Friday, January 28, 2011

Hexbound - Chloe Neill

A Novel of the Dark Elite
Chloe Neill

Young Adult/Paranormal

This is the second in a series, following FIRESPELL. I didn’t read the first novel, so there may very well be spoilers in this review.

Since Lily Parker’s parents moved her to St. Sophia’s in Chicago, she’s had a steep learning curve. She discovered that there are magic users called Adepts. They understand and accept the fact that their gifts are only temporary, and they’re the good guys. And there are magic users who try to hold onto their gifts forever. They’re called Reapers, or the Dark Elite, and they’re the bad guys. The Reapers gain power by draining it from innocents and Adepts. Lily’s best friend, Scout, was kidnapped and nearly killed by the Reapers.

Lily also found out that she can work a firespell. It’s a powerful weapon, but there’s still a lot she needs to learn about it. The Adepts secretly patrol the area to make sure Reapers aren’t doing what they tried to do to Scout. While on a patrol in the underground tunnels, the Adepts run into some bizarre, nasty, half-human things with fangs. Not vampires: they’re different, and are, just by the way, waging a war between covens. These tunnel things are something else entirely, and the Adepts need to figure out what they are and how to stop them. While also staying out of the way of angry vampires and taking classes like normal teenagers and keeping their magical secrets. So, no pressure.

While I feel like I missed quite a bit by missing the first book in the series, it was pretty easy to get up to speed on this one. Lily narrates and fills in the blanks and background. There’s a lot going on (vampire wars, weird things in the tunnels, mean girls at school, a Reaper who seems to be hanging around Lily for reasons she doesn’t understand, the truth about Lily’s parents, a maybe-boyfriend who’s a definite werewolf) and the author does a great job of keeping everything sorted out and moving forward while still allowing the characters to grow and evolve.

HEXBOUND has action, humor, high school problems, and a lot of supernatural battles. It can be read as a single novel, but there’s clearly more to come. The friendship between Lily and Scout seems quite real, even when tested by some seriously scary stuff. They’re the kind of friends every girl would want to have. It’ll be fun to see what happens next.

Rating: 6 ½
January 2011
ISBN# 978-0-451-23079-9


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