Friday, October 12, 2012

Book Reviews: Shadow Grail 1 & 2, Hex Hall 1 & 2

Going to review four books today, from two different young adult series. they're very similar, so it makes sense to lump them together.

 First up, the Shadow Grail series by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill.

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"Shadow Grail 1: Legacies" introduces teenager Spirit White, whose parents and sister have just been killed in a car accident. In the aftermath, she discovers her parents made arrangements to send her to a boarding school, Oakhurst Academy, if anything ever happened to them. When she arrives, she discovers Oakhurst is a school for the children of magicians, an anti-Hogwarts where students are encouraged to compete against each other for top honors, and discouraged from forming friendships.

In "Legacies" and book 2, "Conspiracies" Spirit and a few fellow students discover nothing they've been told is true, about themselves or their parents. Neither teachers nor fellow students can be trusted, while they try figure out what's really going on, and why students are disappearing.

 Mercedes Lackey always writes compelling characters, and she has a real feel for teenagers. This series kept me turning pages long after I should have been in bed, and I can't wait for the next one.

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Next, "Hex Hall" and the sequel "Demon Glass" by Rachel Hawkins. Also a young adult series about a school for magic users, although this one is a reform school for witches, shapechangers and fairies, who broke the rules by using magic in front of humans. Sophie Mercer gets sent there when her spells go awry, bringing too much attention to her at a regular high school.

 The Hex Hall series has more humor (and quite a bit more profanity) than the Shadow Grail series. Full of teen angst, rivalries between different magical cliques, ghosts, demons and secret societies dedicated to hunting down magic users and magical creatures, the story hooks you into a supernatural teen soap opera. I could totally see this as a new series on the CW - it would pair well with "Supernatural"  and "The Vampire Diaries." I'll be downloading book three as soon as I reload my iTunes card.

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