Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins
Snark, check. Sidekicks, check. Ghostly stalker chick, check.
If snark is a superpower, then the sarcasm is strong in this one. Yup, Sophie has returned and she’s in a bit of a pickle. Powerless, after the council bound her magic. Alone, after leaving the destruction of Thorne Abbey, and unaware of what’s become of her family and friends.
One liners abound, Sophie sets out to find her mom, instead she finds a whole other side of her heritage. If her father’s lineage isn’t complicated enough, wait until you meet her mother’s side of the family, trust me dysfunction doesn’t begin to describe that dynamic.
Unfortunately the impromptu reunion does last, as the former students of Hecate Hall find themselves magically lojacked. Turns out Hex Hall has reopened and lets just say they’ve let the place go. The final stages of the Casnoff’s coup is underhand, and Sophie is a major part of their plans. Can she get her powers back in time? Will she even want them back?
Spell Bound was a surprise. Mostly because it doesn’t go where you expect it. Much of the story lines built in the last book resolve themselves without any help from the heroine. I found that a little disorienting at first, but just go with it, the book’s plot works well in closing out the series, though I doubt anyone will like the ending. I didn’t feel there was much character development, but there were some really interesting new characters, who I found more compelling than the original cast. While I enjoy the droll dialogue most of the time, having Jenna, Archer, and Sophie bantering can feel too symbiotic. It would’ve been nice to have a different voice to balance out all the sameness in personalities. Plus I find it can be hard to connect or even like Sophie at times because of all the snarking. It can make it seem like she doesn’t take things seriously and her words become a wall to block what she’s really feeling, so we don’t get that chance to feel it with her. I think that’s why everyone likes Cal, he’s open and accessible for the readers to connect with.
Overall I liked the book. It was a fun read, with an interesting perspective. I love the way Hawkins’ writes between her dialogue. She put a different spin on how she describes her world. Clever and witty there’s pretty much something funny on every line. And while Sophie’s story has come to an end, the closure makes way for something new and the possibilities that were introduced are very intriguing. So I’m definitely looking forward to what’s next in the Hex Hall universe.