Thursday, 18 September 2014

Review: Raising Demons (Demonglass) by Rachel Hawkins

 Raising Demons (Demonglass) by Rachel Hawkins book cover

Title: Raising Demons
(US title: Demonglass)
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Series: Hex Hall, #2
Format: Paperback, owned
My rating: 3.5 / 5
Pages: 359

Add to Goodreads

Sophie Mercer's first term at Hex Hall turned out to be quite eventful. First the ghost of her evil grandmother haunted her every move, then her best friend was accused of murder and of course there was the discovery that Archer Cross, aka the boy of her dreams, was actually an undercover demon hunter - which would probably be something she could have worked on, if she hadn't also discovered that she was actually the demon Archer was hunting…

So, despite their issues, Sophie is actually relieved to be spending the summer in London with her father. But when your father is Head of The Council of Prodigium and your summer is being spent at the headquarters of everything magical, then a quiet holiday isn't really that likely. And, as Sophie struggles to come to terms with her new found demon powers, she finds herself thrust once again into a world of dark magic and conspiracies. The only thing that could possibly make things more complicated would be for Archer Cross to show up again, which of course he wouldn't, would he?

-- As seen on Goodreads

My Thoughts

Note: As Raising Demons is book two in the Hex Hall series, and while I've tried to be as vague as I can, there could be unavoidable spoilers for the first book in my review.

I read Hex Hall back in May, and I was really surprised that I loved it so much. It took the standard boarding school or “academy” environment and made it entertaining. I loved the humour and the banter between the characters - and I still do! Unfortunately Raising Demons – or Demonglass – didn’t quite live up to the memories I had of Hex Hall. It had that middle-book-syndrome feel about it.

Raising Demons continues on six or so months after Hex Hall ends. With the decision Sophie made at the end of that book, she is spending the summer with her father in England. She is allowed to bring Jenna with her, and Cal is also invited on the trip, due to a nice little revelation that quickly cemented the series into love-triangle territory. I had a pretty good idea that a triangle would develop, but I was expecting it to be a bit more… erm… plausible. Look, if I’m honest, I don’t really see the point in doing this. I’ll take a chance and say that it’s obvious the way things will turn out, and throwing another love interest into the mix adds unnecessary drama.

I love that the humour in the series is so natural. It doesn’t feel forced or scripted in anyway. Sophie is such a witty, sarcastic and snarky character, and her narration is so entertaining. She’s a naturally funny person, someone that we’d describe as having “funny bones” over here. But…I’m so torn! So much of what I loved about Hex Hall is in Raising Demons, but a big chunk of that spark is missing. The banter and chemistry between Archer and Sophie was what I fell in love with in the first book. Jenna, Cal or any of the other characters presence didn’t replace Archer, or make his absence less noticeable. Actually, it just highlighted it even more.

Here begin-ith the spoilerish-ness. Highlight to read:

I like Cal, but using him as the ‘other love interest’ due to being betrothed to Sophie annoyed me. It wasn’t too hard to imagine this happening at the end of Hex Hall, but I was hoping it would have a genuine feel about it. Sophie by herself was entertaining to read about, and she did maintain her humour, but for me, Archer feeds into this so much. I missed him! From the blurb, we get the hint that Archer will turn up, and yes, he does. I wanted to see so much more of them together, but we only get snippets here and there. I just wanted MORE of Archer and Sophie’s banter! When they are reunited, I loved seeing them together again.

The ending is not necessarily a cliff-hanger… ok, it probably IS, but I’ve read so much worse if I’m honest. We are introduced to quite a few new problems at the end of the book, and not all of them are resolved, and we are kind of left in the lurch. Overall, I did like and enjoy Raising Demons, but it wasn’t to the same extent that I loved Hex Hall. I definitely want to continue on with the series, and see if I’m right with my thoughts on the ending. Hopefully, Spell Bound will have a good conclusion to the series. I’m so scared of the last books in series lately! I’ve been let down so many times that I end up dreading finishing off the last book.

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