Book Title: Ravenfall
Author: Kalyn Josephson
Release Date: September 6, 2022
Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Paranormal
My rating: 4/5 Stars
One magical inn, two kids with supernatural powers, and an ancient Celtic creature trying to destroy their world by Halloween night…
Halloweentown meets Supernatural in this spooky middle-grade series from the acclaimed author of the Storm Crow duology!
Thirteen-year-old Annabella Ballinkay has never been normal, even by her psychic family’s standards. Every generation uses their abilities to help run the Ravenfall Inn, a sprawling, magical B&B at the crossroads of the human world and the Otherworld. But it’s hard to contribute when your only power is foreseeing death.
So when fourteen-year-old Colin Pierce arrives at Ravenfall searching for his missing older brother and the supernatural creature who killed their parents, Anna jumps at the chance to help. But the mysteries tied to Colin go much deeper than either of them expects. . . .
As the two team up to find answers, they unearth Colin’s family’s secret past and discover that Colin has powers beyond his imagination. And now the supernatural creature, one with eerie origins in Celtic mythology, is coming after him. If Anna and Colin can’t stop the creature by Halloween night, the veil to the Otherworld could be ripped open—which would spell destruction for their world as they know it.
Before reading Ravenfall, I was already looking forward to the spooky season, but now that I’ve finished it, I truly cannot wait for the air to turn crisp, the leaves to become orange, and for all the delicious and warm smells to permeate the air. This book is the perfect story to add to your fall TBRs. It will have you longing for cool days, huddled under a blanket with a warm drink in hand.
The world of Ravenfall was so fascinating to read about. The world is full of magic and magical beings, but most humans are either oblivious to it, or willfully turn a blind eye to the knowledge. Because of this, Ravenfall becomes a sort of haven for magical beings to co-exist with humans. The town of Wick is so cozy, but even so, there’s mystery and darkness looming in the distance, which the main characters, Anna and Colin, must work together to solve.
Anna, being one of the only psychics in her family who is unable to use her power to help out around the inn, feels isolated from the rest of her family, and as if her gift is useless. This causes a lot of self-doubt and hesitation that she has to work through during the course of the novel. She’s so determined to prove herself that she’ll do anything to show her family she’s useful. Anna’s development was really well thought out and progressed seamlessly. Watching her come into her own was so much fun.
Colin, the other main character, was also super interesting to read about. Him and his family had been on the run for a while, but he wasn’t really sure why. All he knew was that his parents were in trouble, and when that danger caught up to them and took their lives, he was determined to do whatever he could to stop their killer. Because he was always on the move, Colin longed for a place to call his own, which is why Ravenfall was the perfect place for him to settle down and actually discover who he is.
Since both Anna’s and Colin’s goals aligned, they agreed to work with each other early on. Their friendship was rocky at times, as they both learned to ask for help instead of trying to do everything on their own. By the end of the book, their bond was even stronger because of all they went through together. Something I really enjoyed about their friendship was how much they accepted each other and their flaws. Anna is super socially awkward and anxious, but Colin never made her feel less than because of it. They’re always there for each other, and I can’t wait to see what kind of adventures they go on next!
Aside from those two, the book is rich with a unique and eclectic cast of characters. Every person in Ravenfall added another layer of magic and intrigue, and even though they were helping Anna and Colin in their journeys, they also had their own thoughts, desires, and storylines. My favorite of these was definitely the Jabberwocky cat, Max. He was such a loveable and protective animal companion who would do anything for his loved ones. He had such a personality, too! All of his scenes were a joy to read.
Additionally, the inn itself was its own character. I find stories with sentient buildings to be so entertaining! This one was reminiscent of the hotel in Nevermoor (one of my favorites), as the inn provided comfort and assistance to its occupants when needed, but was also quick to exhibit its displeasure if it was offended by anything. Ravenfall Inn was so whimsical, and really added to the enchanted and cozy feeling of the story.
Another fantastic part was the vivid descriptions of all of the foods and decorations! These were all done so well and had me craving the spooky season like nothing else. If you’re looking for a charming story to curl up with during the coming fall days, I highly recommend Ravenfall!
I had so much fun reading this book, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Thank you to NetGalley, TBR and Beyond Tours, and the Publisher for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
About the Author:
Kalyn Josephson currently works as a Technical Writer in the tech industry, which leaves room for too many bad puns about technically being a writer. Though she grew up in San Luis Obispo, California, she graduated from Santa Clara University with degrees in Biology and English (Creative Writing). Currently, she lives in the Bay Area with two black cats (who are more like a tiny dragon and an ever tinier owl). THE STORM CROW duology is out now.
Check out my last blog post: Self-Made Boys (ARC Review)