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shadow.jpg – Shadow Falls: The Beginning

Genre: YA/Fiction/Fantasy

Plot: One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls―a camp for troubled teens, but it soon becomes clear that the kids at Shadow Falls are far from ordinary. They’re supernatural―learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world. Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason…if she can only figure out why, and what her burgeoning powers mean.

As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half Fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart. As Kylie struggles to make sense of her feelings and her new abilities, the dark side of the supernatural world emerges and makes life a whole lot harder. An evil enemy lurking in the shadows is about to threaten everything she holds dear…and bring her closer to her destiny.

Opinion: YES! Just when I thought I was running out of great fantasy books and thinking that I wasn’t going to find another great series, I come across this little gem. I had bought this “2 Books in 1” version of Shadow Falls from quite a few months ago, but for some reason I have waited until now to read the series. I can’t tell you guys how sad I am that I waited this long to start it. This series has me hooked in that way where your family is like “Sweetie, I think you have a problem” but you just keep saying “No, no I swear I have this under control. I don’t have a problem, it’s just recreational”. Yeah…that’s what this series has done to me. I’m comparing book obsessions to drug addictions. No big deal.

Just to clarify though, this version includes book 1, Born at Midnight, and book 2, Awake at Dawn, in the series. I could have done these reviews separately, but I honestly was reading through this series so quickly that I didn’t have time to stop. Addictions, remember?

Though Kylie Galen assumes she is a regular teenager going through typical teenage problems, she soon finds her life getting way more complicated. While dealing with her parents’ divorce and her boyfriend Trey dumping her, Kylie finds herself in a rut where she feels like her world is collapsing around her. To make matters worse, she has a tendency to wake up in the dead of night screaming and there seems to be a man she refers to as “soldier dude” following her around. Not only is the soldier stalking her, but it appears that she is the only one that can see him. After a party that Kylie attends gets shut down by the cops and drugs are found on the premises, Kylie’s mother insists that she be sent to a camp for troubled youth per the request by Kylie’s therapist.

Soon after Kylie’s arrival at Shadow Falls camp, she is told that the camp is actually for gifted supernatural teens and not troubled youth. The camp consists of werewolves, witches, shapeshifters, vampires, and Fae. But to make things even stranger for Kylie, the camp leader, Holiday, confesses to Kylie that they actually have no idea what supernatural group she falls into. The reader follows Kylie as she acclimates to a world where fairytale creatures are real, while also trying to find out what she is. To make matters worse, Kylie finds herself stuck on an emotional roller coaster with a Fae named Derek and a werewolf named Lucas, who just so happens to be a neighbor from her past. As she learns more about her fellow supernaturals, unknown powers start to emerge in Kylie and she finds out that her frightening night terrors are more than just bad dreams.

I know this may sound like a typical fantasy series that has an annoying love triangle tangling up the plot and making it too mushy, but I assure you…well, okay yeah it’s kind of like that. Though I will say that this author has done a WONDERFUL job of making sure the story-line and plot has more substance than just a dramatic teenage love triangle. Something about this series makes me want to shut the world out and just read for the rest of my life. The characters are unique and each have their very own likeable quirks, there is a twist on these supernaturals that differentiates them from the typical myths, and there is a wonderful quest that the reader gets to take with the main character as she tries to discover what she is. These books are evenly paced but really give a lot of detail and dialogue to give the reader a vivid picture of everything that is happening. I like that Kylie has many adolescent moments that keep her character seeming realistic for her age, but she never gets to the point of being annoying or too dramatic.

Our two main male characters are Lucas and Derek, who make up the love triangle with Kylie. Usually in these types of stories, the author always seems to make a decision to make one character highly mysterious and macho while making the other goofy and boring. I mean think about it: Edward and Jacob, Morpheus and Jeb, Jace and Simon. There is an obvious Alpha in every mix, and let’s face it, we all know a girl can’t resist a bad boy when her life is in turmoil. It’s just a fact, we have problems 😉 . The interesting thing about this series is that though I once again favor the “alpha” male character in this story, which is Lucas, I keep finding myself not completely hating Derek. I think this might be the first series EVER where I actually like both male characters and where one isn’t overly annoying me. That shows me that the author put a lot of time into her character development to ensure that the reader felt Kylie’s struggle between having feelings for the two, and for that, I love this author even more.

I think this series has captured my attention so much because there is CONSTANT action and excitement happening. As Kylie gets closer to finding an answer to what she is, more dangerous obstacles jump in front of her and it shows the strength that the character has. The author also gives the reader a closer look into the other supernaturals lives by the roommates that Kylie lives with as well. Miranda is a witch that has a tendency to mess up her spells, and Della is a vampire with a spunky and sarcastic attitude. Holiday is also a prominent character in this story. Though she is the camp leader (director? Counselor? Whatever) she creates a strong bond to Kylie because of a gift that they share. Throw Derek, Lucas, and the shapeshifter named Perry into the mix, and Kylie has a friend in every supernatural group. You go girl.

There really isn’t too much I can say about these two books without giving the entire read away. I tried my best to give you guys a more in depth summary of what it was about, so hopefully that persuades you to give this AMAZING series a read. I am already on the book 4, and it is actually in another “2 books in 1” installment called Shadow Falls: The Next Chapter. I am glued to this series and am SO GLAD I found it on, because it was only $2.49. Yes, you read that correctly. GO GET IT!!

4 Stars