C.C. Hunter’s Shadow Falls: The Beginning is an interesting tale about a camp for supernaturals reminiscent of James Howe’s The Misfits.
The main character, Kylie Galen, is a wishy-washy teen on a quest of self-discovery. Naturally, there are the usual elements in these stories. She doesn’t quite fit in at school. She has the usual ex-boyfriend who dumped her because she wouldn’t put out. And, she has the best friend she can tell almost everything. But, that’s all that’s normal about Kylie and her story. She sees things that no one else does. And, it’s this anomaly that ultimately lands her at Camp Shadow Falls.
Normals aren’t aware that the camp is a front for supernaturals. But, these aren’t just any supernaturals. They are teens who are trying to understand and accept their uniqueness. And, that’s the premise of Hunter’s story–learning to accept yourself and all your quirks.
Shadow Falls is also a story about friendship. Kylie was against being at the camp until she started making friends. Della, a vampire, and Miranda, the resident witch, become her new best friends. Kylie had to learn to look past her hangups–Della is cold to the touch and drinks cups of blood–in order to find people who would do anything for her.
I have to admit I didn’t like Kylie in Book One. She seemed whiny and overly concerned about not wanting to be supernatural. Once she started to accept herself, Kylie became more interesting. Surprisingly, her gifts started to surface quickly. That’s kind of how life works–self-acceptance allows you to live your life fully.
By the end of Book Two, Kylie’s true supernatural nature is still a mystery. Her relationships with Derek and Lucas are also questionable. But, Kylie is no longer iffy. She is stronger and determined.
C.C. Hunter’s Shadow Falls is a well-written tale about self-discovery. If you subtract the supernatural element, you are left with an intriguing story about teens coming of age.