Classification: Young Adult; (Grade Level: 7th + )
Series: Shadow Falls: After Dark
Format: Paperback; 400 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (May 20, 2014)
Author's Website: http://www.cchunterbooks.com/
Notes: Received an ARC from the publisher and am a member of CC Hunter's street team (which means I love her books enough to attempt to spread the word about them).
Every teen who comes to Shadow Falls has a story. A past they left behind. Perhaps a family member who wouldn't and/or couldn't comprehend what was happening to their child, their sister, their brother, or their grandchild. There are a select few whose parents sent them knowing it was the best place for them to hone their powers, but that is not the norm. Most are sent to Shadow Falls because their parents don't know about their supernatural tendencies and think they're making bad choices, hanging with the wrong crowd, or doing drugs. While the virus which creates vampires runs in Della's family, it needs to be activated by someone who's been turned. A family carrying the virus could potentially live their lives never knowing it lay dormant for generations. To Della family is everything and when she was turned and lost the love and support of her family it devastated her. She tends to shy away from relationships, always worrying they too will abandon her just like her family and former boyfriend, Lee, did when she was turned.
Now, through her sister, Della's learned her father had an identical twin who died under mysterious circumstances. Circumstances that Della believes could indicate he was turned. Could she have family out there who could understand her? She hopes her cousin Chan can help answer some of her questions.
Meanwhile, as she searches for answers, a new kid arrives at camp, and he and Della start out on the wrong foot. Chase is a fellow vampire, but something about him just doesn't sit well with Della, and it doesn't have anything to do with how quickly Burnett has accepted him and invited him to help with FRU cases (Fallen Research Unit--think the FBI of the supernatural world). While a vampire can sense a lie by monitoring another's heartbeats, Della suspects Chase may be able to somehow manipulate things. If her suspicions are correct, he could pose a potential threat to Shadow Falls.
I wasn't sure how I'd like the spin-off series of Shadow Falls focusing on Della. I personally was hoping Miranda would have her story told. Something about the dyslexic witch whose spells go awry has always appealed to me. Figuring Ms. Hunter knew what she was doing, however, I eagerly anticipated the arrival of Reborn. I can happily and surprisingly say I liked it more than Kylie's books.
Della is a girl who isn't the easiest of people to get to know. She's put up a wall of protection and lets very few people in. She's smart, she's strong and a survivor who knows what she wants and what she wants is to be an agent for FRU. She has a 6th sense which helps her figure things out and will no doubt help her eventually become one of the FRU's top agents. When a murder occurs near the school and the person who is responsible decides to make their getaway through Shadow Falls, Della wants in on the investigation. We learn a touch more about how the FRU operates and about their glass ceiling--that invisible, unbreachable barrier that keeps, in this instance, females from rising to the upper ranks. Something tells me that in the foreseeable future, Della will have a huge role in smashing it.
This book has a lot going on. Della has a ghost following her around that she can't communicate with but whom Kylie and Holliday are convinced must have some sort of connection to Della. There is the search for a missing uncle that may or may not be dead and, if not, might be a rogue vampire. There's the new guy at camp who seems to love pushing every one of Della's buttons and stealing her thunder in regards with the murder investigation. Then there's Steve, the lovable shape shifter who's been trying to beat down Della's barriers and admit they're a couple. The first step, however, in Della taking the plunge into a full blown relationship is perhaps loving and accepting herself just the way she is--fangs and all. But boy troubles are the least of her worries; Della's powers are occasionally failing her. Could the new boy have something to do with her power failures or is something seriously wrong with her? All of these mysterious happenings combine together in a delightfully entertaining way that kept my attention and made me adore this book. Plus, there's an awesome cliffhanger at the end that makes me wish I had the next book right now. I ended up giving this one 5 out of 5 roses. I absolutely loved this one.
Order of the Shadow Falls After Dark series: