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3.97  ·  Rating details ·  3,567 Ratings  ·  225 Reviews
Ann discovers that the wood near her village is under the control of a Bannus, a machine that manipulates reality, placed there many years ago by powerful extraterrestrial beings called Reigners.
Paperback, 293 pages
Published July 1st 1996 by Puffin Books (first published 1993)
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Jul 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can normally handle DWJ's intricate plots, even the ones with time travel. But this one still makes my head hurt (in a good way.) The twist catches you almost totally by surprise, even when you can see something is coming, and multi-threaded story fits together perfectly if you take the time to step back and look at it carefully.

I can't think of many novels that attempt something this complex, let alone ones classed as "young adult". The fact that the story and characters are also highly engag
Deborah O'Carroll
An ordinary modern-day British girl (kind of), named Ann, stumbles into an epic fantasy world (…sort of), and meets a pigeon-hole-defying, spoiler-drenched man named Mordion, and a boy named Hume (maybe).

There are also robots. And dragons.

There’s also an inter-galactic sci-fi mess going on, some Arthurian legends sprinkled around the edges in totally unexpected ways, and oh, yeah, the entire thing is out of order in a time-bending confusing labyrinth of plot-twists.

Nobody is who they seem (or ra
Aug 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, sf
As an unabashed fan, I kind of love being gobsmacked by Diana Wynne Jones's labyrinthine plots that hang together solely by her ability to concisely create worlds strangely logical and magical and fiercely true characters while hilariously eschewing your expectations.

I think this is Diana Wynne Jones's most confusing novel, and by that fact alone, gains a great fondness in my evaluation of it. This is the story of Hexwood Farm, where the Bannus, a dangerous probability machine, has been mistaken
There's so much going on in Hexwood that I don't even know how to begin reviewing it. It surprised me, several times, without making such leaps that I couldn't see how it got there. It's a complex book, jumping around in time a lot, and with lots of cases of mistaken identity (including people mistaking their own identities). It took me a while to put it all together, but despite that it was also an engaging read, and also not too much of a long one (according to my log, it took me three hours t ...more
I'm pretty sure I wrote somewhere on this site that the interesting thing about fantasy was the way the author set up a new system of rules to the real world and seeing how they chose to play out their scenarios in this new system. Well, that can be interesting, but a large part of what makes Diana Wynne Jones interesting is the way she sets up a system of rules that is so vague that she can pretty much do anything she wants. It's a fact that I've read my traditional favourite of hers, Fire and ...more
This book is a master class in time travelly confusion - and also a very cool story. There are a couple of negative points (Jones' use of fat as a bad person trait, and a wince-worthy conversation with a Japanese person) but otherwise thoroughly enjoyable.
Apr 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strange, complicated, and carefully written. There are several moments in this book where I discovered that I was not reading the book that I thought I was reading, and each time I was surprised and, once I adjusted, delighted. But definitely strange.
Nov 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hexwood: really frelling smart. One of those books I keep seeing more in the longer I think about it. Sort of startling that it’s Young Adult Fiction; way smarter than the vast number of books we read in my reading group. I suspect if I was a little more educated, I’d see a whole lot more in it.

We start with a young woman who has the flu and imaginary friends. Confined to her bed, she sees all these mysterious trucks driving up to an old farm, all these odd people going in, and no one ever leav
While reading Laura Miller's essay about fantasy and Narnia, I had a sudden urge to read some Dianna Wynne Jones. I have read absolutely everything by her I can get my hands on before, so this is my second time around "Hexwood."

