Field Notes: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

What would you get if you combined Twilight’s paranormal elements with Harry Potter’s school of magic?

Something close to Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins.

This book — part one of a trilogy — follows Sophie as she is sent to Hectate Hall to confront her witchy side. Quite literally, that is. She’s a witch who has used her powers wrong one too many times, and now her mom has sent her to get herself together.

But what Sophie discovers is that her family may be a lot darker than she first believed. And, quite frankly, she may not be a witch at all.

Hex Hall is not the most original book or premise, but what stands out is a rollicking hilarious main character. I found Sophie a breath of fresh air. She’s sarcastic and drops a good allusion that is worthy of many chuckle.

Hawkins’s book will appeal to paranormal or magic fans, but I think the real appeal will be to people who wonder what the big deal is with those genres. This will make you laugh and will leave you with just enough mystery to keep the story line moving. A couple of deaths — or near death incidents — and a suspect in the only enrolled vampire, who happens to be Sophie’s roommate, propel the plot forward.

The ending gives enough of a twist to make readers seek out the second book. It’s worth the read but it won’t be the next great work, nor will it develop a cult following a la the books from which it lifts elements. Sophisiticated readers will be annoyed, though Sophie will redeem the book for them.

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  1. says

    So, I'm going to be annoyed (maybe – what makes someone a sophisticated reader?), though Sophie will make me laugh. I'm still thinking I might love it!

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