Wednesday 23 February 2011

'By Midnight' by Mia James

By Midnight: A Ravenwood MysteryBy Midnight: A Ravenwood Mystery by Mia James

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Basically, April has had to move away from her friends and her school in Scotland in the middle of the term to Highgate in London when her conspiracy-mad Dad gets a new newsapaper job. She is not happy about this and even more so when the only local school that will take sixth-formers in the middle of the school year is the elitist Ravenwood school. Something is definitely weird in her new school, and April and her new BFF the quirky Caro can't work out what. At school she also meets mega-rich Davina and Benjamin, violent bully Marcus, and shy strange, gorgeous Gabriel. April's socialite mother wants to drink and shop and mingle and drag April along with her. April attends school and parties and keeps bumping into Gabriel, while wondering about a couple of local murders that have taken place, shocking the local community- one of which she almost witnesses.

Bad Points: (whilst trying not to give away spoilers)

  • April has important information that connects the victims of the local murders. She knows what at least two of the victims were killed for researching, but she doesn't tell the police. Why? She wants to look into it herself. Yeah, that's a great idea :/

  • The love interest. "I love Gabriel, I hate Gabriel, I love Gabriel, I think Gabriel might be a murderer, I hate Gabriel, I love Gabriel". It got annoying.

  • April repeatedly will not believe in vampires despite masses of evidence right in her face to the contrary. This did make me want to shake her a couple of times.

  • The ending was a bit abrupt.

Good points:

  • Entertaining.

  • It flows.

  • Believable supporting characters.

  • Very spooky atmospheric setting with a lot of history behind it (real reports in the newspapers of the Highgate Vampire in the 1970s- this story is based on an existing myth). It made me want to visit Highgate cemetery myself.

  • Very emotional in parts. The fact that I was nearly in tears shows that I connected to the characters and cared what happened to them, and I was gripped by the writing.

  • A back-story and mystery that we are exposed to gradually, solving some questions piece by piece.
To sum up- I liked this but didn't love it. This story is well- paced, but with not really enough to keep you guessing- it is fairly predictable.

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