Title: The Mirk and Midnight Hour
Author: Jane Nickerson
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction/Gothic Fiction/Fantasy
Series: Strands of Bronze and Gold, book two
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A valiant attempt at a Southern retelling of the ballad Tam Lin, I enjoyed The Mirk and Midnight Hour--though I didn't like it as much as its predecessor.
This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Violet Dancey is a true Southerner--that is, she knows all about hoodoo, voodoo, and dark magic. But she never expects it to take her life by storm. Mourning her twin brother's death, she is struggling to remain herself after the Civil War takes a toll on her beloved Mississippi. When she discovers a wounded Union soldier nearly dying on her property, she heals him--and in becoming his friend, courts severe consequences. For a mysterious, magical family named the Van Zeldts have been using voodoo to keep her Thomas alive.. And not just out of the goodness of their hearts..
What I enjoyed:
-As always, the gorgeous, poetic prose that is Nickerson's signature--I was drawn in immediately
-Violet, the sad, lonely girl who becomes a great heroine, fighting hell and high water for true love
-The cast surrounding Violet, particularly her father, Seeley, and Sunny
-Dorian--his name was perfect--he was never what he seemed and he was a great villain throughout the novel
-Thomas, the gentle, loving Union soldier that Violet falls for so violently
-The mysterious, magical Van Zeldts, frightening and powerful and a fitting stand in for the fairies in Tam Lin
-The ending--it was perfect
What could've been better:
-It seemed like it took a long time for things to get rolling
-It took forever to realize how the actual story tied in with Tam Lin
Despite some minor pacing problems, I really enjoyed The Mirk and Midnight Hour! Highly recommended! Next on deck: Death of the Mad Hatter by Sarah J. Pepper!