Izzy Brannick’s life has been anything but ordinary. She has been trained to fight monsters since she was old enough to walk and she’s pretty good at it. After a botched first solo job (really, how hard should capturing a vampire alone be?!?), Izzy’s mom decides to give her an easier task, catching a high school haunting ghost and laying her to rest. For this task, she must enroll in high school, a much scarier task altogether. Izzy quickly learns that this isn’t your typical haunting….and that when this is all over, her newfound friends will be hard to leave behind.
This novel is exactly what you’d expect a spinoff of Hex Hall to be. It’s mysterious and monstrous and funny and endearing and heartbreaking. Izzy isn’t as quick with the one-liners as Sophie was, but she’s just as spunky and funny and relatable. She’s easy to sympathize with as she navigates the treacherous halls of high school for the first time, making friends and trying to pass all her classes. Trying to balance that with witch hunting with the school’s paranormal group who are so clueless it’s all Izzy can do not to laugh in their face.
Torin was another great character and a great mystery. You never quite know what he is up to or what he wants, besides being freed from his mirror prison. The affection between him and Izzy is obvious but it’s unclear if it is of a romantic nature for the most part. I personally think the love triangle aspect will be played up in the next novel (especially considering that’s how it happened in the Hex Hall series), but I guess we’ll wait and see.
My favorite character though, has to be Dex. I thought I loved Torin’s character, and then Dex showed up and my mind was completely changed. I LOVE Dex. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
He’s funny and smart and self-assured and doesn’t give a fuck what anyone thinks about him, except his small circle of friends. He’s just so damn quirky and adorable and, just wow. I’ve never been one for fashion, but this boy with his pinstripe pants, purple pea coat, and an endless supply of scarves fashioned into cravats definitely won my attention right off the bat. Any guy who even knows what the word cravat means in this day and age would probably catch my attention! ::swoons:: For once, it isn’t the guy who rushes in to save the girl, because Dex isn’t really capable of that, with is severe asthma, but damned if he still isn’t noble as hell.
The rest of the cast was just as interesting, if not as amazing. Romy is unique and geeky and adorable, if a little obsessive and strange. Watching her and Anderson dance around their obvious attraction to one another was a fun little side story! Aislinn, Izzy’s mom, was annoying and overbearing, but ultimately tried to do right by her one remaining daughter.
The story was a bit predictable to me. I pegged it pretty early on who had summoned the witch, but I still didn’t see exactly how so there is a lot of mystery. The whole thing with Dex at the end was shocking as hell! I mean hes….he was…it….well, I won’t spoil it for you guys, but just be prepared because it’s a bit of a doozy. I was pleasantly surprised that this contained neither a love triangle nor a cliffhanger. Though I think Izzy’s is attracted to Torin and just refuses to admit it, it never comes into play. As for the ending, the entire main plot of the novel wraps up nicely, leaving loose ends only on major things that you should have known wouldn’t be wrapped up in a single novel.
This novel was exactly what I needed, a book that I had high expectations for that definitely lived up to them. I recommend it to everyone who enjoyed Hex Hall and all YA paranormal lovers.
****Thank you to Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group, for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****