Ravenfall by Kalyn Josephson
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Number of pages: 256
Publishing: August 30th, 2022
Source: publisher via Netgalley
Opening Line: "Everything looks different in the dark."
Anna Ballinkay's family runs Ravenfall Inn, a supernatural bed and breakfast that sits between the human and Otherworld, where spirits dwell. Her family comes from a long line of psychic's, each with varied talents. One of her twin sisters can read minds and the other people's emotions, Anna's mom is a fortune teller, and her Aunt Elaine talks to spirits. But Anna has never been happy with her ability, she feels it's useless, more of a curse and she's actually scarred to use her powers. Following a chance encounter where Anna brushes into a man at her families Inn, she has a vision of two people's horrible murder and the two boys who witness the murder. Anna becomes so unnerved by what she sees, she can't let it go, it weighs on her heavily and she must find out the killer's identity. Then Colin Pierce arrives at Ravenfall Inn looking for his older brother Liam, they became separated and had agreed to meet at the inn. Colin and his family were in a witness protection program and Colin's parents were the ones from Anna's vision. Colin was hoping to get some information about why someone would've wanted his parents killed. Anna wants to be able to prove to herself that her powers can have a purpose or can be more useful than just visions of death, and so she sets out to help Colin to find some answers. But first Colin must believe that magic is real and be willing to trust Anna.
Ravenfall has a very unique magical system, and I quite enjoyed all the varied abilities Anna's family had. The story felt like a mix of Natalie Lloyd's Snicker of Magic (coziness of the tea shop, and its magical tea concoctions reminiscent of the ice cream from Snicker of Magic), with Jessica Towsend's Nevermore or even Jessica Day George's Tuesday's at the Castle (with its alive Inn versus the Castle) and then add in the television show Supernatural (for all the wraiths and creatures). I was totally feeling Halloween vibes with this read. Then bump it up a notch with the whole murder mystery and hunt to find a killer, yeah defiantly loved the spooky magical adventure of Ravenfall. The killer was just the right amount of creepy and sinister. I so loved the sentient inn, which almost is a character in itself. My favorite character though had to be Max the part Jabberwocky/black cat who guards the Inn. Such a fluff of fun. Sigh, if only there were pictures to accompany the story. The inclusion of varies Irish traditions was very enjoyable and I defiantly learned a lot about Samhain. The alternating chapters between Anna and Colin were fun, offering that opportunity to learn more about each of the two main characters and how their stories intertwined. Anna explaining the families magic, her feelings of insecurity and pressure to find her place, while Colin was able to express his sorrow and pain to her. Anna also has her humorous moments and gets Colin to "embrace" the weirdness of her family. Some lovely bonding going on here, can't wait to see where their friendship leads. This would make a wonderful Halloween read. There are plans for a sequel, Hollowthorn, that I'll now be eagerly anticipating.
**A huge thank you to Delacorte Press and Kalyn Josephson for my E-ARC**
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