It's a bit messy, but the ideas are interesting enough to keep me hanging on the edge. It's a complex narrative, based on the assumption that reality is easily bent and none of the characters are who they think they are, or that they are where they think they are and that
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: knjige-za-decu
Ne mogu uopšte da ulazim u to zašto je knjiga toliko dobra bez stravičnih spojlera :(

Mogu da kažem kako je ovo, eto, prava omladinska književnost, ili YA, a ima i složen zaplet i bogatu karakterizaciju i poigravanje pripovedanjem i intertekstualnošću i mitskim i žanrovskim matricama i vrlo ozbiljne-do-mračne teme. A ovamo je još malo pa akciono štivo.
Sa treće strane, Hexwood je vrlo zahtevan roman u pogledu čitalačke koncentracije, naročito u prvoj polovini, nesrećni čitalac se samo batrga među
Sep 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I think, now, having read this a few times, I finally understand the plot, which means I can finally appreciate the brilliance of it, and of the twist mid way through - the Bannus machine has actually been in use since before the book started, and has been causing havoc for quite some time. All the characters have been sucked in, and are now under the impression that they are totally different people.

I think my favorite part, though, is the way several of the characters talk to voices in their h
May 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: summer-2015
Fantastic premise, but the plot is perhaps too clever for its own good. By that I mean it's a twisty story but because of that DWJ didn't pay as much attention to the characters, of which there are many, and their subsequent characterization. I liked Mordion a lot, though, but I never got a good feel for any of them. The villains, to me at least, were a bit of a let-down.

Also just want to warn that there is a rather racist portrayal of a Japanese Hexwood agent a little over a hundred pages in.
Isabel Bitterblau
Aug 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
También quiero una peli Ghibli de ésto, gracias.
Nov 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This quote from the book is the best explanation I can give for why this book is so complicated to describe:
"'[It] would appear to take any situation and persons given it, introduce them into a field of theta-space, and then enact, with almost total realism, a series of scenes based on these people and this situation. It does this over and over again, portraying what would happen if the people in the situation decided one way and then another. I deduce it was designed to help people make decisio
I had never heard of Hexwood before I picked it up at the library a couple of days ago, but I’m glad I grabbed it off the shelf. This book really has a little bit of everything in it: time travel, mythology, alternate realities, mind reading, magic, knights, kings and queens, adventures, etc., etc. It’s really hard to place it in any one genre at all. And it’s really hard to talk about the book without feeling like I’m giving too much away, but I’ll do my best.

As I was reading this book – I’m no
Jun 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's really no typical DWJ book. I don't think I've read half of her published novels but I think I can pretty much say she could have spun a tale out of anything and it would be wonderful.

Take this book for example: there's a machine (or computer, although it never uses that term) that given a scenario, it tries to work out each possible outcome of that scenario to come to a correct decision (kind of like how the chess-playing computer Deep Blue works).
The machine is called a Bannus and the
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One day I'm going to have read all of DWJ's books, and that will be a sad day indeed. But at the moment I'm still discovering there's plenty she's written that I've not yet managed to read, and that is absolutely delightful. Hexwood has all the makings of a classic DWJ - a strong mix of science fiction and fantasy, characters with strengths and purposes hidden not only from the reader but from themselves, traditional mythology spliced with new ideas, and, as ever, an ending which neatly ties up ...more
Joseph Glass
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For me, Hexwood was a beautiful spell of a story. The order of events in the book was at times convoluted and non-linear, which some people complain about, but for me it was captivating. Although some aspects of Hexwood are disconcerting (for both the reader and the characters) the situations and bending of reality bring out the deeper layers of personality each individual carries. I've noticed in many books that characters are too often boxed-in by their situations. You see hints that they have ...more
MB (What she read)
Comfort re-read 2/9/11. This book is one of her most confusing ones, I think. But very enjoyable. King Arthur, Merlin, dragons occur in a sci-fi-ish fantasy complete with evil galactic overlords exploiting earth.

