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The Midnight Witch [Hardcover]

Paula Brackston
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

25 Mar 2014
'The dead are seldom silent. All that is required for them to be heard is that someone be willing to listen. I have been listening to the dead all my life.' Lady Lilith Montgomery is the daughter of the sixth Duke of Radnor. She is one of the most beautiful young women in London and engaged to the city's most eligible bachelor. She is also a witch. When her father dies, her hapless brother Freddie takes on his title. But it is Lilith who inherits their father's role as Head Witch of the Lazarus Coven. And it is Lilith who must face the threat of the Sentinels, a powerful group of dark sorcerers...Lilith knows the Lazarus creed: secrecy and silence. She has spent her life honouring the code. But then she meets Bram. With him, she must not be secret nor silent. Despite her loyalty to the coven and duty to her family, Lilith cannot keep her life as a witch hidden from the man she loves - yet, to tell him will risk everything.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 341 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (25 Mar 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250006082
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250006080
  • Product Dimensions: 24.5 x 15.8 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 547,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

A sensitive, beautifully written account ... If the Bronte sisters had penned magical realism,this would have been the result. Guardian, on The Winter Witch A slice of 19th century Wales ... full of atmosphere. SFX, on The Winter Witch 'A riveting tales of sorcery and time travel.' Marie Claire on The Witch's Daughter Lushly written with a fascinating premise and an enthralling heroine, The Witch's Daughter will linger long in memory after the last page has been savoured. Sara Poole, author of The Borgia Betrayal --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

PAULA BRACKSTON is the New York Times bestselling author of The Witch's Daughter and The Winter Witch. She has a master's degree in creative writing from Lancaster University in the UK. She lives in Wales with her family. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4.0 out of 5 stars A thoughtfully spun witchy suspense 4 April 2014
Format:Hardcover
The Midnight Witch by Paula Brackston is her third book on witches, however, this is not a series. A young witch struggling to find her power/place does seem to be the common theme in the various books. The Midnight Witch takes place in the early 20th century (1913-1919). Unlike the previous books, the main characters occupy a higher socio-economic status.

Lilith Montgomery assumes the role of head witch of the Lazarus Coven after the death of her father. She takes on the leadership even though she is young and inexperienced, albeit the heir apparent to the role. She is immediately challenged by dark forces that want to reclaim their power through secrets the coven has guarded for centuries. While this conflict is boiling, Lilith must also deal with her family and her love conflicts.

Although I enjoyed The Midnight Witch, I didn’t enjoy it as much as Brackston’s first book. I loved that she toggled between POV of three main characters (Lilith, Bram and Sticklend). That choice in how the story was told allowed the reader to savor the slow introduction of information as characters presented themselves. The reader knows that the characters will somehow be connected, but it was a delicious wait to see how the pieces fit together.

Although Lilith may not have been a common name for someone of that time period, choosing that name as a nod to the “first witch” was very clever. I had a love-hate relationship with Lilith. She seemed nave, untrained and hypocritical. I like that she wanted to keep the coven current, but many of her choices seemed not only self-serving but completely out of line with what would have been hammered into her as the future leader of the coven.
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Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Uncompelling and Unlike Author's Other Work 26 Feb 2014
By Diana F. Von Behren - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As a reader of Paula Brackston's other novels--I would not say that I was exactly a fan, I found her newest offering, "The Midnight Witch" extremely disappointing. While Brackston's other "witch" books, specifically "The Witch's Daughter," and "The Winter Witch" engaged the reader from the very first page, "Midnight Witch" fails to compel the reader to even get passed the first page.

Brackston's work tends to be a bit predictable--in Winter Witch, the nemesis is guessed from pretty much the start--in Witch's Daughter, the story repeats itself as the witch in question constantly reinvents herself and creates a new life as the centuries march forward--forever keeping an eye on her very personal villain who trails her throughout the ages. Rather than fashion characters that envelop you intimately within their story, in Midnight Witch, Brackston decides to go for a "Downton Abbey" effect--capitalizing on the series popularity and trying too hard to play the manners game of the Victorian/Edwardian Era to recreate a London of appearances rather than dramatic substance.

Partly, the problem Brackston faces is presenting the motivation that keeps the reader turning the pages, rather than trying to figure out what exactly is going on based on the strict rules of her scenario. As the Lazarus Coven of witches--a high-bred society-influencing group has just "buried" their head, the former leader's daughter Lilith must take the reigns of control for which she has been bred. Of course, she is challenged--an enemy within the clandestine organization works against her. Nonetheless, she has what it takes even though she must keep in check her opium-smoking brother, battle demons and pass the tests of the other witches to prove her readiness.

Her romantic interest comes in the form of unassuming artist, Bram--who really doesn't know what he's in for as Lilith's specialty in the witch world is necromancy--she can talk to the dead--communing often with the shade of her deceased father.

All this sounds like the stuff of magic when it comes to plotline. The potential is there, but unfortunately it is all bogged down with glaring technical errors that actually make it a trial for the reader to get from one page to the next. Sadly, each chapter is not told from the perspective of one character--there can be many voices giving their third person impression of the timeline and the plot incidents. Not only is this disconcerting, but it punctuates the novel's failure to draw the reader in--opting instead for the stifling effect of standing apart--moving characters about on a veritable chessboard rather than allowing an instant affiliation and loyalty to grow between the reader and the main protagonist. The overall result is akin to a corset worn too tightly; as a reader, this reviewer did not have enough room to breath and comfortably acknowledge these fictional beings as likeable creatures. Even after reading over 100 pages, I still did not know what the main thrust of the novel was, and had absolutely no reason to find out. As a result, I did not feel compelled to finish this book and did not.

