MIDNIGHT AT THE ELECTRIC
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Genre: YA, Historical, Sci-Fi, Romance
Pub Date: June 13, 2017
Divided by time. Ignited by a spark.
Kansas, 2065. Adri has secured a slot as a Colonist—one of the lucky few handpicked to live on Mars. But weeks before launch, she discovers the journal of a girl who lived in her house over a hundred years ago, and is immediately drawn into the mystery surrounding her fate. While Adri knows she must focus on the mission ahead, she becomes captivated by a life that’s been lost in time…and how it might be inextricably tied to her own.
Oklahoma, 1934. Amidst the fear and uncertainty of the Dust Bowl, Catherine fantasizes about her family’s farmhand, and longs for the immortality promised by a professor at a traveling show called the Electric. But as her family’s situation becomes more dire—and the suffocating dust threatens her sister’s life—Catherine must find the courage to sacrifice everything she loves in order to save the one person she loves most.
England, 1919. In the recovery following the First World War, Lenore struggles with her grief for her brother, a fallen British soldier, and plans to sail to America in pursuit of a childhood friend. But even if she makes it that far, will her friend be the person she remembers, and the one who can bring her back to herself?
While their stories spans thousands of miles and multiple generations, Lenore, Catherine, and Adri’s fates are entwined.
Full disclosure: I was first drawn to this book because I thought it could be used as a comp title for one of my manuscripts due to the 3 separate timelines. I haven’t seen any other book do something like this, so I was really excited (and hopeful!) to see how to author pulled it off.
I’m happy to report this was a quick, easy read that was enjoyable.
With three separate timelines, you might think there would be a lot to handle, but I didn’t think so. All of the timelines were unique, and the overlap wasn’t completely clear until the end. All of the stories were so different too; one timeline dealt with a character going to Mars on a mission, another was about the dust bowl, and another was 1919 England. If I had to choose a favorite, I would probably choose the dust bowl timeline, but I think there’s something to love within every story.
I was also worried it might be a bit overwhelming with so many characters, but it didn’t feel like that. There are 3 main characters: Adri (girl going to Mars), Catherine (girl in the dust bowl) and Lenore (girl in 1919 England). I was pleasantly surprised by how distinct their voices were, and I thought they were all well developed.
Plot wise, if anything, I thought the beginning was a little slow, but I think the story made up for that by making everything so *interesting*. I mean, a girl potentially going to a be a colonist on Mars? Um, that’s AWESOME (and totally never something I could do, but). After Adri’s first part, I thought the book picked up the pace and keep me interested all the way until the end. The book is only around 250 pages, so I flew through it in a day because I was so desperate to figure out the ending to all of the timelines!
It was also cool how they were all told differently Adri was straight up 3rd person POV, whereas Catherine and Lenore’s parts were told through letters that Adri found. I thought that kept things interesting and also added to the historical tone.
Yes, there was romance! Not for Adri, but for Catherine, and a little bit for Lenore. I was pretty invested in Catherine’s romance (okay, a lot–I have no idea why I shipped these 2 characters so badly, but I completely fell for them) and the relationship between Lenore and a soldier was so cute. It wasn’t necessarily a romantic relationship, but I think I loved it all the much more because of it.
The only reason I’m not giving this 5 stars is because I wanted a bit more from all of the stories. This book was so short! I also wish Adri’s parts could have had a bit more plot because it felt like she was too immersed in Catherine and Lenore’s stories to have her own conflict and goals, other than going to Mars that is. However, what was there was good!
Overall, Midnight at the Electric was a quick and unique read. With 3 different worlds to fall in love with and characters to root for, my only complaint is that I wish there was more. If you’re looking for a unique fantasy with a lot of heart, try this book.