Title: Secret Legacy
Author: Carissa Andrews
Series: The Windhaven Witches (Book #1)
Publication Date: Sept. 8, 2020
Publisher: Author Revolution
Synopsis: Family Secrets Shrouded in Death. An Ancestral Home with Secrets of its Own. And a Legacy of Power She Can’t Escape.
When Autumn gets a full scholarship invite to the Windhaven Academy, an exclusive college meant for witches and other supernaturals, she thinks someone in the head office has clearly made a mistake. She’s a mundane human with no special abilities whatsoever. Or so she thinks.
Ever since she moved into her dad’s ancestral home to give Windhaven Academy a try, strange things have been happening. There are weird, secret rooms in the house and her new friends keep urging her to learn more about her past in order to unlock her powers.
When Autumn finally uncovers her family’s secret legacy, she wants nothing more than to turn back time or walk away. But fate has other plans and if she doesn’t bow to the power coursing through her, she could destroy the entire fabric of life and death.
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Autumn is shocked when she receives an acceptance letter from Windhaven University, especially since she never applied. She’s also shocked because Windhaven is for people with supernatural abilities, and she has none. Eager to start at Windhaven and take advantage of her good fortune, Autumn moves in with her father in their ancestral home.
Strange things immediately start happening. Vases fall and break without provocation, ghostly images appear, and weird noises become more frequent. On top of that, two girls go missing, and their disappearance hints towards similar happenings in the past. Can Autumn figure out what is happening in her home and what happened to the missing girls?
This is an entertaining, if a bit predictable, read. Autumn is a smart, strong, and dynamic protagonist. From the moment she receives her acceptance letter, her life changes and is filled with unexpected twists and turns (not to mention a ton of supernatural occurrences!). She had a great character arc, and I was surprised at the extent of her powers. However, I do wish the characters were a bit more developed, especially some of the minor characters.
Very early in the story, Autumn meets Wade, and they feel instantly connected (Yes, we have an insta-love situation here). They quickly develop a deep bond, but it seems a bit rushed to me. They barely know each other, and Autumn is ready to change her future for him. I liked their romance as the story progressed and felt it was better developed later in the book. I’m curious to see what happens to this pair, as some revelations are sure to cause conflicts in future books.
The title of the book is so appropriate, as secrets riddle the story. This includes family secrets, secret powers, secrets from the school’s past, and mysterious boyfriends who seem to be hiding something. Autumn has many mysteries to uncover, and this makes for a suspenseful read.
A well-paced story with interesting characters and more suspense than I anticipated (but that’s a good thing!), the book ends with a cliffhanger that definitely makes me want to find out more. Thanks so much to Netgalley and Author Revolution for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
I recommend this book to readers of YA fantasy/romance. If you like stories with witches, ghosts, romance, magic, and mystery, this might be the book for you.