Miranda Kane is a pinky-wiggling dyslexic witch with an eclectic pack of supernatural friends and a single-minded mother who’s bent on turning her into a winner. Though Miranda isn’t thrilled with the latest magical competition her mother has placed her in, she can’t resist the enticing offer of a free trip for her and her friends.
Miranda’s primary motivation for going as far as she can in the contest? Getting to go to Paris and tracking down her shapeshifter ex-boyfriend, Perry—the guy who recently dumped her because she “deserved better” and who hasn’t bothered keeping in touch ever since. (Kind of a disappointing drive for this reader, but let’s move on…) This plucky tale of a screw-up spellcaster rapidly turns into a murder mystery when someone starts offing the contestants, and then Miranda manages to stop a killer fireball in the middle of the High-Priestess competition. Compounding her difficulties, there’s a competing girl who hates her for no apparent reason, and a family secret rearing its previously unknown head.
Miranda is a largely sympathetic and sometimes even likeable character—well meaning and kind almost to the point of blandness. Her failures are often comedic, and her sense of loyalty is beyond reproach. Some, however, may find it difficult to swallow her martyr attitude toward the beginning of a competition. (When another contestant plays a vicious prank that hurts her standing, Miranda, for some reason, refuses to name the obvious suspect even when commanded to do so by the judges—willing to take a point deduction in an effort to protect a bully who, for all she knows, is tormenting other contestants as well.)
Some readers may find the love triangle disappointing—at least for those who weren’t previously familiar with Perry outside of Miranda’s impression of his abandonment. Especially after we only see Shawn looking out for her in the first half of the story. Even after Perry is reeled in, the chemistry between him and Miranda is more distracting than convincing. On top of the issues she’s having with her family, it amplifies an atmosphere of drama that borders on supernatural soap opera. The pacing flagged at times, making this one of the more low-tension stories in the ‘Almost Midnight’ collection. Miranda’s personality and antics often lend a lighthearted air to the tale—despite the life-or-death underpinnings.
This book would perhaps work well as a lighthearted interlude for fans of Miranda, or anyone in search of a quirky teen witch story.
A Great Addition to the Series
I adore the Shadow Falls series, so I grabbed this book right away when I realized it existed!
What I find really interesting about this novella is that it's like a novel. Sure, it's short, but most novellas are only filler. They are intended to give more info, get inside of a different characters head, or just make the wait for the next book more bearable. All of these are probably true of this book, but unlike most novellas, there was an actual plot and conflict.
This novella focuses on Miranda and I'm quite happy that we finally get to hear things from her perspective. Miranda has to compete in a spell competition and surprises herself with her success. As it turns out, Miranda i in danger. Someone has already killed off two girls in the competition and Miranda might be next. If that wasn't enough, she also has to deal with her ex-boyfriend Perry, another boy who might want t be in the picture, and some unexpected revelations.
I really think that this was such a great addition to the series! So much happened and while it's up to choice whether to read this, I feel like so many important things happened! So, all in all, I recommend this novella to any Shadow Falls fans!
Now, I'm hoping that Miranda is going to get her own series!