Review: Hexbound by Chloe NeillHexbound by Chloe Neill
Series: Dark Elite #2
Published by Penguin on 2011-01-04
Pages: 256
Genres: Paranormal YA, Young Adult
Source: Purchased myself
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Also in this series: Firespell

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. That's why Lily has to learn how to control her newly discovered paranormal abilities while 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...

Thoughts: After I read Firespell last year, I was practically salivating for more Dark Elite books. Seriously, after finishing the final chapter I immediately went online to find out when the next book would be released – only to discover I had to wait an entire year. God, it was painful. But I waited, and the longing grew rather distant, and by the time I actually got a copy of Hexbound I could only vaguely remember the consuming desire for moremoremore I’d had after Firespell.

But surely, I thought, since Firespell was so fantastic I’ll have nothing to worry about. How wrong I was. The first 80 or so pages of this book are just such a disappointment – it felt like P.C. and Kristin Cast had taken over Chloe Neill’s characters. Instead of facing down evil with a smirk, Scout and Lily were too wrapped up in their blah-crushes to focus on the real evil that was going down. Not only was this boring as hell, it was also slightly soul-crushing. I mean, where were the fierce BFF’s from the first book? Who had swooped in and replaced them with these bobbesy twins?  I really considered putting this book down right then and there.

But I kept on, and I am glad I did. Because am soon as love interests Micheal and Jason were gone (yes, there is a God), Neill got down to the good stuff: what’s going on with Lily’s parents? Is Sebastian really evil? Is the Dark Elite even evil? Where should Lily’s loyalties fall in all this mess?

In other words, the book started to have a, er, plot. Because the good guys being good while fighting the bad guys who are bad… it’s kinda boring. It was Sebastian’s apparent ability to straddle the line between good and evil that made this book worth the read. Especially as his advice and character began to effect Lily’s own decisions.  Not to mention the guy is totally swoon-worthy.  If you’re looking for another redeemable bad boy in YA, look no further.Only problem was… there wasn’t enough of him!

Bottom line? Disappointing follow-up to Firespell, but there is still a whole bunch of potential in this series. I hope that the next book (Charmfall, 2012) will be better!

Dear publishers: When I shell out money for the hardcover, I expect someone to have edited the thing first. I’m pretty sure the characters meant to say “don’t beat me” and NOT “don’t bean me”. Although I admit, the latter scenario is far more amusing.

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