Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Review: Demonglass

DEMONGLASS (Hex Hall #2)
Rachel Hawkins
Paranormal Young Adult
359 pages
Available Now

Warning: review contains mild spoilers from HEX HALL

It's been kind of a rough year for Sophie Mercer. Not only has she discovered she's a demon, the only one in the world aside from her absentee father, but she's also been directly involved in the death of a classmate and fallen in love with Archer Cross, a young man who just recently revealed himself to be a demon hunter. Fantastic.

In order to come to terms with the year's revelations and begin to build a relationship with her father, Sophie is to spend the summer with her vampire friend Jenna as well as classmate Cal in London with her dad and the other members of the Council.

Rumor has it it Archer is also in London, destroying Prodigium (witches, shapeshifters, vampires, etc) with the other members of The Eye, and it soon becomes clear that the battle between the two factions is escalating, leaving all-out war lingering on the horizon. Sophie also discovers two additional demons in London, their presence indicating someone is dabbling in very dark magic and could possibly be planning to use them as weapons in the impending war. Never a dull moment.

Demonglass is a brilliantly executed sequel that beautifully builds on the world we experienced in Hex Hall, reuniting us with characters we remember so fondly while also introducing us to new and interesting individuals. Ms. Hawkins's sense of humor is finely honed and a vital component to the success of this story, the sarcasm and playful self-deprecation welcome interjections into a tale becoming darker and more serious as new information on Sophie, the Council, and The Eye is brought to light. The writing flows smoothly and easily, moving the plot forward at a pace that has us dreading how quickly the back of the book is approaching, wishing and willing our fingers to flip the pages a little slower even though Ms. Hawkins makes it virtually impossible to do so.

Sophie is an unforgettable heroine, her snark drawing snorts and giggles from us loud enough to disrupt those around us should we be reading in public, and her pithy comebacks often used as a coping mechanism for tense situations make her seem so very real, allowing her to transform from a mere fictional character into a trusted friend. Though many of her problems are paranormal in nature, her emotional reactions to them are universal–hurt over her lingering feelings for Archer, confusion over her status as a demon and how its changed the way she views herself, and pressure as to the future role she is to play as her father's successor. She is a character we can feel, see, and hear as though the words on the pages have morphed into moving pictures, her voice in our head as clear as if she were speaking audibly, and we read in in eager anticipation of her next display of wit or the next piece of trouble sure to find its way to her.

As with the creation of her characters, Ms. Hawkins also writes a flawless story–one that expands what we learned in book one as little tidbits of new information are deftly placed to keep our curiosity continually piqued without overwhelming us with a plethora of mysterious clues. It's very clear she is skillfully dangling a carrot in front of our noses, leading us where she wants us to go in so entertaining a way we are more than happy to blindly follow her trail just to see where such a storyteller will have us end up. We have no choice but to be involved, greedily wanting to know more while simultaneously wading through what we've already been told, trying to anticipate what will come next but being fairly certain Ms. Hawkins is already several steps ahead of us with a smile of satisfaction on her face derived from the knowledge that she is privy to so much we aren't.

Both Hex Hall and Demonglass are extremely quick reads, ones that keep us glancing at the clock to see how many chapters we can squeeze in our allotted reading time before returning to our reality. If you haven't had the chance to experience the expert use of snark in conjunction with a little romance and mystery, add this series to your list immediately, you won't be disappointed.

Rating: 5/5


  1. Great review Jenny! I need to read this series, it sounds great =D

  2. I still don't know why I haven't read this series yet. Sophie sounds like a fun and likeable main character and I enjoy books that are all just go go go :)

    Great review again Jenny :)

  3. I have Hex Hall on my wishlist - I really want to read this series. Sophie seems exactly the opposite of weak, whiny YA heroines. I think I will like her as much as you do.

  4. I loved Hex Hall and have been meaning to read this one for awhile now. I'm glad this one is just as good!

  5. Larissa - I adore this series:)

    Nic - Sophie rocks, she's so snarky which of course, is one of my favorite qualities in a character:)

    Misha - I think you will too! Hope you get a chance to read these soon!

    Colette - It definitely was, I can't wait for the next book!

