Thursday 1 September 2022

Book Review (Blog Tour) | Ravenfall by Kalyn Josephson

Publication Date: 6th September 2022 by Delacorte
Format: Netgalley ARC
Target Audience: Middle Grade

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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.


My Thoughts

"...embrace the weird. So far the weird includes a sentient house, a cat that pulls practical jokes, and a girl who can see death. What could possibly be next?" 

Anna lives in a magical inn with her psychic family who all have extraordinary abilities, Anna's being that she can see death through physical touch. Anna doesn't feel like she's really contributing much with her ability but when a young boy arrives at the inn, they team up to track down the people who killed his parents. That's the basic gist of the plot!

I'll start off by saying that Ravenfall is Autumn in a book! It gave me cozy fall vibes from the very beginning and it helps that it's set during Halloween. Kalyn Josephson has created such an atmospheric read that is best devoured snuggled up with blankets and a hot drink. 

The Ravenfall Inn and the town of Wick was such a magical setting. I loved that the house was sentient and was able to do things like deliver objects to different rooms and groan when it was unhappy with something, it felt like a character in it's own right. The town itself is also quintessential, my favourite locations being the tea room and fairy garden! Josephson's descriptions really feed into the imagination and appeal to the senses with so many wonderful sections on food and the surroundings. 

Anna and Colin have such a sweet, supportive friendship. I love that this was a dual POV story so that we got to be in both their heads and they are both so brave and kind and just wanted to belong somewhere that it made my heart ache at times. I just want them both to be happy! Anna's family are chaotic in the best way with their pet Jabberwocky, Max (who is disguised as a cat), being a particular highlight of the book.  

I loved how each family member's ability plays a significant part and all correlate to their personality. I also enjoyed all the mentions of magical creatures in here too with a lot of them being drawn from Celtic mythology. It was fun to read a book with a lot of Irish influence as well as a middle grade that wasn't afraid to get a little dark at times.   

I always struggle to put into words how fantastic I find certain books because it feels like I can't do them justice. Ravenfall has so much heart, a beautiful friendship, a loving family, tons of magic and all the Fall vibes you could want. I am so excited that this is a series and there'll be future instalments to look forward to. If you love Nevermoor and Halloweentown, then this is the book for you!

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 a degree in Biology and a degree in 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. 

I received an ARC copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes included in this review are subject to change. Massive thank you to Delacorte for providing me with a review copy. A huge thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours for letting me take part in the blog tour. 

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