Stephanie Ward's Reviews > Winter Falls

Winter Falls by Nicole Maggi
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3.5 Stars

'Winter Falls' is the first book in an exciting new young adult paranormal trilogy that follows the heroine, Alessia, as she goes about her boring life in her small town of Willow Falls, Maine. Nothing ever happened here - good or bad - there was no excitement to speak of. Until the Wolfe family moves to town and Alessia finds herself falling for Jonah - the mysterious and hot son of the powerful family. As if this wasn't enough excitement, Alessia soon begins having visions of becoming an otherwordly falcon. Confused and scared, she searches for answers and discovers that she is a part of the Benandanti, an ancient group of warriors who have the power to separate their souls from their bodies, and then transform into animals. Alessia also discovers that there has been a war between the Benandanti and the Malandanti for centuries - each group wanting to have control over the magic that's in the forest near Alessia's house. As she and Jonah grow closer, Alessia's mission with the Benandanti grows more serious - and finally the two sides of her life collide. Now she's faced with making decisions that nobody her age should ever have to make.

I haven't read a shapeshifter book in quite awhile and I was excited to get back into the genre. On the surface the book might sound like a regular story about shapeshifters and magic, but once you start getting into the main plot of the book, it's plain to see that there's a lot more going on than I thought. I loved learning all about the Benandanti - their history, mission, and what they stand for - of course, I also loved learning the same things about the opposing group, the Malandanti. I found the details and descriptions about both group - their histories, the war between them, the magic that they're fighting over - to be really fascinating. I'm really hoping that we get to learn more in the next two books. Alessia was a great main character for the book. She's smart, strong, down to earth, and determined. Once she realizes who and what she is - and what's happening - she's faced with making some incredibly difficult decisions, which I thought she did with a great amount of maturity. Of course, I loved watching Alessia and Jonah together and seeing their relationship change and grow throughout the book. The story was told at a good rate - not too fast to confuse the reader, and not too slow to make it boring either. The writing was well done and I found myself easily sliding into the world the author created along with identifying with the characters on a personal level. Overall, I think this is a solid first book in a promising new YA trilogy that has lots of potential to become amazing. I definitely recommend it to fans of the genre as well as those who enjoy fantasy and paranormal fiction.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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Reading Progress

August 25, 2012 – Shelved
Started Reading
December 7, 2014 – Finished Reading
December 13, 2014 – Shelved as: for-review
December 13, 2014 – Shelved as: owned
December 13, 2014 – Shelved as: print-arc

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