This first book of a planned trilogy finds 16-year-old Alessia Jacobs living in boring Twin Willows, Maine, where nothing ever happens—that is, until the mysterious Wolfe family arrives in town and Alessia’s instantly drawn to their attractive son, Jonah.
Days later, after encountering Jonah again at school, Alessia’s confused by visions of becoming a falcon. She’ll soon discover these visions are real: She’s a member of the Benandanti, an ancient group of warriors who can separate their souls from their bodies and transform into powerful animals, something they’ll rely on to keep potent magic from falling into the hands of the conscienceless Malandanti, foes with similar shape-shifting talents. Deciding whether to accept the Call, Alessia weighs typical teen impulses like wanting to spend time with heartthrob Jonah against the responsibilities Benandanti membership requires. Maggi’s pacing is quick, and her imaginative prose (with its ear for dialogue) supports a cast of characters, including Alessia’s fiercely protective Italian mother, Lidia. All elements combine to create a nicely textured real world where a surreal battle’s set to take place. Intriguing questions set the stage for the sequel: Did Alessia’s father’s death have anything to do with the paranormal world Alessia finds herself in? How much does Lidia know, and will she play a part in the unfolding drama? Will Jonah and his hard-to-read twin, Bree, be friends or foes in the coming battle?
Readers will eagerly await the next installment in this promising paranormal adventure. (Paranormal adventure. 12-16)