Demonglass (A Hex Hall Novel) by Rachel Hawkins
Sophie Mercer demon spawn extraordinaire is once again entertaining us with her quick wit and her so called dysfunctional demon life in the sequel to Rachel Hawkins Hex Hall. Demonglass follows Mercer post Alice meltdown, Elodie’s demise, and Archer’s betrayal to the lovely english countryside for the summer with Cal, Jenna, and her absentee father. She is suppose to have a long relaxing vacation with her friends, get to know her dad, brush up on her magic skills, and decide whether to go through with the removal. Surprisingly there are already two other demon teens staying at council headquarters. Someones been raising demons. There are also reports of The Eye and more importantly Archer Cross in the UK. And of course someone is trying to kill Sophie.
This too long awaited follow up, was just that too long await. Demonglass is one book that could have benefitted from a shorter release date. Hex Hall was an exciting new addition to the YA market, and I was equally excited about Demonglass (or so I thought). Until I started reading it. Sophie’s sarcasm was just as much of a joy. I really like how Hawkins ends most of her chapters with a little teaser to make you want to keep going, but I still could not get into it. The beginning was such a chore, and what normally would take me a day or two to read, took me more than a week to finish. Demonglass was OK, it could have been better.
1. Even though there are a few significant action filled scenes in the beginning and middle of this book, the main body of the book is mostly about building the relationship between Sophie and her father. When the story is not about family bonding Hawkins is setting all the ground work for the story arc and the series arc. Which interestingly she did very little of in Hex Hall. All the elements from the first book are more like cornerstones that Hawkins uses to build the foundation and supporting threads for the series that we learn by the end of Demonglass. While I think the majority of the information is important and not mindless filler, it is still a big brick of the book a good 200pgs. worth, and cause for a slow start. Developing some of the secondary characters more or some romance intertwined with the heavy duty story building would have carried it off.
2. In Demonglass we are introduced to Nick and Daisy. Their characters are introduced as a bit unhinged. They teeter on and off the rocker, possible looney bin material. Through out the book they were sort of there, or there in the background. I think I would have liked to see them featured more. Instead of starting out the crazies, I would have like to have seen them develop, see them decline from seemingly normal teens into complete madness.
3. Too little Archer. The story lacks the great romance we were spoiled with in Hex Hall. Things don’t really pick up in the love department for Sophie until the end when Archer becomes more of a feature. Don’t get me wrong I am a sucker for the whole Romeo & Juliet bit, but the creation of a complicated love triangle was a big missed opportunity. Cal could have been there through out the whole book, but he was just a notion somewhere in the background. He was sorely under utilized. His presence during the Archer dry spell would have added much need male interest. I also hate when the possible other male lead is pretty much perfect. It seems so ironic that a guy like that is the one that gets left behind. I wish he had some flaw so I wouldn’t feel so bad for him. There was just too little of Cal as well. Hawkins could have at least built a stronger foundation for a future love triangle. And Sophie is annoyingly imperceptive. She’s completely clueless, and dismisses any notion that he might have genuine feelings for her while they’re flirting. The whole time she’s pining and loathing Archer. This just made Sophie seem inconsiderate and completely self absorbed.
The only other thing that bothered me was a scene in the book when Sophie was at a dress fitting. I don’t usually have a problem with characters like Mercer who can be a bit abrasive with her wit and sarcasm, I am a fan of the snark, but during this dialogue Sophie came off very unlikable and ungracious. It was kinda like when you give someone a gift and they don’t have the decency to be thankful, they instead complain about how it’s not the color they wanted. I understand that Sophie didn’t feel like all the fuss was her, but her complaining through the whole chapter was too much. It made her unattractive.
The heavily threaded slow start could have benefitted from the momentum of a closer release. Toward the last 100 or so pages things really start to get rolling. Love, action, intrigue, and lots of betrayal. The overall series plot starts to come together. Relationships start to solidify. I think since this book isn’t even 400pgs that the author could have explored the character development or love triangle a bit more to help the lull in the beginning. If your a fan of this series it is an important edition, I would say stick it out. The end is much better than the beginning.
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