Thursday, July 07, 2011

Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins

Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.
Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.
But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this trilogy, Hex Hall. It was fun, and Sophie is a fantastic main character. She’s got just the right amount of sass and snark, and it kept me laughing out loud throughout the whole book.

Sophie is just as awesome in Demonglass, and I was completely absorbed in the whole book. I was even a bit wrapped up in the love triangle, and I hate love triangles! So I was all ready to love this book just as much as the first. And I did, until I got to the end.

I’m all for main characters having to conquer insane obstacles. I’m all for tough choices, impossible situations, and facing circumstances that seem insurmountable. That keeps the tension high, and it gives us plenty of opportunities to see what this person is really like. So, the harder it is on the characters, the better.

That said, those obstacles have to make sense. If they don’t, then everything that happens afterward feels contrived and the tension plummets through the floor. This is exactly what happened for me at the end of Demonglass. Sophie’s dad is a smart man and has been the leader of the Council for years, so I just don’t buy it that he’d make the decisions he made at the end. It clearly had to happen for the story’s sake, but it did not come organically from the character. That brought my enjoyment down a big notch.

Lastly, and this is more of a rant than anything, but will people PLEASE stop writing trials as simply admission of guilt followed by severe sentencing? That’s not a trial—I get that the idea is to convey oppression and lack of power to the accused, but, seriously, it’s been way overdone. For once, I’d like to see an author create an intricate and involved justice system that has the possibilities to divide those in power and create even more tension. Okay, done ranting.

Up to that point, though, this was just as fabulous as the first book. I will still read the next one, but I’m hoping the circumstances and decisions will make more sense.


Christina Farley said...

I do see your points but that said I couldn't put the book down. It was an easy read and I kept forgetting I was reading. There are a lot of books out there that use so many pretty words or the plot is slow that I am constantly reminded this is a book and there is defintely an author.

Mflick1 said...

I enjoyed the book, more than I did in Hex Hall actually. Your comment about trials made me think about the books that I have read with the same scenario and man are you right about it. I think you have created a new pet peeve in writing for me.

Tabitha said...

Christina - I wholeheartedly agree that it was impossible to put down, and it flowed so well. I love Sophie, too. I just get annoyed when there are elements that come up for the sake of the story, even though there's no way the character would perform those actions. Since I enjoyed this book so much, it probably made me feel more irritated because I wanted it to keep flowing so well. For me, it didn't at the end, which bums me out SO MUCH.

Mflick1 - yeah, it's becoming a new pet peeve of mine, too, if only because it makes the next story element completely predictable. I want to be surprised!! :)

khashway said...

I'm smacking my forehead as I realize I still haven't read Hex Hall. Ugh!

Tabitha said...

You need to read it! It's a great book. :)

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

I read Hex Hall, so thanks for letting us know your thoughts on this one.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Very nice review. I haven't read any of the books in this series, but hope to in the future.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for sharing. I haven't gotten to read this yet. I really liked Hex Hall though so I'm anxious to read this.

Tabitha said...

Karen - this book was very enjoyable. It just happened to hit a pet peeve of mine at the end. :) So not everyone will have the same reaction I did.

Beverly - these books are great fun! You should pick them up when you get the chance.

Natalie - this book is just as much fun as Hex Hall, so you should definitely pick up a copy!