Title: Spell Bound
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Date Read: February 13, 2013
The girl scowled. “You are something,” she hissed, leaning in closer. “I can feel it. Whatever you are, it’s not human. So you can either tell me what kind of freak you are, or I can cut you open and find out myself.”
I stared at her. “You are one hard-core little kid.”
Her scowl deepened.
“I’m looking for the Brannicks,” I said in a rush. And I’m guessing you are one because…you know, red hair and the violence and everything, and–”
“What’s your name?” she demanded as the stinging in my neck became actual pain.
“Sophie Mercer,” I said through clenched teeth.
Her eyes widened, “No way,” she said, sounding for the first time like the middle schooler she probably was.
“Way,” I croaked.
The Brannicks- I know that me lumping all of the Brannicks together in my discussion of new characters probably looks lazy, but that is just the way it will have to be. I haven’t read this book in over a month, and my memory is not the sharpest, so I admit that this may not be my best review. But keep in mind, I have read probably ten books between this one and the one I am working on now. Anyway, here we go!
The Brannicks are not who we expected them to be when Mrs. Casnoff mentioned them in the first book during Sophie’s orientation at HH. These Brannicks are just as intense as we might have expected, there are just far fewer of them . All in all, there are…3? 4? Yeah, it seems pretty pathetic. Buuuuuuuuut, they deserve a thumbs up because people don’t know they are so few, and they still think they are bad-ass! Anyway, I don’t want to give any spoilers here, but there are some pretty crazy connections between… certain characters…yeah.
Oh, and the Brannicks also have this ultra-helpful and simultaneously annoying warlock friend trapped in a mirror that comes in handy. That’s pretty cool! I wonder who he thinks is the prettiest of them all?
Conflict: It seems that trilogies seem to follow the same format: first book is all about a containable problem, the second book moves on to a problem a little larger that involves a larger population, and the third one threatens to destroy life as we know it while simultaneously tying us back to the original problem in the first book. Now that you have read those words, you are probably thinking about all of the trilogies that no doubt have followed this same pattern.
Anyway, this book doesn’t break the mold. But, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good! I like the conflict in this one, because it is so large scale. I think large scale problems make people think more critical about the consequences of their actions, and that ultimately gives us a glance into the direction of their moral compass. In this book, old enemies must team up to rid the world of the demon raisers once and for all, and it all goes back to Hex Hall…. muahahahaha! Seriously though, you get a little slice of every pie in this one: Prodigium, L’Occhio di Dio, the Brannicks, Hex Hall…. oh, and the crazy love triangle that often occupies trilogies. But, you will like it…. I think.
Things I Liked: A little off topic of context, I liked that there are occasional quotes in the books. What I mean is that before some of the chapters, there are quotes. My memory might be a little off, but I think all/most of them are from Alice in Wonderland, which I also liked. I also liked that characters in this book had the opportunity to be valiant, and took it. By characters, I mean Cal. Always Cal.
Things I Didn’t Like: My friend Ashley and I were talking about this, and we think that the little trip into hell they took was completely bogus. Are you seriously telling me that one can simply walk right into Hell, and turn around and walk right back out? ONE CANNOT SIMPLY, RACHEL. Also, it didn’t seem extremely hellish there, you might not feel that way, but we certainly did. I mean, what they went through sucks, but it certainly wasn’t anything you couldn’t push through. To me, the hell in this book makes me feel like Rachel Hawkins thinks her characters are emotional and weak, or maybe just emotionally weak. I also think that this book could have continued into a fourth and certain parts could have been expanded on.
Overall: All in all, I still really liked it. I was all caught up in the HH fantasy, and I didn’t bat an eye when hell was not that hellacious, or when things started getting a little cookie cutter. Looking back, I can find more things wrong with it, and they are the things sticking out in my mind, but I also remember really liking this book when I read it, and not being able to put it down. (I read it in one day.) I guess you really need to be the judge.
Cover Art: Not the best, not the worst. Her previous covers were a little more indicative of what you could expect when you cracked the cover, but this one fell a little short.
Rating: 3.75 stars. This is a little bit of a cop-out on my part, but it is sort of an average between what I think now and what I thought immediately after finishing it.