Thursday, November 24, 2016

Book Review: Taken At Dusk, by C.C. Hunter


Taken At Dusk
(Shadow Falls, Book 3)
C.C. Hunter
Trade Paperback, 380 pages
St. Martin's Press
April 10, 2010
Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult Fiction
Source: Barnes & Noble bookstore

Synopsis: Step into Shadow Falls, a camp for teens with supernatural powers. Here friendship thrives, love takes you by surprise, and our hearts possess the greatest magic of all.

Kylie Galen wants the truth so badly she can taste it. The truth about who her real family is, the truth about which boy she's meant to be with--and the truth about what her emerging powers mean. But she's about to discover that some secrets can change your life forever…and not always for the better.

Just when she and Lucas are finally getting close, she learns that his pack has forbidden them from being together. Was it a mistake to pick him over Derek? And it's not just romance troubling Kylie. An amnesia-stricken ghost is haunting her, delivering the frightful warning, "Someone lives and someone dies." As Kylie races to unravel the mystery and protect those she loves, she finally unlocks the truth about her supernatural identity, which is far different--and more astonishing--than she ever imagined.


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12866426-taken-at-dusk?ac=1&from_search=true






The third installment of this great YA paranormal series was no less compelling than the previous two. All the wonderful characters continued to enchant this reader! Furthermore, Hunter finally reveals just what type of supernatural Kylie Galen, the female protagonist, is. I must admit to some impatience here; I think the author could have told us in the second book. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this novel, and will continue reading this series!

All of these characters really  feel like family to me. Since this whole thing began in Born At Midnight, I've been right there with all of them -- especially Kylie, since the series revolves around her -- going through their adventures and troubles. It's truly remarkable how C.C. Hunter is able to make her readers empathize with all of these fictional people, how she pulls us into their lives, so that we actually feel that we, too, are living at Camp Shadow Falls, and coming to terms with our challenges, just as the characters are.

In this third installment, Kylie has become disillusioned about the elderly couple she met in the second book; they really aren't her father's adoptive parents. Furthermore, Burnett, who is one of the camp counselors, along with Holiday, has become very concerned about Kylie's safety. In order to protect her, he has ordered that she must have a 'shadow' -- someone who goes everywhere Kylie goes. Different people take turns doing this at different times. Of course, Kylie, who has matured considerably since the first novel, totally resents this. Burnett and Holiday remain adamant that this is necessary, so she has no choice but to go along with it. Besides, Burnett has a very good reason for his concern. There are a couple of very strange incidents involving Kylie, and Burnett is certain they're related to a harrowing experience Kylie underwent in the second novel.

I was SO happy to see that Perry and Miranda had finally gotten together! And I love the funny confrontation between Perry and that warlock Miranda had decided to date! Let's just say that everyone at camp saw a new side to Burnett....lol.

A new ghost begins visiting Kylie in this novel, with a new, ominous, and rather cryptic message: "Someone lives and someone dies." Kylie is desperate for more information, but this is all she gets for most of the book. Needless to say, much of the plot involves the search for answers to this ghostly riddle. 

I love how caring and loving Kylie is, where the ghosts are concerned. She knows that many of them, being trapped in a kind of 'in-between' place, need her help in order to move toward the light. She wishes she could help them all, but, of course, this is impossible. So she does the very best she can; as a 'ghost whisperer', she is not only able to communicate with spirits, but is also able to help them move on.

I also enjoyed how much Holiday helped and counseled Kylie in this regard. As a ghost whisperer herself, Holiday can understand Kylie's feelings and doubts about her spirit visitors. Overall, Holiday is just the type of 'big sister friend' Kylie needs in her life at this point.

An interesting new character is introduced in this novel: Ellie Mason, whom at first Kylie dislikes, for reasons that will become obvious to those who read this novel. I didn't know what to make of her at first myself, but, after certain events had taken place, I really started to like her. Although she's a vampire, she's not the tough-as-nails type, like Della is (although Della is really a softie underneath her tough facade). I really liked the contrast between these two vamps. In fact, Hunter keeps her vampires from being stereotypical in any way, and they actually behave and interact very much as humans do. Burnett, too, is different from Della and Ellie.

Speaking of Burnett, I really enjoyed how he and Holiday, who is a Fae, were getting along. Things seem to be progressing! They are both stubborn people, but they really do care for each other. Besides, whether they know it or not, they do function perfectly as a team, despite their frequent clashes. 

Another aspect of this novel -- and, indeed, the entire series -- I love is the humor and snarkiness. The latter is provided mostly by Della. The humor is provided by some of the other characters, such as Perry and Miranda. Hunter uses these plot devices to great effect, actually helping to defuse some of the angst and tensions in the plot. She did the same thing in the two previous novels.

The love triangle between Kylie, Derek, and Lucas might put off some readers, and perhaps remind them a bit of The Twilight Saga. However, it didn't bother me that much. Both guys are great, but Derek did actually betray Kylie in a way, even though they really weren't going together. So I've begun to gravitate more toward Lucas. He just seems more sincere and genuine in his feelings for Kylie. Although Derek finally does admit to his love for her, somehow, I really wasn't very convinced.

One very interesting thing in this novel was actually a bit of a disappointment -- the concept of 'dreamscaping'. It also appeared in the second novel, Awake At Dawn. Dreamscaping is a supernatural power through which one person is able to enter another person's dreams and have conversations with them, just as they do during their waking hours. The reason I found it a bit disappointing is that this is not a concept unique to this series; Richelle Mead also uses it in her Vampire Academy series, although she doesn't give it the same name. Mead's series began before Hunter's, so this points to a lack of originality in the Shadow Falls series. Despite this objection, I still thoroughly enjoyed this novel! 

I was also happy to see the return of Sara, Kylie's best friend in the human world. I liked what little I saw of her in the first two books, even though she was always a bit wilder than Kylie. She's always been a good and loyal friend to Kylie, however, so I hope she gets to enter the plot again, and more often, in the next novel in the series. I think that will happen, since now she and Kylie share a special bond, due to recent events.

Overall, this was indeed a very satisfying read, and a great addition to the series. Now I'm looking forward to the fourth book, Whispers At Moonrise!    


 MY RATING:







C.C. Hunter grew up in Alabama, where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and regularly rescued potential princes, in the form of Alabama bullfrogs, from her brothers. Today, she's still fascinated with lightning bugs, mostly wears shoes, but has turned her focus to rescuing mammals. She now lives in Texas with her four rescued cats, one dog, and a prince of a husband, who for the record, is so not a frog. When she's not writing, she's reading, spending time with her family, or is shooting things-with a camera, not a gun.

C.C. Hunter is a pseudonym. Her real name is Christie Craig and she also writes humorous romantic suspense romance novels for Grand Central.
www.christie-craig.com

C.C. would love to hear from you. Because of deadlines, it may take her a day or so to get back with you, but she will reply. cc@cchunterbooks.com


2 comments:

  1. Glad this one was so good and I'm glad to see an older book being reviewed. I'd forgotten about this series, so thank you for the reminder about it. I hope you enjoy the fourth book as much as you enjoyed this one.
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Kimberly!

      Oh, it DEFINITELY was!! I had been meaning to read this series for a long time, and finally got to it!

      I've really enjoyed the first three books, and know that the fourth, as well as the rest of them, will just as good!

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting on my review!! <3 :)

      Delete

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