Thursday, February 10, 2011

Review of Hexbound by Chloe Neill

Hexbound by Chloe Neill

Series: The Dark Elite (#2)
Pages: 224
Publisher: Gollancz
Published: 20th January, 2011
IBSN: 9780575095434

Lily Parker is new to St. Sophia’s School for Girls, but she’s already learned that magic can be your best friend…or your worst enemy.

They say absolute power corrupts absolutely. Turns out, even a little magic can turn you to the dark side. That’s why Lily has to learn how to control her newly discovered paranormal abilities, on top of avoiding the snobs who think they run her school, nursing a crush on a cute sophomore with a big, werewolf-y secret, and fighting the good fight with her best friend Scout as they take on Chicago’s nastiest nightlife—including the tainted magic users known as Reapers. 

Then Lily’s invited to a private meeting with Sebastian. He’s hot, powerful, and offering to help her harness the magic flowing in her veins in a way no one else can. He’s also a Reaper. Lily can’t hide her suspicions. But she’ll soon find out that the line between good and evil isn’t always clear…

[Synopsis by Goodreads]

What's been happening to me lately is that when reading a sequel to book I read and liked a while ago, I'm underwhelmed because my taste in books has completely changed. I liked Firespell (the first book in The Dark Elite series), but I can't say the same about Hexbound. Though, if I reread Firespell, I probably wouldn't like it anymore either.

I'll start with the good thing about this book: its premise. Lily's recently discovered she's an Adept - a teen who has a magical talent, but a temporary one. The Adepts mainly work to keep the city safe from things that go bump in the night, but also work at keeping the Reapers at bay - Adepts who aren't content to give their powers up, and resort to evil means to keep them. The premise is unique and has the potential to be really captivating, but to me, the characters really let me down.

The characters all felt cliched to me. Our main character is the new girl; she quickly finds herself at odds with the school's 'brat pack' (a subplot that adds nothing to the story); she makes friends with a sassy, alternative schoolmate; she has an mysterious, overprotective love interest with a dark secret. All the male characters seem to be hot, and everyone drops one-liners (which irks me because not everyone in real life is funny).Their personalities didn't feel genuine, and I couldn't connect with Lily.

The plot feels rushed, with tension leading up to a quickly-resolved and anti-climactic conflict. The book was so short that there wasn't a lot of suspense, either. Like in the last book, a lot of subplots are introduced that could have had something to do with the big picture, but are left hanging for further books in the series.

I give Hexbound a 2 out of 5.