Things haven't been going well for Kylie Galen lately; her parents are divorcing, her boyfriend's broke up with her and already has a new girl, her best friend for years has suddenly become a completely different person... oh, and a man in the military fatigues that only she can see has been stalking her for months. As if that wasn't bad enough, said best friend drags her to an end-of-the-school-year party where she and everyone else gets arrested.
Her mother decides to send Kylie to Shadow Falls thus dooming her to summer at a camp for troubled teens with bad attitudes and drug problems. Then she actually gets there and Kylie discovers its real purpose: a training institute to help vampires, witches, werewolves, fairies, and shapeshifters to hone their abilities and blend in with the larger world.
And apparently, Kylie's one of them.
As Kylie comes to grapple with her new reality she must contend with amongst other things: two roommates who love to fight with each other, two cute and hot guys both with an interest in her, an angry werewolf who is into one of those guys, and the fact that no-one knows just what Kylie is. Kylie has never felt like she was normal and even though she feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clearShadow Falls might be just where she belongs
Written by fantasy author C.C. Hunter, the first of the Shadow Falls series was released in 2011 with Born at Midnight followed by Awake at Dawn, Taken at Dusk, Whispers at Moonrise, ending with Chosen at Nightfall. Two short stories were also released featuring prospective of Kylie's vampire best friend Della Tsang. Turned at Dark which told of how Della first became a vampire and found herself at Shadow Falls. The second was Saved at Sunrise seeing her on an assignment for the FRU (the police force of the supernatural community).
A sequel trilogy, with Della as the main character, titled Shadow Falls: After Dark were released consisting of Reborn, Eternal, Unspoken.
Shadow Falls provides examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Part of the problems for some campers is due to issues with their parents who can range from Parents as People to being neglectful to emotional abuse to being straight up Jerkasses.
- All Men Are Perverts: Kylie develops this opinion for couple of books since all of the significant men (her father, ex-boyfriends Trey and Derek, and Lucas) in her life made the same mistakes involving sleeping with other women that weren't their wives/girlfriends.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Fredericka is not happy that her crush, Lucas, is showing interest in Kylie, especially given she's not a werewolf.
- Downer Beginning: The series begins with Kylie's parents getting divorced and her arrested for underage drinking (it was a sip and she hated to the point if having the same drink, untouched, over two hours later when the cops showed up).
- Extranormal Institute: Shadow Falls Camp is a summer camp for troubled teens with behavioral problems or have drugs problems. In reality its a place for children of the Supernatural races, helping them to adjust and blend in with human society. Over the course of the books, its director Holiday is able to gather enough investors to convert it into a full year-round boarding school for the kids.
- Heroes With Bad Publicity: All the kids at the camp, at their core, are good and just have trouble being around normal humans. To the rest of the world their criminals with psychological issues most especially to the locals of the nearby town.
- Innocently Insensitive: Supernaturals have the ability to scan the brain patterns of others, identifying them as human or supernatural (and which type). Being 'closed minded' is to keep that part of your pattern hidden which is considered rude. Inconveniently, ghost whisperers like Kylie and Holiday are closed-minded by default until they learn to open their mind up — Kylie ends up having to apologize for this a lot until she finally figures it out.
- Low Fantasy: Aside from the main supernatural races and some aethereal beings, there is very little in the way of magical or supernatural elements. Its implied that the various mythological creatures were shapeshifters and modern science can be used to study the biology of supernatural individuals.
- Nice Girl: Kylie Galen does not have a mean bone in her body to the point that her friends once teasingly called her 'Mother Teresa.'
- Our Angels Are Different: The Death Angels are feared by all of the supernatural races due to their nature of handing out justice to those who anger them. Most people get too caught up to notice these people be like Mario do have it coming.
- Our Fairies Are Different: Fae are more or less psychics with the longest lifespan out of all the races of monsters at an average of 500 years or so. Amongst their powers include healing, emotion-sensing and manipulation, and dream walking.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: Ghosts are the souls of the deceased who can't pass on due to Unfinished Business compounded with the fact no one can see them except for a select few. Most are feared because there's no way to know if a specific spirit is just a wayward soul in need of help or a malicious soul looking to get carted off to Hell.
- Our Monsters Are Different: Chameleons are a relatively new species who are the result of centuries of interbreeding between all the different races of monsters, granting them all the abilities that come from that lineage. Unfortunately, years of persecution have made them paranoid of anyone not one of them and it's only near the end of Chosen at Nightfall do they begin to reveal themselves to the larger supernatural community.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Vampires aren't undead but rather the result of a dormant virus that's triggered by being in close proximity to other vampires with an open wound. It's in fact very rare, not unheard of, for a vampire to convert a human through feeding on them.
- Our Werebeasts Are Different: Shapeshifters can take the form of any animal. The animal must be real, but need not be extant; Perry objects to being asked to transform into a unicorn because they're not real, until Holiday informs him that they used to be. There is also some vaguely-implied limitation that they must resemble the genuine article, as Kylie tricks Perry into becoming a deaf cat when she wants some privacy by telling him to have white fur and blue eyes.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Instead of a curse, the werewolves can change at will on the full moon and the different phases can affect their physical appearance.
- Our Witches Are Different: Witches are the closest to how they're traditionally portrayed though apparently, conditions like Dyslexia can make it incredibly difficult to cast spells such as in Miranda's case.
- Parents as People: Kylie's parents' divorce turns out to be over strife caused by her dad not being her biological father, and making her mom promise never to tell anyone — because of this, he never got over the feeling that his wife didn't really love him and eventually turned to cheating with his very young secretary. Even as Kylie's mom explains to her that the marriage is definitely irreconcilable, she makes it clear that he was a good husband and father for most of the relationship, and speculates that the marriage might have held up better if she hadn't been so hasty in agreeing to keep Kylie's true parentage a secret.
- Post Modern Magic: Supernatural races are able to identify each other by their 'brain patterns' and its possible to study them through modern science.
- Power Copying: One of the powers that defines chameleons. By force of will, they can shift their brain pattern to match any supernatural type in their ancestry (or human) and temporarily take on the powers of that type.
- Running Gag: Two involving Kylie and 'Campmate Hour.' (1) Two or three times a book someone will pay some blood to spend time time with her which leads to (2) that person almost always asks her for some love advice.
- Wild Teen Party: Born at Midnight kicks off with Kylie being invited to one, which is broken up by the cops due to drugs (which she wasn't partaking in), and so she is sent to the so-called camp for troubled teens.
- You Said You Would Let Them Go: Camp co-director Sky is willing to go along with the local vampire gang's plan to get the camp shut down, partly because they have Sky's sister hostage and partly because they promised nobody would actually be hurt in the process. When someone sneaks a lion into Kylie's cabin room, the mole realizes things have gone too far and immediately confesses to the authorities.