17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2011
Hex Hall, the first book in Rachel Hawkins' YA paranormal series was an entertaining read that I thought held the promise of developing into an excellent series. And, with Book Two, Demonglass, it most definitely has. Hawkins has bumped up her game with this book and I'm already anxious to have Book Three in my hands.
The author knows her stuff. Well-written and wonderfully paced, Demonglass has a good mix of action, dialogue and humor, three elements Hawkins has chosen to top off with just the right touch of angsty romance. Best of all, many of the plot intricacies are filled with those oh-so-intriguing shades of grey I tend to love. Who's good? Who's evil? Who's a bit of both? Readers will be trying to determine just that right along with the heroine.
The Setup: After watching her demon grandmother murder her classmate toward the end of Book One and learning that she herself had demon blood, Sophie Mercer makes the decision to undergo the "Removal", a dangerous procedure that - if she lives through it - will take away her powers. As Demonglass begins, Sophie's father arrives at Hecate Hall and informs her that he wants her to delay the Removal until he has had a chance to work with her in controlling her powers. He's confident that, with training, Sophie will never be a danger to those she loves. Reluctantly, Sophie agrees, and the two of them fly to Thorne Abbey in England, a huge manor home that is serving as temporary headquarters of the Prodigium (supernatural beings) Council. Traveling with them are Sophie's best friend Jenna (a vampire) and Cal, the Hecate Hall groundskeeper, an interesting and attractive young man with the power to heal others. He is also, Sophie is surprised to discover, her fiancé! (Arranged marriages, it turns out, are routine in the Prodigium world.)
Learning to bring her wild powers under control while trying to come to terms with the whole fiancé thing, Sophie feels she has plenty on her plate. But much more is coming her way. She soon learns that someone is creating demons, that the L'Occhio di Dio hunters have stepped up their attacks on the Prodigium and that the ghost of the girl her grandmother murdered has followed her across the Atlantic. Life is definitely complicated. And that was before she ran into L'Occhio di Dio member Archer Cross again - a boy who should be her mortal enemy. Luckily, she's totally over him.
Unless, of course, she's not.
Although Demonglass shares similarities with other YA paranormals, it still manages to come across as fresh. Much of this is due, IMO, to Hawkins' wonderful characterization of Sophie. In her heroine, Hawkins has given us a strong female character that we can relate to and cheer for. Flawed, as all of us are, Sophie nevertheless continues to try to do the right thing. She is brave, smart and determined. She is also likeable and pretty flippin' funny. Her actions, her emotions and her quippy, Buffy-esque dialogue all ring true. I CARE about Sophie and, once an author has succeeded in making me care about her characters, I'm sucked right in to the story. I care about many of the other characters as well, including Jenna, Archer and Cal. I want to learn their thoughts and hear their backstories. Hints dropped in the book also have me hoping we'll learn more about Sophie's mom - and perhaps about her relationship with Sophie's dad? - in the next book.
Speaking of the next book, can we all say cliffhanger? Demonglass ends, almost abruptly, in the midst of the climactic scene. Some might consider authors who do this sadistic, but in this case, I'm willing to give Hawkins the benefit of the doubt. She is, I've decided, simply trying to fuel our imaginations. :)
For me, Demonglass was a fun, almost-impossible-to-put-down read and I'm am eagerly anticipating the release of Book Three in 2012.
Note: Demonglass has been graced with a striking cover. I found myself flipping it over frequently while reading just to look at it again. Photos by Ali Smith; design by Tanya Rose Hughes. My compliments to them both.
Note 2: If you're unfamiliar with the series, I definitely recommend starting with Book One, Hex Hall. If you'd like a taste of Hawkins' writing style before committing your hard-earned cash, the first chapter of Demonglass is available online. Just google the author.
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2011
I love it when sequels are as strong as--or better than--their predecessors. It doesn't always happen. I can think of more series that failed to live up to their hype than I can ones that surpassed what was expected of them. Demonglass, the second entry in Rachel Hawkins' Hex Hall series, is a book worthy of standing next to its sibling on the bookshelf. If you thought Hex Hall was fun and quirky, you'll be pleased to know that the second novel in the series is as well. In fact, Hawkins packed the kitchen sink this time around. Demonglass is even spunkier than Hex Hall. This is a series that I never expected to love. I don't read many paranormal novels and I didn't expect much going into the first book. If you recall from my review last month, however, I fell in love with the world Rachel Hawkins created for us. Her characters are witty and fresh. Paranormal stereotypes don't exist; rather, they're turned on their heads.
