Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Review: MIdnight Crossroad

Midnight Crossroad (Midnight, Texas - Book 1) by Charlaine Harris [Reprint]

Publication Date: 03/31/2015
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Ace
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Pages: 384
ISBN-100425263169
ISBN-13978-0425263167

(Received for an honest review from Ace)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Charlaine Harris on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Excerpt from Midnight Crossroad, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature

Synopsis:

The #1 New York Times bestselling author who created Sookie Stackhouse and her world of Bon Temps, Louisiana, “is back with a vengeance” (Tangled Web) with this first book in an all-new trilogy—and inviting readers to an even darker place on the map… 

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 (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There’s a diner (people 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).

INCLUDES AN EXCERPT FROM THE NEXT NOVEL IN THE SERIES, THE DAY SHIFT


Thoughts:

Charlaine Harris brings readers the first book in a spin off series, featuring one of the character's from Harris' Harper Connelly series. Midnight Crossroad introduces readers to a small Texas town, aptly named, Midnight with a cadre of eccentric inhabitants. With names like, Chuy, Fiji, Bobo and Rev readers with eclectic tastes are sure to find it entertaining. This isn't your grandma's small town story though, there are extremists, vampires, psychics and a few witches thrown in for good measure. An interesting new book, from a great author.

I'm not entirely sure what I expected with this one. Charlaine Harris is one of my paranormal favorites. She cashed in big time with the Sookie Stackhouse books and I think she was looking for that same kind of special formula with this book. A menagerie of quirky characters, a small town with some mystique and a hero/heroine that readers would fall in love with. I'm not sure that the cast of Midnight Crossroad was really able to pull of the same kind of excitement that the Sookie Stackhouse books did, but I think there is potential here. 

The characters in this book were definitely on the eccentric side. We have seen some of that before with Harris, take the character of Lafayette for instance, but it was a little more extreme in this one. Not just a few of the characters are offbeat. They all are. Even, Manford the character that crosses over from the Harper Connelly series, is not a normal sort of character. Even though the characters in the Sookie books were vampires and fairies and things like that they had some normalcy to their lives. This bunch not so much. I think the characters kept everything a little too close to the vest. I wanted to know more about them and what drove them and motivated them. I wanted to feel a part of their lives and I think that was what was really missing for me here. I still liked them. I found them intriguing. They had some interesting problems. But they didn't grab you quite so hard, as previous characters by this author have done. 

Having said that, I think Harris will probably divulge a lot more about the characters as the series progresses. She may have her reasons for writing this the way she did. In fact I'm sure she does. I want to know more about this town. What makes Midnight, Texas so desolate. It's practically a ghost town and what makes the people who live their tick. Why do they stay? What motivates them. 

The mystery aspect of the story was a bit of a slow start. What happened to Bobo's girlfriend? Was she dead? Was she alive? I was really surprised that we don't find out the answer to that very important question until well over half of the book has gone by. I had the curiosity necessary to keep on reading to find out, but it wasn't the same breathless kind of read I was used to from Harris. I wanted one of those mysteries that kept me on my toes and make me really think. No so much with this one. 

Bottom Line:

I know I know I shouldn't compare this series to one of the most beloved urban fantasy series out there, but knowing Harris is the writer of both, my expectations were high. I won't say I was completely disappointed or that I won't read the next one, because I will. I love Harris and I love her writing, so it's a given I'll keep on loving it. But I think this book was a hiccup. I think she was trying a little too hard to give readers what they wanted and not writing just for a sake of writing. This series can evolve and I look forward to seeing where it goes. 

Midnight Crossroad is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!



About the Author:


Charlaine Harris is the New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse fantasy/mystery series; the Aurora Teagarden, Harper Connelly, and Lily Bard mystery series; and Midnight Crossroad, the first Midnight, Texas novel. She has lived in the South her entire life.

1 comments:

holdenj said...

Nice review, I have been looking forward to reading this.