18 Feb 2011

By Midnight review

What's it about?

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, her new school, is a prestigious academy for gifted (financially or academically) students - and the only place 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 is 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 the 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.

My Review:
Firstly I didn't hate the book but at the same time it didn't have that spark that made me not want to put it down.
I found the writing easy going and I loved how the authors used real life London history and landmarks and mixed it with some mythology to create this story, it was really very cleverly done and I certainly couldn't guess everything that was going to happen.
However I really disliked some of the characters, mostly Silivia, leading lady Aprils mother, because she was just so superficial and selfish and I honestly couldn't see how she and Aprils Dad had ever gotten together since he's so different.
I also found some of Aprils tantrums completely immature, a few times when she was trying to get answers from someone she didn't actually give the person a chance to talk but shouted at them with her own conclusions before storming out. She was constantly chasing answers whilst at the same time trying to run from them and her new found destiny, a twist I haven't seen before and was impressed with but it was ruined by her attitude.
And my last complaint was the relationship between April and Gabriel, one minute he's so aloof and mysterious then the next he's declaring he wants to be with her when really they'd only had two encounters and hardly knew each other. I felt they never got to know each other at all because all conversations were about the plot so I found it hard to believe when they we declaring their love for each other by the end of the book when they hardly knew each other.
So these are the reasons I marked it down, overall I enjoyed a lot of elements of the book, and the story line was good but these were overshadowed by the parts that made it - for me - hard to read so I'm not sure if I'll be reading the next book Darkness Falls, maybe I'll borrow it from a friend. I'm curious enough about the story to be interested but without more character development I'm not sure I'll make it through to the end.

I feel pretty bad because this is the first negative review I've had to write, but I had to be honest of course. I've tried to give reasons for why I didn't like parts without spoilers, but just ask if you want me to elaborate.

For more on The Ravenwood mysteries visit the website:http://www.ravenwoodmysteries.com/


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