One of the most interesting things about Demonglass is how fresh it was. Starting the novel, it didn't feel like a rehash of the same old story being drawn out for no necessary reason. There's purpose in everything that goes on. While there's a little angst (because, really, can you think of a single book that doesn't stir things up a bit?), it's not the usual dreck so frequently found in YA literature. Main character Sophie doesn't sit around feeling sorry for herself and whining about her lot in life. No, she's so kick-ass, she's going to do something about it. Without spoiling things for anyone who hasn't read Hex Hall (in which case, what are you sitting around here for? Shoo! Go read!), huge revelations are revealed toward the end of the first book. These things are dealt with here. Sophie is very focused on doing the right thing, even if it goes against her own safety.
Demonglass begins shortly after Hex Hall left off, so little time has passed. I didn't feel like I was being thrust into a new situation. Show, don't tell. Hawkins took this advice to heart and it shows. In fact, she goes a step further and moves the entire novel to another country. We explored the school in the first book; now we travel to London, where things (again) aren't quite as they appear to be. A new setting poses new problems and scenarios. There are quite a few familiar faces, but also new characters to love (or fear!). Demonglass has an even tighter storyline, one that completely sucked me up and involved me. I'm usually good at picking up on the path an author is headed down and able to arrive at the right spot ahead of time. The Hex Hall series likes to keep the surprises coming, though. There are so many things I never anticipated in both books, but especiallly here. Sometimes, I feel like I'm in Wonderland, where everything is the opposite of what it seems. Hawkins is brilliant when it comes to weaving together a captivating novel. My only con? The cliffhanger is downright wicked. I don't want to wait to read the next book! Hawkins is such a tease; she knows just where to leave us hanging...
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Sophie is about to have an imminent breakdown of demon proportions! After watching her classmate die, killing her demon great grandmother, finding out the boy she loves is in league with a group who wants her dead, and that she is a bona fide demon offspring, then her summer holiday should be a snap, right? Of course, where would be the fun in that?
In Demon Glass, Sophie meets her father for the first time, and is whisked off to London to spend time with him and to meet the other slightly creepy council members of the Prodigium. Jenna is along for the ride, and even Cal, who I didn't think would make that much of an appearance, but as it turns out has a definite role in the story. Once at Thorne Abbey, Sophie's mind is even more boggled as she meets two demon teens who were not born as demons but created, which in turn creates a lot of trouble for the council as both The Eye and the Brannicks are out for blood at this monstrous crime. Sophie, working with both her dad, and later Archer, has to find out who is behind it before a war truly begins...that's if she can manage to stay alive first.
Demon Glass is full of Sophie's sarcastic comments and witty repertoire as seen in Hex Hall, but the author cleverly gives Sophie and the rest of the crew emotions that you can easily connect with. The plot was great; the action phenomenal, but the only thing that gave me pause is the bad guys. Close to the end it's pretty obvious who was making demons, but in my mind I still thought there might be a twist changing it up, but there isn't. It's still a great novel, and I cannot wait for the next in the series to find out what happens to all of them! A definite cliffhanger!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2011
Well, well...Rachel Hawkins seriously outdid herself in this novel. This is the sequel to Hex Hall, and I can honestly say that it was just as riveting, if not more, than the first installment of the series. The characters became more developed and the plot thickened to a point where I was thinking...I think Sophie's head is going to explode with the complexity of the crap she has to deal with. In the first book, you seriously resent her father for being an absentee parent, however, in this book you learn why he was gone & were relieved to find out that he's actually a dreamy Brit where Sophie gets most of her mannerisms... "Curiouser and curiouser".
In my review of Hex Hall, I totally forgot to mention the whole "Sophie figures out that she's not a witch" part. So I'll go back to that now. Well we all finally figure out what Sophie really is, and at first I was immediately weirded out...because that's just something we've all come to think of and stereotype in our own way...my thoughts... "Those things are nothing but evil & they don't have personalities or consciences...they're just...scary, icky, ugly, & evil". I'm happy to say that this preconceived notion about this particular type of paranormal was immediately banished from my thoughts after I learned that they could control themselves & it was not a possession. I feel like this made Jenna and Sophie relate to each other more, therefore, forging a closer bond as BFF's.
