Friday, October 6, 2017

The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz - ADVISABLE

Katz, Nikki The Midnight Dance, 320 pages.  Swoon Reads, 2017.  $18.  Language: G (3 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: PG (innuendos only); Violence: PG (some blood and fighting).

Penny loves the dance.  She works so hard at her boarding school to excel and be the prim ballerina for the Master’s midnight dance in front of the important people.  Cricket is the waiter, a part of the furniture of the boarding school, despite how handsome he is.  Then Penny’s memories start changing.  Does she really love to dance?  And she hears an odd conversation between Master and her Grandfather, who works on the estate.  And then a touch from Cricket causes even more strange memories to surface.  What is this place?  Who is Master and what does he want from Penny and the other girls?  Is there any possible way she can escape? Something is very wrong all around Penny and only if she is bold and trusting does she have a chance to regain her real self and perhaps save the others.

While I see the need for a little bit of backstory in Katz’s take on the Phantom of the Opera, this is not quite enough to build a strong purpose for the Master’s cruelty and manipulations.  Penny’s story is thankfully the star here and is intriguing enough to compensate for the backstory’s weaknesses.  And the cover is brilliant!  It is sure to beguile enough readers to pick this up.

MS, HS – ADVISABLE.  Cindy, Library Teacher

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