Audio Book Review: School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins

School Spirits CoverBook: School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins, Narrated by Cris Dukehart

Published August 2013 by Dreamscape Media|6 hours, 57 minutes

Where I Got It: Audible.com

Series: School Spirits #1 (or quite possibly a stand-alone, I can’t really tell)

Genre: YA Paranormal

You can find School Spirits on goodreads

Goodreads Summary: 

Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures. But when Izzy’s older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy’s mom decides they need to take a break.

Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it’s not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to prove her worth and investigate. But assuming the guise of an average teenager is easier said than done. For a tough girl who’s always been on her own, it’s strange to suddenly make friends and maybe even have a crush.

Can Izzy trust her new friends to help find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt? 

What I Thought:

After listening to Hawkins’ Hex Hall series, I knew I had to read School Spirits, the Hex Hall spin-off focusing on Sophie’s prodigium-hunting cousins.

I liked School Spirits and I liked seeing Izzy work on a case, but at the same time, there was part of me that wished I had listened to Hex Hall again, just to get back into this world.  Still, it’s not necessary to read that series in order to read this book (but I will say that it may help).

I did like that Izzy got to be a normal girl, who went to school and had friends and a crush on a boy.  I was amused that her mom got her some t.v. shows and movies set in schools so that Izzy could learn what school was like.  That really seem liked something Hawkins would do, because I felt like she writes some great paranormal books while also poking at them a bit.

There is the mystery of the ghost, and I was kind of kicking myself for not figuring it out before, but it is one of those things that wasn’t too surprising.

I’m not too sure about how I feel about Dex and Izzy.  I mean, I guess I get it, but I also don’t really have strong feelings either way, and it does seem like things for them are pretty resolved at the end of the book.

Speaking of the end of the book…I’m still trying to figure out if it’s a series or not.  If it is a series, it looks like there’s no 2nd book in sight (understandable, since Hawkins likely has other books she’s working on) but at the same time, it does stand on its own pretty well.  And the ending, while resolved, does leave things open for the possibility of a sequel.  I’m hoping it happens, because I want resolution with what happens to her sister.

I think my favorite moment of the entire book was when Maya insisted on helping Izzy because Izzy didn’t have to do things alone.  It reminded me of that moment in Spell Bound when Sophie had a moment of being just a 17-year-old girl, and wondering how she was going to save the world.  I can see how easy it is for Izzy to feel like she needs to do everything herself, and prove that she is worthy of being a Brannick, but I also like that she had help from people who insisted on helping her.

And Cris Dukehart, narrator of the Hex Hall series, is back narrating this book!  I really like her as a narrator, but I have mixed feelings about her as narrating this book.  Mostly because she’s ingrained as Sophie, and it was hard to get used to her as Izzy.  But…ot was nice having her narrate a world that she’s familiar with.

Let’s Rate It:

I liked School Spirits, but not as much as Hex Hall.  Still, it was fun to listen to, and I think Hex Hall fans would like School Spirits.  School Spirits gets 3 stars.

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