Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins has already been released in the U.S. but has yet to be released in the UK. I have no idea why the release dates aren't the same but I can tell you that the cover art is different. I have to say that I prefer the U.S. cover art and it’s a hardback (I know, I know). The good thing about purchasing that particular copy though, besides that it is a hardback, is that it meant I could read it now as opposed to waiting for the UK release date. I started reading this last night and managed to finish it within 4 hours. It was definitely a fun read and I just love Rachel’s sense of humour.
The main protagonist is Sophia (Sophie) Mercer and she is a young witch. After a love spell goes horribly wrong, she is sent to Hecate Hall, or Hex Hall as it is affectionately known amongst the students, which is a reformatory school for the Prodigium. The Prodigium are made up of magical beings such as witches, warlocks, werewolves, shape shifters, fairies and vampires. Students are sent to Hex Hall when they need to be taught how to use magic more responsibly and this is why Sophie is there. Before long, strange goings on at Hex Hall put all the students in danger but will they figure out what’s going on before another student is murdered?
For some reason, I kept thinking of “The Worst Witch” (I loved that film when I was younger) when I first started reading but I can see why I would make that comparison. Sophie’s spells always seem to go wrong, that is if she can make them work at all! Sophie was a great character and a loyal friend to her roommate Jenna, the only vampire student at Hex hall. I loved Sophie's sense of humour and humanity.
There were some other great characters in Hex Hall to include both teachers and students. The headmistress Mrs. Casnoff reminded me of a motherly version of Dumbledore from Harry Potter. Archer Cross is the love interest and boy is he hot! Even though he might come across as a tad arrogant at first, you can see why Sophie cannot help herself falling for him. I could imagine doing the exact same thing in her position. I loved the fact that their relationship was not straightforward though and full of complications such as Archer’s girlfriend for example. At first, this made me feel a bit uncomfortable but it could just as easily happen in real life and did Archer really like Elodie anyway? I’m not sure, I have a feeling he had an ulterior motive.
There were quite a few revelations towards the end of the book that I didn’t see coming and I loved the feeling of being surprised. It did however leave a lot of things left wide open and I assume these will be addressed in the sequel. “God I hope so!” is the most appropriate response I could muster at the moment. I love the fact that Rachel added some “Britishness” into the book too and you’ll see what I mean when you read it. I don’t want to give away too much of the story but I’m really looking forward to the sequel and will be pestering Rachel to find out when exactly that will be! Rachel has a website and you can visit by clicking here. She can also be found on facebook and Twitter. The UK release date for Hex Hall is 1st April, 2010 so not long to wait now!