In this sequel, the readers also got more of a feel for Cal's personality & that he really does care for Sophie in a way that I was hoping. (Obviously, I picked "Team Cal" --hopefully, the third book will solidify my choice.) But...gosh, Archer is still really steamy...and also forbidden...but I guess that's the appeal. *sigh* I wish she could have both.
The plot really thickens when Sophie finds out who her real enemies are...and boy...are they nefarious & incredibly unexpected. Like I said in the review of Hex Hall, this book/series is absolutely worth a read. You'll blow through it faster than you expect to, then you'll be begging for more! Trust me, I know I am! I can't wait for the third one to come out!!! The ending was...Boom...The End--if you love it as much as I did, you'll be saying "No, no...wait...that can't be how it ends!! Ahh!!! *insert whimpering*"...but I know that waiting for the third book is absolutely worth it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2011
I really enjoyed Rachel Hawkins' first book, Hex Hall, so when Raising Demons arrived for me to review I was thrilled! And I had every right to be. Hawkins has raised her game with the second book in her Hex Hall series and looks set to be a strong voice in Young Adult fiction.
Let me start with a nod to the design team over at Simon & Schuster. The cover for Raising Demons is gorgeous and eye-catching. I love the purple tones and the ivy border that links in to Sophie's trip to the English countryside. The glint in the model's eye hints at the magic and power that Sophie is having to come to terms with and there is a sense of her character in the defiant look.
Rachel Hawkins set-up an interesting world in Hex Hall where the Prodigium (the magical races including fairies, witches and shifters) must constantly guard against forces who would like to see them eradicated. It's a situation ripe with drama and intrigue and Hawkins makes excellent use of it. In Raising Demons Hawkins adds extra dimensions to her world, taking the reader out of the relative seclusion of Hex Hall and into the world of the Council of Prodigium. I loved the extra depth this added to the story.
Yet through this added drama the thread of humour that was woven so well into Hex Hall remains. And as with the previous book, it lifts the mood, but doesn't detract from what Hawkins is trying to accomplish with her story at large. It means that Raising Demons is a fun, intelligent read that has a different feel to a lot of similar YA fiction.
Sophie Mercer remains a gorgeous character. She is tough, resourceful and sarcastic. A winning combination as far as I am concerned. Sophie plays an active part in the story, shaping the world and the plot with her decisions and actions and I love seeing that in a book! The romance between Archer and Sophie is electric and intense and a pleasure to read. There is a love triangle developing with Cal as well and I really liked the contrast of the softer, calmer feel of their relationship. Rachel Hawkins has created a great cast of characters that come to life in the pages of Raising Demons.
Raising Demons is a step-up from an already great start to a series and I can't wait to see what Rachel Hawkins has to offer us next!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A surprising titilating follow-up to HEX HALL, DEMONGLASS was very entertaining, with original world-building and strong enough character development to make me intrigued to read further. The mortal enemies fall in love aspect has been overdone a bit and then paired with a love triangle it did make things a little hoaky. Hawkins, though, did redeem herself with a fast-paced story, competently portrayed characters and a fresh writing style which made me forget my pre-conceived prejudices against YA trappings. Honestly, I liked book two better than book one, which has me pleasantly hopeful for book three. Hawkins writing was actually so visual that I could almost see the Disney made-for-tv movie that I hope might come from these pages.
The Demon is out of the bag. Sophie, who once thought she was a witch is now officially out as a demon. Both revered and feared in the Prodigium, her and her demon father's powers are beyond anything that other Prodigium can conjure. But, that power comes with a price, and Sophie's power could corrupt her, turn her literally insane and she could hurt the people around her. She, can't do this and with the recent blow of her super crush, Archer Cross turning against her and revealing he is an agent of The Eye - the group obsessed with wiping out all Prodigium, Sophie has decided to have her powers removed. This isn't an easy choice, the removal could kill her. She is hell-bent on her decision though and she goes with her father to London to prepare for the ceremony and she promised her father that she would give him some time to talk her out of it.
While in London Sophie makes two new sort of friends. But there is something strange about them and Sophie is shocked when her demon senses their demons. Someone is making new demons! On top of that The Eye is picking up the pace, hunting Prodigium left and right and rumors are getting back to Sophie that Archer has been spotted around London. Sophie doesn't know how to feel about anything. Especially about Archer and now Cal and even if she will go through with the removal.
