The Midnight Club
Author: Christopher Pike
Rated P for paranormal pacts with the dying.
Tonight is the start of the endless night.
At the midnight hour in Rotterdam Home, a hospice for teens with terminal illnesses, a group gathers to tell their stories. Fiction, not, nobody knows. This is the Midnight Club.
There are only two rules. One, if you come to the table you have to tell a story. And two, well, it’s not a rule, but a pact really. The first of them to die must try to contact the group from the great beyond.
This has been tucked away in my book mountain for a while. When I heard about a show coming out I decided it was time to dig it out. Christopher pike sits right alongside Lois Duncan. Each carries an air of chills with a classic vibe of spine-tingling. The tale around the campfire that isn’t just for spooks but is meaningful.
Speaking of spooks, this didn’t have any. While I was left with a sense of depression with what these characters were going through, there was also a layer of discomfort. You know what’s coming at the end of the book. Each of them will die. I figured these pages would be filled with something haunting and scary about how they would die. Instead, this was morose. However, if something did have to be scary about this, it would be the impending death of each character and not being sure when it would come.
Each character stood so strong and independent, albeit with their own quirks that made them goofy at times. It’s something I really liked about the book. Though unrealistic, it was more than just horror-trying to be horror anyway. The multiple layers each character offered is what kept me invested. An Urban Legend meets American Horror Story type.
Okay, so no ghosts. Still, there was a mild fingerprint of the supernatural left on this story from the proposal of soulmates and past lives. With each tale told by the characters, they began to believe that it was more than death that brought them together. Ilonka and Kevin were a particular focus point. I found their interwoven tales and lives so beautifully tragic. Anya was incredibly strong though she would sadly hide her vulnerability behind self-sabotage. Spence wrangled with intense shame and anger for himself. Each of their stories delved into who they were with surprising depth.
Outside of the library where the Midnight Club shared their tales, there wasn’t much of a world build. I couldn’t really conjure up much outside the bench on the cliffside. The setting wasn’t of the utmost importance since the majority of the book took place inside each character’s story. Because of that, I did end up skimming from story to story until the end because it was so less interesting outside those stories. Unfortunate, that was the case for me.
Not bad. Definitely poignant. However, I found the character journeys more morose than paranormal. I expected a spookfest, even if it was a light one, and didn’t get that at all. What I got was a gentle and tragic tale of death and rebirth and that was okay. Enlightening and heartfelt.
I was pretty bummed when the series on Netflix was canceled. One more part and the series would’ve been able to close easily.
“Dead people have no religion.” (Anya, p. 4)
“There’s being sick in the body, and there’s being sick in the soul.” (Anya, p. 94)
“You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip.” (Spence, p. 191)
More to come soon…
Song Today? Broken by Lifehouse.
Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!
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