Brackston's former style of allowing the witch in question to act as the main focal point works much better; her other two novels, while not perfect are, indeed, far more readable.

Bottom line? Paula Brackston's "The Midnight Witch" gets lost in its own desire to recreate the turn of the twentieth century mindset as, perhaps, depicted by the mores and dialogue of Downton Abbey. Unfortunately, Brackston's stories of magic and self-discovery while battling nemesis forces and societal limitiationss have more success with a more intimate telling. Her frequent change of perspective within chapters adds to the sense of not knowing where the novel is going. Not recommended.
Diana Faillace Von Behren
"reneofc"
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Midnight Witch 2 Mar 2014
By Leeanna Chetsko - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was looking forward to reading THE MIDNIGHT WITCH. I’m always on the hunt for a good witch book and the summary sounded like I would get exactly that.

I gave the book 110 pages (to Chapter 9) before I gave up. I usually try to finish every book I start, but THE MIDNIGHT WITCH was just not the book for me. Here are the reasons why:

--In 110 pages, almost nothing happened. I was a third of the way through the book and still didn’t know when the story hinted at the summary would show up.

--The book switches between first and third person perspectives. Lilith’s passages are in first person, and then the parts from Bram and Stricklend are in third person. At the start of the book, Lilith is attending her father’s funeral, and we’re privy to her thoughts on the burdens she’s about to take up, as well as her grief. But within pages we’re introduced to Bram and Stricklend, and I had no clue why they were showing up so early.

--Along with perspective switching, the book is just too detailed for me. Now, I’m usually a reader who likes a ton of detail. I like to really imagine the world and characters I’m reading about. But when there are long paragraphs describing the exterior of an opium den or the dilapidated interior of an artist’s house, my eyes glaze over. I felt like the author was focusing on too much unimportant stuff, which is part of why I reached Chapter 9 without anything important happening.

--I also couldn’t get into the writing style. I felt like I was fighting my way through each page, wading through surplus details and lengthy inner monologues, trying to decide what was important. I can’t quote because I received an advance copy of the book, but I’d recommend reading an excerpt or sample of it first.

I tried to finish THE MIDNIGHT WITCH, I really did. I don’t like to give up on books, but when a book doesn’t hold my interest, well, there are lots of other books out there.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars DISAPPOINTED (2-STARS) 28 Feb 2014
By Anne - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've read the authors previous two novels, enjoyed them and very much and put her on my list of authors to watch for new releases because of this, but this latest work is a disappointment. All the reason that I did not enjoy this as I did the previous two have already been listed by my fellow Vine reviewer Diana F. Von Behren's and like another Vine reviewer, S. Beck, I too fought to finish this novel. The writing style makes it confusing, there are too many voices and for me it failed to convey the era in which the story is set.

In many cases, readers are disappointed in a new writer's sophomore work before they recover with their third offering. I know that this author can put out novels that I enjoy. I will await her next novel to see if she returns to the format that has worked well for her or one that is better than this.

2 STARS: ** Receiving this book through Amazon's Vine Program did not influence my rating or review of this book; all opinions are mine**.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Downton Era with Lady Witches 18 Feb 2014
By S. Dargin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Strong women, witches, magic, communing with the dead, and Downtown Abby - if this mixture is appealing, you’ll love this book. Lilith is a young witch and a Lady with a lady’s maid, servants, and a devoted father. Destiny’s role for her is to become a leader in her coven and in society. Personal tragedies and WWI create a tumultuous time for society and Lilith. The old ways are no longer working and she has an ancient enemy to deal with. Hemlines and titles are on the move. Lilith must create her own destiny and make choices that are not approved by all. Love is her guidepost. The time period is from 1913 to post WWI.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Still working my way through it... 28 Feb 2014
By daisymaebugbom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is my first book read by Paula Brackston. I requested this item as a Vine product and was very excited to have the chance to read this book prior to it's being released. If you read the description alone, the book sounds very engaging and unique. Stories involving witches have been extremely enjoyable to me as I get older. I also enjoy the size of the book (352 pages, a decent read) and the cover is very attractive.

What I liked about this book: The opening scene and her immediate description of the characters instantly engaged me and did strike up my curiosity about how this book was going to be played out. As I've continued to read the book, I also feel like the author is doing a decent job of combing a historical romance with a modern fantasy, as promised.

With that said---I am an avid and efficient reader (I understand big words...lol). Yet, I find myself having a hard time getting sucked into this book. I have officially had the book for 27 days and every time I start reading it....I find myself having to pause, go back and re-read sections because there are often times I think to myself...."wait, what did I just miss? What the heck did she just say"? I don't know....it just doesn't "flow" as easy as other books and I've found myself not finished with the book after 30 days. This usually does not happen because I know that I have to provide a review.

However, I will come back and update this review because I am enjoying the book enough to finish it and I want to give it a fair shake. I also am interested enough at this point to read her other books that have high reviews to see how they compare to this story line and flow.
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