Cover Art: The snarkniess in me feels the need to point out that the cover art on this edition--although lovely--has absolutely nothing to do with the novel inside. First of all the main characters throughout the book are described as a sinister & threatening looking man, youngish;
Svetlana Dyachenko
Как я обожаю сказки Дианы Уинн Джонс, но к сожалению, эта сказка не удалась.
Тут столько всего намешано, что сразу так и не разберешься, что происходит в этой книге.
Тут вам и чудо-машина Баннус, и компьютерные технологии, и хакер, и пришельцы, выступающие в качестве Правителей, и роботы, и магия, и даже был один восставший труп из стасс-сна (точно зомби).
О землянах в этой книге говорится как об отсталых, Земля служит ссыльным лагерем для неугодных. Какая-то недокосмическая опера.
В общем, получила
Apr 24, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hexwood by Diana Wynne Jones is a young adult novel with some surprisingly complicated themes and plot. No doubt, this is aimed at a younger audience, and the influence on what must be considered the Harry Potter genre is unmistakable, still, this has some interesting twists and some very imaginative themes. Blending tame science fiction with fantasy, Jones creates a solid YA story with some deeper, and darker, elements.
Dec 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What is so good about this book? It only partially kept me guessing. It wasn't deep or cultural. I'm not sure I learned anything.
However, the pages just kept turning! The genre - futuristic / sci fi / matrix / teen / medieval with dragons and knights - was a good mix of different things all entwined into an ingenious whole. It is light and pointless and a stonkingly good read. I loved it.

Magrat Ajostiernos

Locura de libro que mezcla robots, mitos artúricos, viajes en el tiempo y millones de tramas y subtramas que hasta el último momento no terminan de aclararse.
Como siempre, un gustazo leer a esta autora, por su originalidad y la capacidad que tiene para desarrollar tramas complejas con desenlaces perfectos… aún así, es una novela que no ha llegado a engancharme del todo en ningún momento.
Jun 27, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, fantasy
Set in modern England, in which a young girl starts noticing odd goings on at a nearby farm, and a futuristic alien galaxy, where a power struggle between the Reigners and the ruled is just coming to a head. The stories collide in the most interesting way. As always with DWJ, I really loved the main characters.
Emily Collins
Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love love LOVE this book! Honestly, I think this is the most confusing of the DWJs I've read, but let me tell you it is AMAZING and ABSOLUTELY worth it to slug through the frustrating beginning where you have no idea what's going on. It is a MINDSPLOSION this book, and I'm so glad I finally found a copy!
If not for the love of Howl, this is my favorite Diana Wynne Jones book. For once, it is the book's world itself that I really fell in love with, more than any character in the book.
Nathan Aronheim
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This may be my very favorite book. 20 years and 20 rereads later, my copy is falling apart and I'm still noticing new things.

This isn't a book you can speed read. You must either read it more than once (not hard, it isn't overly long) or read it very carefully. Accept that certain things just won't seem to make any sense until the second time through, no matter how carefully you read it.

But it may be the finest work of art I've ever read. It weaves together elements from Arthurian legend, scienc
May 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-aloud
There's some Jonesian flare and charm in this book,* but it still reads like one of the crummier Dr. Who episodes. You know, the kind where Moffat starts going banannas at the end, everything is a non sequiter, and random "revelations" start spattering the canvas like a Pollack painting. By the end of this book, it wouldn't have seemed out of place if one of the characters suddenly pulled off a mask and announced, "I'm actually Florence Nightengale!"**

*I don't feel at all bitter about it.

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Diana was born in London, the daughter of Marjorie (née Jackson) and Richard Aneurin Jones, both of whom were teachers. When war was announced, shortly after her fifth birthday, she was evacuated to Wales, and thereafter moved several times, including periods in Coniston Water, in York, and back in London. In 1943 her family finally settled in Thaxted, Essex, where her parents worked running an ed ...more
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“Can't you treat yourself with a bit more consideration?'
'Why should I?' Mordion said, hugging the duvet round himself.
'Because you're a person, of course!' Ann snapped at him. 'One person ought to treat another person properly even if the person's himself!”
“Controller Borasus sighed with relief. Libraries were not places of danger. It had to be a hoax.” 23 likes
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