Reborn by C.C. Hunter
Series: Shadow Falls: After Dark #1 (1/4)
Published by St. Martin’s Griffin on May 20, 2014
Genres: [Young Adult] Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Rerated: 3.5 Stars
3 Stars, Reread February 23, 2015
– highlight to view SPOILERS –
Prior to reading this book, I actually read C.C. Hunter’s debut series Shadow Falls. I was neutral about the series, mainly because I disliked the main protagonist. However, Hunter really does a good job with this spin-off to the Shadow Falls series in terms of characters. In my opinion, the female lead is way more likable compared to Kylie from the original series.
Della Tsang, a teenage vampire full of wit and biting sarcasm (no pun intended), attends a camp/boarding school for troubled kids, a safe haven for paranormal teenagers. Even though she feels at home at Shadow Falls, she struggles with accepting herself as a vampire. Most of the vampires at camp are born vampires from vampire parents, while she’s a vampire that carried the V1 strain and was turned one. After turning she gained physical abilities supernaturals have, but because of her sudden strange behavior her parents mistake her attitude to be teenage rebellion. But she soon learns that her father had a twin brother she never knew about. She begins to unravel her family history and tries to learn the mystery of this dead uncle, in hopes that he’s alive and a turned vampire as well. All she seeks for is family that understands her.
In the process, she deals with other vampire and mundane problems. Along with her parents, she left behind her human friends and boyfriend after turning. Even though Della is the strong heroine readers love, she also carries scars from her past life that leads her skeptical and prone to avoid making relationships. She begins to open herself up more to the Shadow Falls family than before, including a good looking shapeshifter named Steve. But she also finds herself drawn toward the new vampire that has recently joined camp, Chase. With family and boy trouble on her mind, she also soon finds herself catching a fever, something almost unknown to happen within the vampire species. And with all this on her plate, she has to prove to her camp leader, also a FRU agent, that she’s worthy of working for the FRU (an organization that helps serve and maintain order within the supernatural community).
The main complaints I had were with the writing. The writing was well written but there were some minor errors I noticed. There were so many missing commas, I had to read through some parts several times to make sure I interpreted the text correctly. And I also found editing errors here and there, which weren’t too much of a big deal. But what bothered me was the repetition and language. Hunter had the tendency to use phrases such as “third finger salute” and “sucking face” way too many times. For some reason I find actual use of terms such as “flip off” or “kiss” used repetitively to be less annoying than the euphemisms she used. Besides, her characters are older anyway, so they could have dealt with dirtier language. I suppose it’s good she’s keeping it PG rated for her younger audience (I feel like I was too young when I read Twilight). But she did use profanity in certain parts, so why not be consistent? Granted, I know some teenagers don’t swear, because I’m one of them, but in this case use of profanity would have been appropriate for her tough and spunky protagonist. I’m not advocating Wolf of Wallstreet language but leveling the language to her protagonist’s age and attitude would made her even more convincing.
Also the idea of a camp for supernaturals and the use of vampires isn’t too original, and some of the plot twists were predictable to some readers. Not so much for me because I’m pretty dense when it comes to that, but after thinking about it, it still seemed to easy to piece together. However, C.C. Hunter really makes up for it with the likable characters and Della’s character development. And usually I can’t take love triangles seriously, and I thought certainly if another love interest appeared in a C.C. Hunter book I would set it down (since Hunter made almost every guy fall for Kylie in the last series), but she weaves Chase’s role quite well and makes him an important element for the development of Della’s character and the overall plot.
Another point I want to make is that I strongly recommend reading the Shadow Falls series first, even though I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did with this one. For the most part Hunter covers the basic details of the camp and supernaturals, but a lot of Della’s background information comes from Shadow Falls series.
So after writing this review, I realized I had more complaints than I thought I would have. Despite the many flaws, it was still an enjoyable read. I’d give it 3 stars.