Monday, February 1, 2016

#Monday Review - Almost Midnight by C.C. Hunter (YA, Paranormal, Anthology)

Series: Shadow Falls:After Dark # 3.5
Format: Paperback, 407 Pages
Release Date: February 02, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Novella Collection

Nestled deep in the woods, Shadow Falls is a secret camp where teens with supernatural powers learn to harness their abilities and live in the normal world.

Independent and strong-willed Della Tsang did not believe in vampires...until she became one. Chase Tallman is the newest member of Shadow Falls, but what made him into the sexy, mysterious vampire he is today? And what led him to Della Tsang? And for Miranda Kane, magic has always been something she's struggled with, but when an opportunity to test her powers takes her to Paris, she'll have to prove that she's a witch to be reckoned with and belongs at Shadow Falls.

Fans won't want to miss these four remarkable stories of love, magic and friendship.

Almost Midnight is a series of FIVE short stories that take place in the Shadow Falls universe. The book opens with Turned at Dark (Shadow Falls 0.5) which Published March 15th, 2011 by St. Martin's Griffin. The 32 page novella is considered to be the beginning of the Shadow Falls series. Since I've already read, and reviewed this book, here is what I previously wrote:

"Turned at Dark is a novella in the Shadow Falls Series for which I am definitely going to read (and have). It follows 16 year old Della Tsang who has never seen a ghost before until the night she sees her dead cousin Chan zipping across the street and ducking into an alley. Chan has been "dead" for less than a year, or so she thought. Della is hardheaded and refuses to believe what is right in front of her with a world full of Vampires, Shape-shifters, Fae, Witches, and Werewolves. Della, as it turns out, is a carrier of a virus that transforms her into a vampire. By touching Chan with her open cut, the virus spreads rapidly throughout her body, just like it did to Chan. In the end, Della has to make a difficult choice about remaining with her human family who believes she fallen into bad ways and boyfriend who thinks she's changed, or going to Shadow Falls summer camp headed by Holliday Brandon where she can find answers about her new found existence."

The Second Story is "Saved at Sunrise" (Shadow Falls #4.5). Another story featuring Della Tsang. Della and Shape-shifter Steve are given a mission to find rogues vampires who have been terrorizing humans by Burnett James, and the Fallen Research Unit (FRU). This novel really goes to the root of Della's thinking and her headstrong ways. She doesn't want to fail Burnett. She wants to put her time with her Lee, behind her, but finds herself facing him. Della's broken heart also comes from a quick visit to her own family. Della is a character who really is an emotional train-wreck. While Steve may have some feelings for her, Della doesn't want to get close to anyone. Yes, even though Della is hard-headed at times, she is still accepted by Kylie and Miranda and Yes, there is a bit of kissing involved as well between Della and Steve. This novella is 100 pages long, and was released April 2, 2013 by St. Martin's Griffin. 

The Third story is "Unbreakable" which I've previously read and reviewed: Published: September 30, 2014 by St. Martin's Griffin 

"Unbreakable (Shadow Falls: After Dark 0.5) is another short (55 pages) novella that skims over Chase Tillman's life before he came to Shadow Falls, and tried to win the heart of vampire Della Tsang. Technically, this story takes place previous to Reborn (Shadow Falls: After Dark # 1). It all begins with a blood test, an encounter with a palm reader, a hopeful romance, and then a devastating crash that unleashes the VI virus in Chase's blood. The points of view change from Chase, to reports of the plane crash that Chase's family is involved in. There are other characters involved in the story as well, including Chase's dog Baxter, but Hunter doesn't really offer any revelations as to who they are, or why they were involved in the first place, or what makes Chase so special. I should say that readers shouldn't expect a whole lot of answers in this novella. Eventually, Hunter does reveal Chase's journey, but you have to read the new After Dark series until the end." 

The fourth story is Spellbinder (Shadow Falls: After Dark # 2.5) which features Miranda Kane, witch, best friend, and roommate of Kylie Green and Della Tsang's. I've always had a soft spot for Miranda. Kylie has had a bunch of books dedicated to her plight, and Della has now had her turn. Spellbinder is Miranda's turn to shine. She's a really good character, who means well. She's a bit on the dyslexic side, and doesn't always have a handle on her own magic. But, with a trip to Paris and a High Priestess competition on the line, Miranda will come into her own, while also finding out some devastating secrets having to do with her own family, and fighting to stay alive. Of course, one can not read this book without expecting a bit of a twisted romance with Miranda and Perry, or have feelings for a warlock named Shawn. Spellbinder is 141 pages long, and was previously published June 30, 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin. 

The fifth and final story in the book is called Fierce.  The story features werewolf Fredericka (Ricka) LaKota, a 17 year old with a promising future as an artist. Fredericka has had a rough history in the Shadow Falls series. She's only been at Shadow Falls for six months, but she's managed to make all sorts of waves and had numerous conflicts Kylie. However, let's not write her off just yet because of stuff that happened in another time. After reading this book, you do get a better understanding about who Ricka really is. Yes, she has some issues. Yes, she definitely needs some friends. But, she's also a brilliant artist. She's made her peace with Kylie, and that's a pretty good start when you are looking for help from a creepy McCreepster. There is a whole lot to say about Fredericka, but I can only say that if you've read this series in its entirety, then you shouldn't skip this story. There is a bit of suspense, a bit of romance, an interesting twist, and an understanding that happens between the three primary characters and Fredericka.

In the end, Almost Midnight is totally worth the time it will take you to read it. Yes, Kylie, Miranda, and Della do appear in almost every single story, but why wouldn't they? After all, they are the three main characters along with Holiday and Burnett James. 

1 comment:

  1. OOoh nice! I've read nearly all of these except for Unbreakable and of course Fierce. So I will be looking forward to owning this one for those alone! And it's nice having the other stories in print! Lol! Great set of reviews!