Synopsis from Goodreads: 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…
My Rating: 4½/5 stars
My Review: C.C. Hunter’s first-in-a-series novel Born at Midnight is an accidental find on my part and holy crap am I glad I stumbled across this book! It took me less than 24 hours to plow through this novel that takes place predominately at Shadow Falls camp, a refuge for young paranormals who are learning to navigate life as a paranormal.
The novel revolves around Kylie Galen, a teenage girl who has never really fit in at school, has just learned her mom and dad are divorcing, lost her beloved grandmother, and was dumped by her boyfriend because she refused to put out. This, dear reader, is one seriously craptastic life! And the hits just keep on coming when Kylie is wrongly accused of doing drugs and drinking, a mistake that lands her at Shadow Falls camp for the summer. As you might well expect, Kylie doesn’t want to be at Shadow Falls especially when she discovers that it is in fact a camp for paranormals and not just your average run of the mill delinquents. WTH???
From this point forward the plot moves swiftly as Kylie begins to realize that she may in fact be a paranormal. Kylie’s head up her ass denial doesn’t last long since she has the ability to see ghosts and one keeps appearing for her viewing pleasure. Kylie finds it much easier to accept that those around her are paranormals, there is the fact that she is rooming with a dyslexic witch by the name of Miranda and a recently turned and totally snarky vampire named Della. She’s also haunted by the hotness of a half-fae by the name of Derek and a super-hot werewolf with a sketchy past named Lucas. With all of this drama, Kylie could have gone completely angsty and emo but instead she bucks up and soldiers on, a quality I find quite satisfactory in a character. Kylie also behaves quite admirably where the boys in her life are concerned. Derek and Lucas both make plays for Kylie but she makes her wishes and intentions perfectly clear – for the most part J A girl can’t ignore the hotness forever, right?
As if the kids at Shadow Falls don’t have enough to be concerned with they are also inadvertently pulled into a vicious and violent scheme meant to shut down the camp. Here’s the rub: out in the real world there are gangs of paranormals who feel that the mixing of the species at Shadow Falls is a threat to the purity of their various groups. Furthermore, among the various species of paranormals are old wounds, treacheries, and betrayals that will never be forgotten. Unfortunately, this real world crap is spilling over into the lives of the kids at Shadow Falls and they are being made to pay for the sins of their fathers. But here’s the kicker, all these kids have some pretty sweet powers that allow them to protect themselves and one another! I love a good group of ass kicking self-reliant kids and Hunter certainly delivers a great set with the Shadow Falls kids.
The Bottom Line: Hunter has done an excellent job of introducing the reader to the world of Shadow Falls. She has crafted a world that is based on special powers which bind the major characters to one another in friendship. Hunter’s writing style is fresh and easy to read with dialogue that is both smart and contemporary. The plot is fully developed and completed quite satisfactorily while still leaving enough unanswered questions to leave the reader anxious for the next installment. Did I forget to mention that Hunter never tells us exactly what species of paranormal Kylie is? Evil genius C.C. Hunter and I have already marked my calendar for the release of book two, Awake At Dawn which will be available in October.