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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Mirk and Midnight Hour

Written by: Jane Nickerson
Pacify your sweet tooth with a honey stick and a slice of sweet potato pie.

If you're hankering for a run of the mill adventure romance, you might as well stop reading here. The Mirk and Midnight Hour is a book set in the time of the American Civil War about a young Miss Violet Dancey who stumbles upon a little magic and a little excitement as she adjusts to her shifting environment brought on by the war. As she romps through the forest with her little cousin, they meet a wounded man holed up in Violet's old secret hide out. For a number of different reasons (the war, a deceased sibling, some ominous villains) the solider, Thomas, must be kept hidden in the woods, even in the face of possible danger.
There are several different plots that sneak through the book, and they are written fairly well. Violet's life is both quaintly average (for the times), and secretly exhilarating. 

On the whole, the subplots were good. On their own the independent story lines were original and interesting, but together they didn't always piece together perfectly. There was also something to be desired in terms of suspense. Although the climax was fun to read, it wasn't heart-pounding, blood-rushing exciting. 

Despite these few critiques, I really liked this book. Nickerson has a beautiful imagination, and her words give the novel a fairy tale quality. The scenery is sweet and fanciful, and honestly made me wish I could dive into the pages and walk through the sparkling woods alongside Violet. The writing is in beautiful style, and I was drawn in immediately to the mysterious and whimsical world she created. I could almost taste the air, feel the wings of the bees as they flitted cheerily through the air. Nothing was overpowering, and I felt almost lulled into the story, enticed by the simple and mischievous quality. 

There is magic, yes, but this is not a full out Harry Potter wands spells and werewolves kind of magic. This is a low-lying kind of magic that is mysterious and dark and realistic. The romance is of the same kind, it is slowly blooming, and lovely to read. 

I recommend reading this novel, it's really wonderfully enticing. Be warned however, this book is not for the faint of heart. If you aren't patient and only want action, you might want to pass on this one. But if you're a romantic or a dreamer, grab this off the shelf in March! 

3.75/5 stars!

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