-then-some books building up characters and plot points and worlds, only to rush things so much at the end that the readers are left wanting so much more than what they get.

(view spoiler)SO MUCH MORE could've been done with the underworld scene. I mean, they started talking about it in the beginning of the book, then made a big deal about Sophie being the only one to go there, and in the end, all four of them went, spent about a half dozen pages there, and came back. Mission accomplished. Nice and neat. It's freaking HELL!! Hawkins could've done some really cool stuff and given Sophie some difficult problems and challenges to face. But, nothing. Just a few replays of some bad moments in their lives. BFD. And, did they even use the demonglass they went there for? Nope. So, really, what was the point?

Besides what happened with Cal (don't even get me started on that), the final showdown was very benign. I like those final scenes where the reader has a few moments of "OMG - it seems like the baddie might actually win!" Yeah - none of that here. A few nasty words from the big bad, an evil cackle or two, and then, whoosh - everything's better again. Bo-ring.

And, what's up with the big nasty spell book? You know - the one that was so powerful that it had to be kept in an enchanted case and was treated with some amount of reverence. Well, we saw it shoved down Sophie's pants several times, as well as stuffed in a few drawers. That dropped it's awesome quotient down to the cellar. I was so hoping they would use it to restore Sophie's dad's powers and Hex Hall to it's former glory. But, it was used to give Sophie her powers back, and then it was, "big bad spellbook? what? where?"

I wanted more making out with Archer, more professions of love and devotion, more scenes with Sophie's dad (who was such a main character in the last book), more from the new character Torin - more, more, more. Instead I was left feeling rushed and annoyed. I'll say it again - UGH. UUUGGGGGHHHHHHHH.

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