Sophie Mercer is sent to Hecate Hall, “a reformatory institution for Prodigium adolescents”, after doing a love spell that went terribly wrong. (She did it for a classmate and she was only trying to help. No one will ever forget that prom.) In this series most supernatural beings were created when the angels that refused to take sides in the war between God and Lucifer were cast out of heaven. Those supernatural beings are called Prodigium. Sophie knows she’s a witch but since she has grown up outside prodigium society she doesn’t know the basics of being a witch. This proves to be a problem when she comes up against Hex Hall’s mean girl’s clique. They want her to join their dark coven and they aren’t playing nice.
When members of the coven start turning up drained of blood Sophie’s roommate and new best friend Jenna, the only vampire on campus, is the only suspect. Sophie has to navigate the world of mean girls and her own heritage to uncover the truth and clear Jenna’s name. She also has to confront who she is and what it means to be Sophie Mercer.
I guess it’s fitting that my next reviews are about a school since it’s fall. I binged on these books. (That hasn’t happened since the Hush Hush series.) I finished this one and went on to number two and then number three. I had to know what happened. You’ll want to know what happens. I can promise you that.
I really liked this book. Sophie is fun and I found myself laughing out loud at some of her sarcastic comments. She also said holy hell weasel many times and I’ve decided that I love that. That fact that she has confidence in herself even when she’s questioning who she is makes her a worthy main character. She may not always make the right decisions but she tries to do as little harm to those around her as possible. That’s probably because her magic usually goes wrong and she knows it.
The camaraderie between Sophie and Jenna is special. They have a true friendship. Sophie doesn’t doubt Jenna’s innocence when it looks as though a vampire is draining members of Sophie’s coven. Even when things get bad and Jenna is sent to the Council Sophie believes in her. Jenna wasn’t what I would have expected. She isn’t a tag a long character. She is more of a peppy partner than a follow the leader sidekick.
The mean girls, especially Elodie are trying to increase their power. A member of their coven died the previous year and Elodie is determined to recruit Sophie so that they will have a fourth dark witch. They need a fourth so that they can achieve the goal of raising a demon. They want to do this so they can use it’s power. Part of the charm of reading this was that I just kept saying “you don’t want to go in there” where the mean girls were concerned. I think the author used this situation to her advantage. The entire time Sophie hears the rumors or talks to the means girls about it I could only think this is going to end badly.
This is a true adventure, not just the entire series but in this book alone. So many questions are answered and so many more came to mind. For example we only get to find out who Sophie’s father is. We don’t get to meet him until book two. Speaking of parents, I think it was great that Sophie had such a great relationship with her mother Grace. So often in YA parents are more ideas than characters. I found the relationship between Sophie and Grace to be heartwarming. Grace is an actual character in his series. She’s lied to Sophie all of her life about who she is but even that isn’t enough to sever the love Sophie has for her.
Sophie’s lack of knowledge about her personal history leads to an unbelievable showdown. She finds out the hard way who she is and what it really means to be a prodigium. She also knows she can’t have a normal life the way she is. Hex Hall was a great book and a great series. I really enjoyed watching Sophie navigate her Hex Hall experience and her feeling for Archer Cross. Book Two is Demon Glass and my review will post on September 9th.
PG-13: Death and violence. I believe I mentioned a showdown.