March 10, 2011

Review: Born At Midnight by C.C. Hunter

Born At Midnight
Author: C.C. Hunter
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Series: Shadow Falls, Book 1
ISBN: 0312624670
Release Dater: March 29, 2011
Pre-Order Information:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

*Novel provided by Book It Forwad Book Tours

For more information please visit C.C. Hunter's website.

Don’t miss this spectacular new series that will steal your heart and haunt your dreams, Welcome to Shadow Falls camp, nestled deep in the woods of a town called Fallen…

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, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—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. 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.

Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…

Born at Midnight, the wonderful debut novel in C.C. Hunter's Shadow Falls series, was beyond addictive. Wonderfully written with a great cast of characters and an interesting plot, this is a must read for any lover of paranormal YA. An absolutely amazing novel that once you pick it up, you're hooked!

From the first page, I was engrossed in the characters. Kylie is an interesting protagonist and yet has a great vulnerability as she struggles to understand her life that seems to be crumbling  before her very eyes. But, not only does she have the stress of a disintegrating home life, her boyfriend broke up with her and now to add insult to injury, her parents are shipping her off to a summer camp for troubled teens. When she arrives she finds that on top of all the other drama in her life, she may not be as human as she thought. And yet, with all of this going on within her life, she's still a very giving and caring person eager to help her friends. And to pique the reader's interest further, add in some seriously alluring potential suitors that create an addictive love triangle as Kylie tries to sort out not only her feelings, but her life. And while Kylie herself may have been a major point of interest there are a whole host of characters who are just as well written and no less intriguing. As friendships are made, you are drawn farther into the world that Hunter created with characters that are amazingly tangible. They add perspective, humor and insight helping to guide Kylie throughout the story helping her to learn that being normal isn't everything. With great charisma, there isn't a character within the story that I didn't fall in love with. Truly, Hunter's ability to bring these characters to life was not only extremely captivating but immensely impressive as well.

Most notable for me, however, was the great romance that Hunter was able to create between the characters. While Kylie and Derek may be safe and not just a little heart warming, I found myself most intrigued by Lucas. As Kylie comes to understand the memories she has of Lucas from her past, we come to see him as an utterly mysterious, caring and yet wildly passionate person. The angst created as Kylie flounders in her own feelings towards the two boys is wonderfully engrossing. While most novels would come off as annoying at some point, I found myself connecting to Kylie's emotions as I fell for the characters as well. Add to this the wonderfully enticing question of who she will end up with, and you have the perfect recipe for a great page turner as you race to see what her choice will be.

And while the romance may definitely present itself as a great selling point, there are also a lot of other things going on within the novel as well. The mystery surrounding the camp at first presents a wonderfully engulfing mystery. While you know what is coming, Hunter's presentation really draws you into the story immediately as you wait for the ax to fall, so to speak. While we know that this is a supernatural novel with supernatural creatures, the suspense of this reveal was beyond mystifying. Seriously, I couldn't understand how she managed to draw me into a mystery that I already knew the answer to. And yet she easily did. But, once the camp reveal is made, there is yet another thrilling mystery raising the question of who is trying to get the camp shut down. With a camp full of every form of supernatural being known to man, the list of suspects are endless as everyone seems to have at least one skeleton in their closet.

Now that the amazing characterization and the great sense of mystery have been discussed, I have to mention the amazing atmosphere and world building that Hunter managed to achieve. Really, when you think that she can't make the book any better, she completes the circle with an impossibly realistic camp with not only a warm, inviting, if not impossible atmosphere, but a place that comes equipped with its own inherent ghost stories. In the end, Shadow Falls camp, is a setting that you feel as if you could literally step into. With a welcoming atmosphere ripe with the potential for future story lines and an amazing eclectic cast of characters capable of the most amazing feats, there is plenty of things to look forward to.

In the end, I just can't rave about this novel enough. I was so engrossed by it that I didn't want to put it down and when it ended not only did I want more, I found myself to be sad that I was actually through. This series if definitely a highly addictive, must read for any fan of the genre. With so much that I still want to gush about, let it suffice to sat that I can't wait for the next installment, Awake at Dawn available October 2011 or the prequel short story, Turned at Dark, available later this month.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Scars

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