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The Night She Fell

by Jennifer Soucy

Rating: ****

Coralena Del Prado works alongside her Mama in their café, Cornucopia, serving some of Connecticut’s wealthiest families. What Cornucopia’s patrons don’t realise is that Cori and her Mama are witches, although Cori’s magic is frustratingly slow to activate. All that changes when Hayden Colburn walks into Cornucopia, triggering Cori’s powers and uncovering the malevolent forces around her.

The Night She Fell doesn’t take itself too seriously despite involving some dark issues. The decision to stick to one main narrative worked well; sometimes books in this genre can become over-complicated but the single-minded, driving plot in The Night She Fell made the novel an easy, engaging read with just enough intrigue.

The story straddles romance, mystery and fantasy with the occasional divergence into the realms of horror and myth without becoming far-fetched.

The chemistry between Cori and Hayden was absolutely electric and well-written. The contrast between age-old magic and modern day was nicely balanced with a number of subtle yet relevant contemporary details which made it feel current.

You gain a real sense of Cori from the beginning; she is a strong character who ably carries the plot. Some of her behaviour later on is a little corny and a couple of her decisions stretch believability, it would have been nice for her to have retained a little mystique and possibly, the same could be said for Hayden. However, they work well together and the supporting cast are developed and used well within the narrative. Francisco provided humour without cliché and Aspasia was well-drawn as the chilling, enigmatic yet ultimately pathetic wife of Alastor Colburn. I really enjoyed the magic aspect, especially between Cori and her Mama at Cornucopia, again, it was not overplayed and seemed entirely credible within the framework of the story.

Similarly, I thought some of the imagery was beautifully written. The description of Hecate and her three faces had real visual impact and was wonderfully realised. The ending was a touch haphazard which often happens when teeing up for another instalment but, overall, it worked and I would definitely read the next in the series.

The Night She Fell is a neat, accomplished novel that provides an entertaining read. Well worth a look.

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