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Review: By Midnight by Mia James

By Midnight by Mia James ( A Ravenwood Mystery #1)

won from Book Chick City

Synopsis from Goodreads
April Dunne is not impressed. She's had to move from Edinburgh to Highgate, London, with her parents. She's left her friends - and her entire life - behind. She has to start at a new school and, worst of all, now she's stuck in a creepy old dump of a house which doesn't even have proper mobile phone reception. Ravenwood, her new school, is a prestigious academy for gifted (financially or academically) students - and the only place her parents could find her a place, in the middle of term, in the middle of London, on incredibly short notice. So she's stuck with the super-rich, and the super-smart... and trying to fit in is when the rest of the students seem to be more glamorous, smarter, or more talented than she is, is more than tough. It's intimidating and isolating, even when she finds a friend in the conspiracy-theorist Caro Jackson - and perhaps finds something more than friendship in the gorgeous, mysterious Gabriel Swift. But there's more going on at Ravenwood than meets the eye. Practical jokes on new students are normal, but when Gabriel saves her from... something .... in the Highgate Cemetery, and then she discovers that a murder took place, just yards away from where she had been standing, April has to wonder if something more sinister is going on.... and whether or not she's going to live through it...

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US($2.99)/UK | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond(£2.62)


* * *
 The world-building is very plausible in this book conspiracy-wise, however I had a feeling that the authors got a bit lost with what they were trying to say.

Great ideas, plenty of potential and gory, dark, Gothic atmosphere. I was surprised at how violent this book was. What went wrong then? you would ask.

My issues stem from the inability of April to rise to the status of a true heroine. Her mood swings and mistakes are literally lethal. Seems to me with all the people getting killed and a great conspiracy unravelling her focus stays unhealthily on a dark and brooding Gabriel, her love interest who may or may not be a psychopathic killer.


April spent most of the book thinking of Gabriel and getting pulled in all sorts of directions. When it's revealed how special she is, I just felt nothing but frustration. She just doesn't rise to the occasion and unless there is a dramatic improvement in the book #2 I can't see how she can pull her "being the Chosen one" off. 

Gabriel is a carbon copy of Edward minus family and Caro is a designated geeky friend.

Overall, high points for the atmosphere and interesting historical facts, however everything else is underwhelming. I hesitate to recommend this book.

* * *
В общем-то, книга как калька с Сумерек, только в Англии да ещё и с попыткой проехаться на успехе Баффи.

Прекрасная готическая мрачная атмосфера, но героиня до Баффи как-то совсем не дорастает, зато несмотря на умирающих рядом друзей и близких практически ни о чём не думает кроме своего любовного интереса - тёмного и загадочного а-ля Эдвард Каллен Габриэля.

Кстати, меня удивило как много всплесков насилия в этой книге, всё же чувствуется что в отличие от американских коллег, британцы опять удары не сдерживают. Жалко конечно, что потенциал хорошей истории не реализовывается, но кто знает, может вторая книга окажется получше? Она у меня лежит на полке пылится, так что придётся осилить.

Как траву после Сумерек, - читать можно. А в остальном, особо не рекомендую.


Blodeuedd said...

I liked it, but like you, something was just missing. It could have been much better

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Hmm, sounds like an interesting world, yet the characters needed some adjusting. Thanks for your thoughts on it!

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