Sunday, 20 April 2014

Midnight Crossroad - Charlaine Harris

Published: May 8th 2014, Gollancz
Pages: 320 pages, paperback proof
Standalone/series: This is book one in the Midnight, Texas series
Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads): Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It's a pretty standard dried-up western town.

There's a pawnshop (where someone lives in the basement and runs the store during the night). There's a diner (although those folk who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there's new resident: Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he's found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own).

If you stop at the one traffic light in town, then everything looks normal. But if you stay a while, you might learn the truth . . .


My review: 

The first book in an explosive new series from Charlaine Harris, Midnight Crossroad introduces readers to the teeny tiny town of Midnight, Texas, where things aren't quite as quiet as they appear on first glance.

In this installment we meet the residents of Midnight, learn about the history of the town and also uncover a number of secrets that the townspeople are hiding. We find out pretty quickly that when people move to Midnight, it's usually because they have a secret that they want to keep, well, secret and every member of town has a backstory. We learn a fair bit about the main residents but I can't wait to find out more and more about other characters in future books - especially Chuy, Joe and the Rev!

Newcomer Manfred is our main port of call in Midnight Crossroad; he operates an online psychic business out of his house and quickly adapts to life in Midnight. He's a likeable guy from the outset and, although we're not fully clued in on his backstory yet, I have a feeling there's a lot more to come from Manfred. He forms fast friendships with a number of people in Midnight, including Bobo and Fiji, who are two of my favourite characters. Man, do I love these two!

Bobo runs Midnight Pawn (best name for a pawn shop ever?) and serves as a landlord to a few of Midnight's residents, including the mysterious Olivia and Lemuel - I won't tell you too much about them right now, I'll just say that they provide some pretty kick ass moments and I cannot *wait* to see what they do in later books. Fiji, the wild-haired white witch, is a popular and kind member of Midnight. Well-liked by everybody, she looks out for Manfred from day one and is sweet to everyone she meets. Oh, and she's the owner of a prettyyy enigmatic cat, Mr Snuggly.

The plot of Midnight Crossroad focuses on the mystery surrounding Bobo's ex-girlfriend, Aubrey, who disappeared from town before the story begins. We're not quite sure if she left of our own accord or if something happened, but as the story pans out we learn more and more and suddenly things get very sinister indeed. Aubrey's disappearance pulls in almost every resident of Midnight and soon the town realise they'll have to work together to find out exactly what happened, and put the issue to rest.

Aside from the central mystery, there are so many little subplots in Midnight Crossroad that I adored - my favourite might have been the possible romance between Bobo and Fiji. Will they, won't they? Who knows, but I know I'm rooting for Fiji to get her man!

The omnipresent narrative voice was something a little different - I haven't read a book in months that uses this viewpoint and, usually, I'm not a fan but it works so well here. Having access to the thoughts of every character helps bring the book to life and it's the perfect narrative style. I almost felt as though the spirit of Midnight itself was narrating the story - I like the idea of an old, sleepy town keeping an eye on its residents and watching them come and go.

I haven't read all of Charlaine Harris' other books but I've heard that lots of residents of Midnight are present in her other series, which is very very cool if it's true. I love it when writers set their works in the same universe, so if this is the case I'll have to go on a hunt to find out who is featured in which book!

In case you couldn't tell, I was blown away by Midnight Crossroad. It's a wholly immersive, stunningly written adventure that I couldn't put down. The characters are spot on and unforgettable, the plot is exciting - the only negative thing is that I have to (very impatiently) wait for book two!!!

Bonus: In case you weren't sold by my review, check out the awesome trailer for the book:

2 comments:

  1. Definitely you have me intrigued! I love Charlaine's way of creating whole communities of characters. She's awesome!

    xoxo
    Kelly
    www.dreaminlace.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like your review about Midnight Crossroads. I need to buy this one. I readnovels.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete

Thank you kindly for the comment, you sweet thing.