This is a very cute series, with a dark edge. There are some hard-hitting emotional decisions that Sophie needs to make and they translate well from Hawkins writing. Sophie is a wonderful character, her dialogue is excellent, full of funny, snide little comments. She just translated as `real'. This is also a quick read, very fast-paced and then ended with a cliffhanger. I really actually like cliffhangers, get's the blood pumping and I'm salivating for the next book. Hawkins did a nice job with this. I'm still a little iffy with the introduction of Cal. My thoughts while reading him kept drifting back to the EVERNIGHT series. Cal of course taking the role of Balthazar. While on this topic, I do have to say there are a few parallels with Claudia Gray's series. Black Cross - The Eye, fated enemies, hopelessly attracted to each other...etc. The similarities are shallow but it did remind me of the other series. At lease if you liked the EVERNIGHT series you should like Hex Hall.
I would recommend this for a more mature teen audience, not for anything specific, but I think it would be more enjoyable for 14+ teens. Fans of the EVERNIGHT series, IMMORTAL series should enjoy the Hex Hall series.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2011
Still heaps of fun! I love a good paranormal book as much as the next person, but sometimes they take themselves too seriously. I'm happy to report that Demonglass retains the same sarcastic humor and a snappy, action-packed plot that is just as entertaining as the one in Hex Hall.
Sophie is spending some time on her father's estate to figure out whether she's going to keep her awesome but pesky powers, and she's still secretly pining for her missing demon-hunter crush, Archer Cross. Complicating matters is the revelation that cute-as-heck Cal has been betrothed to her for years (hey, they do things differently in the otherworld) and the afore-mentioned crush is part of The Eye, a group hell-bent on wiping out all of Sophie's kind. Kinda puts a damper on the relationship.
The politics and power struggles within the Prodigium (witches, shapeshifters, and fairies) and with the demon hunters is growing steadily more complicated, and Sophie and her father must develop her gifts before time runs out. It would be interesting to see more of the plotting ladies within the Prodigium and to have the tension ratcheted up with The Eye, but hopefully these will be further explored in future books.
The author does a fabulous job of moving the story along with cheeky attitude, however, while taking time out for real connections between Sophie and her BFF Jenna and between her and her dad. There are also some brief but swoon-worthy moments with her guy, and you really breeze through this thing rooting for everyone to be happy. I'm really enjoying Sophie and her smart and snappy banter, and this series has fast turned into one of my fluffy and fun favorites.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2012
In Demonglass, Sophie now knows her true nature and wants to go through the Council's Removal process to strip her of her Demonic powers, lest she unintentionally injure or kill someone. She makes a promise to her father, Head Demon of the Council, to spend some time working with him in London to help her contain her powers. While there, Sophie discovers that The Eye, namely Archer, knows she's there and will stop at nothing to remove her as a threat. Or will he?
Sophie has a somewhat unwelcome guest that follows her to London - the ghost of an enemy from Book 1. This is a feat that ghosts can't generally do; usually they are bound to a place, not a person. Her ghost does come in handy; however, the ghost also causes Sophie to be sentenced to the ultimate Prodigium punishment.
While in London to train with her dad, she discovers that he has two other people, also demons, residing with him. They were created but have no memory of who or where it happened. This brings a whole new mystery to the plot - Who's creating demons and what are they going to use them for? The answer may surprise you when all is revealed.
Jenna also comes with Sophie but we don't get much time with her. Another female vampire takes a break from her role in the Council to spend time with Jenna. She's still very much a part of Sophie's life but Jenna spends a lot more time with her new girlfriend, Vix. I wasn't to fond of this part of the plot. While I know that Jenna and Vix hit it off really well, her lack of support and availability for Sophie didn't appeal to me.
Sophie is the ultimate young adult heroine. Yeah she's a demon, but she's still a typical teenager. As I stated in my review of "Hex Hall," Book 1: "Sophie, is a typical 16 year old. Her mouth shoots off so much snark" throughout the novel. Humor abounds as Sophie tries to figure out everything that's going on in London. She also invites trouble to her doorstep, unintentionally for the most part.
Book 2 is full of more humor, snark, and multitudes of twists and turns. The twists and turns woven through the pages will keep you laughing at the antics and surprised at the things revealed. It's a nice, refreshing walk into the world of paranormal. All of the characters, as well as the plot, are very well developed. We get enough back story and descriptions to not be lacking nor overwhelmed with insignificant details.
