In a market more than saturated with `my boyfriend is a vampire' novels, it's a breath of fresh air to read a story with real mystery, threat and intrigue. That just happens to have vampires. Okay, so a lot of the tropes are present - Gabriel is gorgeous and mysterious and slightly creepy - but whereas in many of these sorts of books the plot is essentially `when are they going to get together', By Midnight's story has a lot more depth.
There are some truly shocking turns of events, which leave you feeling that none of your favourite characters are safe - which is a good thing! I can't be bothered with these stories where no one dies, or so much as gets a hair out of place. Especially when they involve vampires, who are murderous killing machines, come on...
The characters were well developed, and even the more stereotypical ones had dimensions and depths that were waiting to be discovered beneath their vapid surfaces. April hit just the right balance of feisty but insecure and desirous of normality - a very endearing and relatable lead.
And the locations - haunting graveyards, dusty old bookshops, Ravenwood itself: each and every location was beautifully evoked. So real you could be there. And with location comes the ever present sense that someone's watching, keeping tabs on April, and not in the `cute stalker/overprotective boyfriend' sense of keeping tabs, either. There were more than a few moments that had the hairs on the back of my neck starting to stand up.
What's Not So Good
Well, there isn't really anything here we haven't seen a hundred times before, but as long as you don't mind that and haven't reach PR Vampire saturation point, By Midnight is a great read for a slightly creepy winter evening.