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The Midnight Side (Book) Review

 
The Midnight Side Book Cover
The Midnight Side Book Cover
The Midnight Side Book Cover

 
At a Glance...
 

Page Count: 254
 
Genre: , , , ,
 
Author:
 
Year Published:
 
Final Score
 
 
 
 
 
4/ 5


User Rating
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We liked?


  • Unexpectedly kept me interested
  • A peek into African mysticism and folklore of South Africa
  • Unpredictable & unexpected emotions of characters
  • Plot twist

Not so much?


  • Flashbacks to give background and seemingly awkward times
  • A lot of focus on the scientific aspects of the supernatural; felt too forced
  • Each chapter began with a poetic prose; unless you're into poetic analysis or appreciation, it seemed ostentatious


Final Fiendish Findings?

If you read the story just to enjoy and not to criticize or analyze, it’s a good mystery. To invite an author into your world, to give them the opportunity to entertain you and allow for personal introspection means they’ve done something right. The Midnight Side, by Natasha Mostert, in it’s essence truly is “a haunting story of obsession and revenge.”

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Posted March 2, 2014 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

Phone calls from beyond the grave, psychological manipulation, moral dilemmas and familial obligation. How far is too far? Would you be willing to destroy a man’s life if it were requested of you?

Originally published in 2000 in London, the rights to the The Midnight Side finally reverted back to Natasha Mostert. With a few re-edits she re-released her debut thriller in digital format. Growing up in South Africa, Natasha pulls from her interest in mysticism, rooted from her Zulu nanny who introduced her to African mysticism and legends. Rather than create a supernatural tale that involves a ghostly apparition, she instead created a more psychological thriller involving lucid dreaming.

Isabelle DeWitt, architect and decorator located in South Africa, receives an early morning phone call from her cousin, Alette Temple, a London-based psychic to the elite. Unbeknownst to Isa, Alette had passed away two days earlier. Alettte bequests everything to Isa, who has to fly to London, due to an unusual clause in the will. She learns that once a week, for three weeks, she is to receive a manila envelope. The contents of each envelope is handwritten by Alette, with specific explanations and instructions as to why she wishes the systematic destruction of her ex-husband, Justin Temple. Alette details how her now ex-husband destroyed their marriage and her self confidence. She sets tone and background for the request that Isa, more like a sister to her than a cousin, wreak havoc and avenge the stress and anxiety he caused Alette. Top it off with a good dose of guilt and Isa is left with no choice but to accept. Isa finds herself submerged into Alette’s life; she is staying in Alette’s home, meets with Alette’s ex-husband and befriends Alette’s neighbor, Michael Chapman. Isa is dealing with personal insecurity, in addition to mourning the loss of not only her cousin but also her significant other, who was a product of an adulterous affair on his part, which doesn’t allow for public mourning. The story weaves through various relationships and characters that builds into a mostly-expected climax. The balance shifts on the final descent, with unexpected emotional consequences, which makes for a bit of intrigue.

While reading the book I found myself trying to put the characters into certain categories, more of a “who done it” to see if I was right; once I realized I needed to just read the story to enjoy, I was more than half way through the book. For me, the story lacked consistency in tone and character development: was it a thriller, was it supernatural? Stories genres don’t need to be put into exact little boxes but determining something is a crossover doesn’t mean carte blanche for character development or plot development, either. I found the book was too detailed in the scientific aspect of needing to provide credence to supernatural occurrences such as lucid dreaming; I also couldn’t place the author’s profound need to explain why Alette was so fascinated with mysticism, especially in their youth. While both were a courtesy with plot and character development, the length and reiteration were over the top. There was a focus on Alette’s fancifulness, in both her wardrobe and home, which in itself was fanciful and pretentious. There is too much of a good thing and sometimes that thing comes across as trying too hard.

Despite my mechanical criticism, I did enjoy the story. If you read the story just to enjoy and not to criticize or analyze, it’s a good mystery. To invite an author into your world, to give them the opportunity to entertain you and allow for personal introspection means they’ve done something right. The Midnight Side, by Natasha Mostert, in it’s essence truly is “a haunting story of obsession and revenge.”


Hanna

 
I grew up the lone girl a then-considered nerdy household, which involved Atari, Super NES and PC Gaming. I love all things pop culture, including the geekier realm of Star Wars, Science Fiction and yes, all things vampires. I found my love match with @TroyBenedict and I'm now a Haus Frau and mother of three boys, all of whom find MineCraft to be a gift from the Gods. I'm the Community Manager of the team - for a good times follow us on Twitter at @GamesFiends.com, on our Facebook & Google+ Pages as well as Pinterest and YouTube,