I absolutely loved this novel! "Demonglass" is impossible to put down. I read it all from a Saturday evening to a Sunday afternoon (yes, I did sleep in between). The plot flows along very well and each scene is engaging and continues to pull you along to the next one.
The book ends with a cliffhanger and I can't wait to get my hands on Book 3, Spell Bound.
(Review Copy Courtesy of My Bookshelf)
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2011
Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins follows Sophie six months after we left her in Hex Hall. She's been waiting since then to have her powers removed by the council, which her father is head of. However, her father won't let her go through the removal until she has spent the summer with him. She agrees and brings Jenna with her. Cal also comes along, who happens to be Sophie's fiancé. While there, they find two other demon children and a whole bunch of drama.
I have a love/hate relationship with this book. While there were things I liked about it that were better than the first book, I think there were also things that were worse than the first one.
ROMANCE FANS WARNING: I have to say this first real quick for those who love the romance part in the first book. The romance level is not as much. There is a very very slight bit with Cal (mostly like very little flirting) and a small amount with Archer (a couple of kisses towards the end). If you were hoping for more romance in this book, I doubt you'll be happy. However, I enjoyed the fact that it didn't focus on that so much. It was more concentrated on the story itself than "oh, I wonder if I like him/I should kiss him" all the time. The romance took a backseat to the story - which is what I think it should do. However, if you're not like me and want a bunch of kissing and making out, that won't happen here. (I felt compelled to warn you guys because some will read a book hoping for something when there's nothing.)
-The clichés went down considerably. I was very happy and very impressed. The first book had too many clichés and it was just overkill. This one didn't have as many.
-Twists were still there and, oh my gosh, some of them were very unexpected. Some things were expected and predictable but it was how it was done that threw me or it was another twist I didn't see coming that was part of the predictable point that was surprising. Basically, Rachel knows how to surprise you with her twists. Even if you know/think you know something is going to happen, you don't expect it how she writes it.
-I get how she still felt something for Archer and I'm proud of her for staying away from him even though she wanted to be with him. But after they kiss, she suddenly wants to throw all of that away for a guy because they kissed and they love each other? It seemed kinda wishy-washy. Granted, Sophie isn't one of those girls that can't do anything without a guy - like most of the MCs out there are - but I don't like how she was strong then she turned weak.
-I don't understand the part with Cal. All of a sudden he was her fiancé? I mean... really? I get trying to do a love triangle because it's so popular and everyone is doing it (even though I hate them with a passion because they're pointless) but it felt like it was just randomly thrown in there and not planned out. It was strange. That's all I can say about it. Strange.
-CLIFF HANGER WARNING. :) It was a very good cliff hanger Rachel left it on. I'm anxious to read the next one because of it. If you don't like cliff hangers, you may want to wait to read this book until the next one comes out. However, the cliff hanger was in the middle of the climax, which wasn't exactly the best thing to do. I love the cliff hanger, but I think she should have drawn out the story a bit more before leaving us on a cliff hanger.
Things were explained more in this book, the characters were more developed and had more complications with them as well, and more twists and turns along the way. Overall, I liked it and chances are I'll read the next one. At least to find out what happens to everyone. I mean, come on, where in the world is Jenna?!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2012
Rachel Hawkins, you've done it again! I loved this book! It's easily just as good as the first, which is often a difficult task to accomplish. Hawkins does a great job at delving deeper into Sophie's family history and tons of new characters show up that really cause a stir in just the right way. Sophie meets some more demons, who turn out to be quite a problem, but nothing she can't handle, with the help of her father and Cal. Cal plays a more prominent role in this book and you start to see his significance and the relationship between him and Sophie will blossom, although I don't know if it will last. It kind of sucks because I really like him, but I like Archer, too. I can't choose!
I liked that Sophie learns more about controlling her powers and just how important they are to her and the paranormal world. Some unexpected villains arise in this book and you even get to see Archer for a bit, and oh, do those little bits make you want more! Rachel is such a tease!
Demonglass was a great sequel to a fun and interesting series. I love that it wasn't just fluff, like some tend to be, and really had a story behind it and a purpose in the overall scheme. If you loved the Hex Hall, you'll devour this one. I can't wait to read Spell Bound!