Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father–an elusive European warlock–only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.
As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.
Sophie has been to 19 different states in her 16 years of life. She’s a witch (we learn a dark witch) and tends to mess things up, dying her hair purple for three days, love spells gone haywire or too strong… exc. Her father (mysterious Warlock in the curtains) sends her to Hectate Hall where she will learn to control herself and her power in a secluded environment. This school has everything Fae, shifters, weres, warlocks, witches and an odd vampire. Unfortunately Sophie’s years of ignorance are about to come to an end, and of course sometimes ignorance IS really bliss.
I LOVED Sophie! I laughed out loud many times at her humorous remarks. She’s very easy to like and care about. What I love the most about her is how she doesn’t shy away from potentially awkward moments and is not afraid to speak her mind. As someone who struggles with that, I find Sophie’s personality admirable. Sophie’s also interested in learning the whole truth about her and her surroundings, even if that makes her face shocking facts that will impact her life and change it irreversibly. She doesn’t just turn a blind eye when weird things start happening around her.
Hawkins writes a crisp and logical tale. Her grasp of high school social dynamics, including cliques and bullying, is spot on. And she doesn’t leave an obvious trail of breadcrumbs leading to the identity of the murderer. However, she blindsides you with a twist that has nothing to do with the murder and then she sets the hook for the next book in the series without using a cliffhanger.
This is a good entry in the YA Paranormal genre and can be easily enjoyed by readers of all age groups. The characters may be paranormal as part of their nature but they are not superheroes. They aren’t imbued with a manner or a wisdom that exceeds their age level.