Saturday, 2 April 2011

By Midnight – Mia James

By Midnight by Mia James

Published: July 07, 2010
Format: Hardback, 437 pages
Genre: Paranormal YA / Fiction
Interactive Website: Ravenwood Mysteries

Blurb – Back of Book
“Highgate. Murder. Vampires. Surviving School has never been so tough.”

Summary - Book Jacket
“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 is a prestigious academy for gifted (financially or academically) students – and the only school where 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, 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 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 . . .”

This is the first book in the Ravenwood Series and the debut novel of Mia James. First thing to note is that Mia James is actually a husband/wife writing team consisting of Tasmina Perry –a best-selling author of Kiss Heaven Goodbye, Original Sin, Guilty Pleasures, Gold Diggers and Daddy’s Girls– and John Perry –an award-winning journalist from Great Britain.
Secondly, this is not your run-of-the-mill vampire story; it’s original, fresh and above all extremely engaging. Not a single dull moment, except perhaps April’s childish selfish behaviour at times, which is not so much dull I should say but more irritating. For a 16-year-old she sure is prone to melodrama, overly dramatic tantrums and selfishness. Note though that this happens only once or twice, briefly and should not put you off Miss Dunne on the whole as she is a very well-rounded, well-developed character that’s lovable and truly charming. After all it’s only human and normal teenage behaviour to have such moments and as they are not the rule throughout the book they’re the rare exception, so not at all a detracting factor.
April Dunne is a regular teenager with all the angst, worries and love issues you’d expect from a real teenager; a charismatic young woman all-in-all with just the right amount of inexperience that again is to be expected from a 16-year-old.
The plot makes absolute sense and I love the fact that it’s unpredictable with surprising twists and turns, keeps it interesting and suspenseful, all winning traits for a book for me and definitely a must. The only downside one could say is that the start is a touch on the slow side; however it is not dull au contraire. This was one of those times that a slow start to a book did not make me put it down and never pick it up again..
To me personally there really weren’t any weaknesses in By Midnight. It was pretty much near perfect which makes me really look forward to the second instalment to the series. In that respect September 2011 can’t come fast enough!
If you liked The Dark Divine by Bree Despain, Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead or Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz then this is the book for you.

Author Bio
Mia James is the pseudonym used by the husband/wife writing team made up by Tasmina Perry – a best-selling author and John Perry – an award-winning Journalist. By Midnight is their debut novel. They live in Surrey, UK with their four-year-old son Finlay. Tasmina Perry has written for women’s magazines including Marie-Claire, Elle, Glamour and she was the deputy editor of InStyle, winning the prestigious award of Journalist of the Year and becoming one of the youngest editors in the country. Each one of her novels has made the Sunday Times top ten lists and is published in 16 countries. John Perry started his career as a musician which he then went on to drop to become a rock writer reporting on the Britpop wars for the NME, before joining Loaded periodical where he met his wife Tasmina. John is a modern house husband and stay at home dad nowadays.
(Author information is a combination of bio found on the book jacket and website.)

Creative Commons License
Reviews, Stories and Articles by Maria Bitar are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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