Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Audio Addendum: Hex Hall

Hex Hall
~Hex Hall~
Hex Hall
Book 1
By Rachel Hawkins

Amazon ~ Powell's ~ Jan's Paperbacks

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

Original Review

Approximate Reading Time: 3.5 Hours

Audiobook Review
Read by Cris Dukehart
Length: 7.1 Hours
Listened at 1.9x Speed

As far as audiobooks go, this one was probably middle of the road. It wasn't horrible in narration or deviation from the book, nor was it spectacular enough to turn a non-audiophile into a fanatic. But for someone who greatly enjoys audiobooks as a means of reading, or for a general reader wanting to give audiobooks a try, it was fine.

Ms. Dukehart was a great voice for our snarky narrator, and did a good job differentiating the numerous female characters without sounding too outrageous. I was especially impressed with how successful she was in all the Southern accents — from thick to slight — as well as the lone British accent. I will admit the accents might have gotten dropped a time or two on the shorter passages, but not distractingly so.

Really, my only peeve was the pronunciation of one of the Faerie's names. Nausicaa, which I've always imagined as Naw-sic-ca, was instead pronounced Naw-sicky-a. Now, the character is really only mentioned maybe four times in the whole book, but every time it came up I had to shake my head and wonder where that random i/y sound came from. If that's really the correct pronunciation, I retract this peeve, but if not...

Overall, a good read of a great story. I see the narrator is also cast in both sequels, so I do look forward to hearing more of her as Sophie and crew. I'll be especially interested in hearing all those new British accents in book two!