  6. SO glad that this book is good. I've got a chance to me Ms. Hawkins. She is pure awesomeness!

  7. Just finished Hex Hall and enjoyed it. Glad to hear Demonglass lives up to its predecessor!

  8. I actually picked up this series because it looks like one of the YA I will like :) I plan on book 1 being 1 of the 2 YA books I read this month (with the 2nd city of bones being the 2nd) :0)

  9. Savy - She seems like she's full of awesome, I just love her characters!

    Mollie - Yay! So glad you liked it:) When she yelled "Bad dog" at the werewolf I thought I would die laughing:)

    Felicia - YES! I hope you like it:)

  10. Alright, you got me with the "expert use of snark" along with mystery and romance. Adding it to my tbr list. I'm glad that there's at least two books out for this series. Thanks, Jenny!

  11. So true. I did love this book, you know already, but had to say it again. I'm still rooting for Cal!

    In the Closet With a Bibliophile

  12. 5 out of 5 stars? Wow!! I've been reading some great review for Demonglass, including yours. I really wasn't sure about the sequel, but you have convinced me to pick up a copy. I love that it's an entertaining quick-read. That sounds like something I could use right about now. Great review, Jenny!

  13. I still have yet to read Hex Hall... But I totally want to read both of these!!!!

  14. Rummanah - Her sense of humor is awesome, I just got sucked right in the minute Sophie opened her mouth:)

    Jen - TEAM CAL! I feel we might be on the losing team, but I refuse to give up hope:)

    Christina - It was just one of those books that you fly though and then finish and go "that was good":) Not epic or haunting, but just a great read.

    Ashley - You should give it a try, Sophie is hilarious:)

  15. Loved Hex Hall and just waiting for my library to get this one in so I can borrow it to read.

  16. Oh man... another great review of this book. I won this one and so once it comes, I'll have to pick up the first. See... sometimes I do intend to read in order. ;)

  17. Aaaah, I so want to read this book! I even had a copy from the library but I sent it back unread. I don't think I can handle another cliffhanger ending right now :( Especially if it's like the one in Hex Hall!

  18. Now I really wanna read book 1 cos it sounds so good! And they have done so well with these covers too

  19. Jenny - I think I liked Demonglass even better than Hex Hall and I adored that one:)

    Melissa - Yeah, yeah, so you say;) It might help to read these in order though:)

    Small - There are definitely a lot of cliffhanger endings out there, but this one is worth the suffering:)

    Blodeuedd - I love these covers!

  20. her snark drawing snorts and giggles from us loud enough to disrupt those around us should we be reading in public This was totally me Jenny! Seriously, I felt so silly sitting in my university library surrounded by students who were studying like mad while I was giggling away at this Disney Hyperion book. I am glad that you really liked it!

  21. I ordered this online from Book Depo but it got lost on the way - I got a refund - but luckily the library has a copy. Now that I have some time off before summer school starts, this is one of the first books I plan to cross off my TBR list. I love Sophie and Archer would totally be on my list of book boyfriends.

  22. I heard a lot about these 2 books, but reading your opinion makes me want to pick them up more. I didn't realize they were *that* good! : ) I love quick reads sometimes need them to break up the long ones.

  23. Aaaaah! You have me wanting to read these books again! Sophie is so full of awesome and I honestly can't help pulling for her and I'd be happy with any choice she makes. I really believe she will follow her heart.

  24. Avery - I read in the comfort of my home but my snorts did repeatedly startle my dogs who got up and left the room:)

    Zahida - I love Sophie too and I was strongly Team Archer in book one, but Cal won me over a bit in this one:)

    Pam - They're just really fun, really quick reads that make you laugh, but are also serious enough to keep you on the edge of your seat:)

    Missie - She is full of awesome. We would totally be friends if she were real;) I'll be happy with either choice as well, but I'm definitely leaning more towards Cal:)

  25. I truly thought this was a great read! I though Hex Hall was good fun, but this one was just so much better IMO. Oh, and I totally fell for Archer!

  26. This is one of the many series I want to get into! I am really interested since you liked the #2 book... I usually think the middle books in series are meh...