Hex Hall: Raising Demons by Rachel Hawkins

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Hex Hall: Raising Demons by Rachel Hawkins

Buy Hex Hall: Raising Demons by Rachel Hawkins at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Teens
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Luci Davin
Reviewed by Luci Davin
Summary: Sophie goes away from her witches' boarding school to stay with her dad in an English mansion.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 368 Date: March 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1847387233

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Raising Demons (published in the US under the title Demonglass) is the second book in a planned trilogy about a teenager who has strong magical powers. This review may contain spoilers for the first book in the series, Hex Hall; the book certainly does.

I very much enjoyed Hex Hall, set in an American boarding school for witches, vampires and others with supernatural powers, and was looking forward to this follow up. I was a bit disappointed that by the change in setting in Raising Demons, as Sophie goes with her dad to stay in a big country house, and there is a smaller, less interesting range of characters. New characters include the elegant Lara, and two other young people, Nick and Daisy, who seem to be bent on getting into trouble and taking Sophie with them.

Sophie is still as she was in the first book – witty and sarcastic, often rather confused and angry, keen to stand up for herself, those she cares about and her principles. She takes her friend Jenna, a lesbian vampire and one of the best characters in Hex Hall, with her to England. When they arrive Sophie's dad seems rather busy and not to know what to do with the girls – they are introduced to other young people living there and left to drift around rather aimlessly and get into mischief and danger. I found the earlier part of the story was as lacking in structure compared to Hex Hall as were Sophie's days compared to school.

The romantic subplot which I thought was one of the weak points of Hex Hall here becomes a major storyline, perhaps the major storyline, and I didn't find it very convincing or appealing. None of the other characters seemed real enough for me to really care about them.

However, despite my criticisms, I found this book a quick and easy read and was interested enough to find out what happened to all the characters. The ending was a bit of a cliffhanger, and I will probably want to buy the third book in the series to see where the story goes from here, so it can't have been that bad. It should also be said that I'm considerably older than the target audience for these books, and 14 year old girls might enjoy it all, including the romance and the sexy love interest, a lot more than I did.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If you are tempted, do start with Hex Hall (which is reviewed here). There are lots of other great stories about schools for witches, including the Harry Potter series by J K Rowling, starting with Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. J K Rowling may well have been influenced by Jill Murphy's Worst Witch series - The Worst Witch to the Rescue is reviewed here – or from Diana Wynne Jones' books such as Charmed Life. Another classic fantasy novel for teenagers about a young boy growing up and learning about wizardry is Ursula Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea.

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Buy Hex Hall: Raising Demons by Rachel Hawkins at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Hex Hall: Raising Demons by Rachel Hawkins at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Hex Hall: Raising Demons by Rachel Hawkins at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Hex Hall: Raising Demons by Rachel Hawkins at Amazon.com.


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