A few weeks ago, I reviewed Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins for the express purpose of being able to review its follow-up, Demonglass. Only then life, as always, got annoying (I seriously need a different job. Has legal degree. Will read for food). Now, over two months (fail!) have passed since I read this book, and the more I think about it the more I love it. Demonglass, like Red Glove, was a great book on its own but, more importantly, it was a great sequel and really brought the series forward.
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?
When I reviewed Hex Hall, I said my favorite thing about it was that it was funny, and Demonglass kept that sense of humor. It provided a good break from some of the super serious stuff that was going on in the background. But the thing that struck me most about Demonglass was how much more grown up it seemed. The writing in Hex Hall was good, but it seemed a little young. But really, that was because Sophie seemed so young, brand new to this world and completely unsure of her place in it. In Demonglass, she knows her place. There are still new and crazy things going on around her, but she was more confident and so was her voice. It made the book so much better, too, and really showed her growth. In Hex Hall, everything felt a little frantic, but here Sophie – calmer, more mature Sophie – was more logical about the issues she was facing. That’s not to say she was perfect – she wasn’t. She still had the teenage tendency to assume she can solve problems (even big ones) on her own and to keep the adults out. Granted, it turned out to be quite a good idea in retrospect. But still.
I was also a big fan of the plot in this book, more so than the last. It felt slower, but also a little more ominous. The clues for the ultimate reveal (which I won’t spoil for you) were there, but less obvious than I thought they were in Hex Hall, so the ultimate ending was more exciting. And it was higher stakes as well, which helped.
And of course, Archer. I really liked where Archer’s character went. I liked that it wasn’t easy for him or for Sophie or for anyone who was going to suspect they might be more than Sophie was saying. But…I didn’t like the love triangle implication. Well, more than an implication really. I liked Cal a lot, but it seems so, so unlikely that Sophie would ever want to be with Cal instead of Archer that, well, I don’t know. It was the one thing about this book that really bugged me. Part of me gives it a pass because there were some relationships that were clearly awesome (Hello, Jenna, thank God for you). But it isn’t necessarily compelling when it’s so clear that one of the guys in this triangle is going to be seriously hurt, and in a way it makes me like Sophie less.
Even with that problem (and though the love triangle is there, it isn’t the plot of the book by any means), I still really liked this book. I liked it more than Hex Hall, and it has me salivating for the (as yet unnamed) third installment. This series is fun and funny and well written and exciting, and I want more people to read them.