Title: The Midnight Curse
Author: LM Falcone
Publisher: KCP Fiction
Reading Level – 9+
May Contain Spoilers
This is one of those books that proves that you can’t judge a book by the cover. While the cover is dark and mysterious, it didn’t really grab my attention or scream “Read me!” I initially picked it up to flip through the pages, something I find myself doing with all of the new books I receive. Maybe it’s to see if there is any magic lingering on the pages or to smell the tang of paper and ink – I don’t know why I do it. All I know is that once I opened this book, I couldn’t put it down.
This is a very fun, slightly creepy romp as Lacey tries to save her brother from a curse that has been passed on to him by their Uncle Jonathan. Uncle Jonathan betrayed his best friend Robert, and in retaliation, Robert cursed Jonathan to a life of misery. He has spent every day since sleeping in water, because he will shrivel up and die if he is not submerged in H2O by midnight. After Jonathan dies, Lacey and Charlie travel to England with their mother for the reading of the will, and once there, a ghost gives Lacey a present to give to Charlie. It turns out to contain the curse, and now Lacey is frantic to discover a way to save her brother from becoming a dried out husk.
The characters were so much fun! I guess it’s not every day that you discover you are cursed, and Charlie is having a few problems accepting his watery bed chamber. He also isn’t the bravest guy in the world, and it is Lacey who has to swallow her fear and try to keep a level head during the entire frightening episode. Mrs Rothbottom, the nutty lady who tries to help them, also gives the book a lot of personality. You don’t know for sure whether or not she’s a quack, but she sure talks up a good game.
Though I thought the resolution was too easily won, The Midnight Curse is a rollicking adventure, and the action doesn’t let up for a minute. It’s a very quick read, and narrative is sprinkled with a delightful blend of humor and creepiness. Lacey is given an opportunity to show her mettle, and her commentary throughout the story is fresh and engaging.
Review copy provided by publisher