The Mirk and Midnight Hour – Jane Nickerson

I don’t really know where to start with this book, I found it all a bit surprising, in good ways and bad. The blurb was a little bit misleading, along with the cover it gave the illusion of more of a fantasy and mystery book, where really it was more of a period contemporary book that happened to have a bit of mystery trickled through.

This book is set during the civil war in America (which being a bit of a history nerd I really enjoyed). It follows the trials and tribulations of Violet Dancey who is a 17 year old during this war, where the importance of family and the horrors of war force Violet to grow up quickly in order to get through. However, one day during exploring, she finds an injured enemy soldier, but everything is not as it seems as he seems to be being healed by the ancient magic of hoodoo, but for what purpose? As romance blossoms, time is of the essence as events unfurl and trust is questioned, will the war break up Violet and her family?

To start on a positive, the ending was great, full of twists and turns that I wasn’t expecting (well, I was expecting some…) and it was interesting to see which characters could and couldn’t be trusted. However, it was just really slow! It took a long time to get into and the first half was boring and uneventful… If I wasn’t on holiday and had a lot of time to read, it probably would have taken me a long time to read… although saying this, the end is good and tense and exciting, but the lead up just took so long!

I felt as though the element of Hoodoo/Voodoo was really interesting and exciting, but I felt as though there wasn’t enough of it, actually I felt like I was reading three different stories that weren’t very successfully stuck together… one story a cute contemporary about forbidden love, one about magic and Voodoo and the other about the trials and tribulations of family, yes they were kind of linked but I just wanted more cool magic and more cute love and less of the boring, descriptive family time. I feel like I’m being a bit mean here but this book just wasn’t the kind of book I was expecting from what the blurb implied.

I really did like the characters of this book though, some of them had some beautiful character arcs (both good and bad arcs…) that I wasn’t expecting, they’re personalities were so strong that I just assumed they would just stay that way, so I was really pleasantly surprised to discover that they were slowly changing.

I feel as though I have been a bit mean in this review, it was a good book that I enjoyed (towards the end…) I’m going to award this book a 3 out of 5 stars, the third star comes purely from the interesting ending… thinking about it now, this is a good book in the sense that it is a mix of lots of different genres, so if you like mixed genre books, maybe this is for you, just bear in mind that it might take some time to get into the story.