Thursday, April 25, 2013

Midnight Walking by Kathryn Chua

Lucy Pine is an average teenager: relatively good grades, close friends, parents and one brother (previously two). So when a crow smashes into her window one night, she regards it as a one-off kind of thing.

What she doesn't know is that the crow isn't a crow at all, but a being called Cyrus who has a nasty habit of picking off young girls and slowly draining them of their souls.

As Lucy is tangled further in Cyrus' web of manipulation and darkness, secrets from the past unravel, and her life is put in terrible danger...


I got mixed feelings about this book. I bought this solely on impulse and because the cover was pretty :3 I didn't know Kathryn Chua very well, and I am surprised to know that she's only 17 (or 18 this year). Wow, because this book got superb writing technicalities- for a teenager. I quite enjoyed her writing, besides she's still learning, so why not a few encouragement?

I get the feeling that this was a sort of satire to the whole vampire/werewolf theme going rampant in YA books nowadays, as the only character that readers could identify as the hot, mysterious supernatural boy-creature here was incredibly and unashamedly evil. I'm not sure if the sometimes funny Cyrus was supposed to mean anything, but maybe Miss Kathryn just wanna show that just because a guy is extremely good looking and sometimes funny, doesn't mean you should ignore everything wrong about him. On Miss Kathryn's strict account to show how true this was, I take my hats off. Finally, someone who is not going to romanticize an abusive prick. 

But the characters were having serious underdeveloped issue. Lucy and Cyrus was fine though. I also felt the interaction a bit stiff, and there was no chemistry between Lucy and Maria and Desmond, despite the three of them being good friends. I also think it was a bit rushed. One moment the author explained how Desmond was Lucy's bestest friend, and the next second they were fighting and spent most of their time not talking to one another. Maria was Lucy's friend at a few pages and the next they were not talking to one another until almost at the end. And the conflict was shown through the author's use of each characters' intense monologue about their internal problems with life in general. I think Miss Kathryn should give some time for readers to warm up to the genuine friendship shared by these three so that the impact when they fell into conflict would be powerful. But all I felt when they were angsting was 'meh'. And this is the same with Lucy's relationship with her family.

Despite not being a fan of third person POV, I thought this method worked very well here. It was very easy to follow through the story without losing focus of who was talking or from which character we were told of the story. I think it was good for Miss Kathryn to lessen the shift of focus from one character to another in a single scene, focusing instead of each character in different timeline and parts of story. But still, it would have been nice if the story about Cyrus and the characters were developed more especially in terms of relationship since this book was supposed to be heavy of it. 

Despite the flaws, I still enjoyed this book very much and would recommend it highly to young readers. There is certainly lots of room for improvement, but Ms Kathryn got a lot of potential so I'm rooting for her. And I've read in an interview with Ms Kathryn that this book is part of a trilogy. Yay!

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