The Midnight Dance
When the music stops, the dance begins.Seventeen-year-old Penny is a lead dancer at the Grande Teatro, a finishing school where she and eleven other young women are training to become the finest ballerinas in Italy. Tucked deep into the woods, the school is overseen by the mysterious and handsome young Master who keeps the girls ensconced in the estate – and in the only life Penny has never known.But when flashes of memories, memories of a life very different from the one she thinks she’s been leading, start to appear, Penny begins to question the Grand Teatro and the motivations of the Master. With a kind and attractive kitchen boy, Cricket, at her side, Penny vows to escape the confines of her school and the strict rules that dictate every step she takes. But at every turn, the Master finds a way to stop her, and Penny must find a way to escape the school and uncover the secrets of her past before it’s too late.

The Midnight Dance Details

TitleThe Midnight Dance
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 17th, 2017
PublisherSwoon Reads
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary

The Midnight Dance Review

  • Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars! I'm... not quite sure how to feel. On one hand, the writing was absolutely lovely, but I think the story was a bit of a miss for me personally, though that might be due to personal preferences! But let me say this first- this would make an incredible film! Can someone please make this into a movie? Thanksssss.Penny is one of many dancers held up in the Master's estate. At the beginning, she starts to realize her memories are off-kilter and something is very wrong. Despite being drawn 3.5 stars! I'm... not quite sure how to feel. On one hand, the writing was absolutely lovely, but I think the story was a bit of a miss for me personally, though that might be due to personal preferences! But let me say this first- this would make an incredible film! Can someone please make this into a movie? Thanksssss.Penny is one of many dancers held up in the Master's estate. At the beginning, she starts to realize her memories are off-kilter and something is very wrong. Despite being drawn to the (very handsome) Master (the owner of the estate), Penny discovers he's doing something to manipulate all the girls. (Sounds cool right?)I was super into the first few chapters. The plot takes no time to dive you in deep, and I was totally into the whole Master concept. So much in fact, that I think it set my hopes too high for the end. I was expecting some majorly cool plot twists and while there were a few small ones, nothing really caught me off guard. So that's probably my fault-my expectation levels with the whole mystery thing were sky high, so I was sad when there were no big surprises. I DID like the few small ones though. I also felt like there were a few loopholes, but it could be that I missed some important details. (Let's be honest, that was probably my fault.)The concept was strong, but the characterization fell a bit flat for me. The focus was much more on the present circumstances and mystery vs the character's pasts or personalities, so I had a difficult time connecting to anyone, especially at the beginning. I get it, everything was supposed to be a mystery, but since the mystery aspect didn't have many surprises, I just had a hard time with it. The Master totally had 'Darkling' vibes, and I LOVED that bit, but he kinda disappointed me in the end. It was cool that we saw bits of his story in the past but it didn't feel like strong enough motivation for him to become who he was. I'm SUPER particular about my villains though, so I doubt anyone else will feel the same.Now I know that all sounds a bit negative, but trust me, those are all personal opinions that I doubt others will share. This book had MANY redeeming qualities. For instance, the setting was SO COOL and the writing (which I mentioned earlier) was absolutely lovely. While the mystery aspect was a bit of a letdown for me personally, the story was still really cool and I really enjoyed several bits. I would definitely read another book by Nikki because she's an extremely talented author. So all in all, If you're in the mood for a mystery/semi-thriller with hints of romance, check out this book! Also, a special thanks to Joshua for buddy reading this with me! You were spot on with your theories ;) Check out Joshua's review HEREMy Blog ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Etsy
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  • Joshua Gabriel (Ever Bookish Josh)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you, Macmillan, for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.She shouldn't miss the touch of this man who had done such despicable things, a man who forced people to serve under his control. After giving meh ratings to two Swoon Reads titles (Just Friends and Kissing Max Holden), I was a little hesitant to read this book. However, as usual, the cover was so attractive that I just had to go beyond the title and copyright pages. Thankfully, I did not regret my decision Thank you, Macmillan, for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.She shouldn't miss the touch of this man who had done such despicable things, a man who forced people to serve under his control. After giving meh ratings to two Swoon Reads titles (Just Friends and Kissing Max Holden), I was a little hesitant to read this book. However, as usual, the cover was so attractive that I just had to go beyond the title and copyright pages. Thankfully, I did not regret my decision.Before you proceed, be warned that this book isn't a typical YA contemporary novel. It is actually a mild psychological thriller about twelve ballerinas who live in an isolated finishing school owned by a dashing man named Master. Penny, the heroine, is strangely Master's favorite student. She feels intoxicated in his presence, but a voice in the back of her mind tells her to stay away from him. When Master's secrets are divulged by the gradual resurfacing of Penny's lost memories, the Grand Teatro becomes less like a finishing school and more like a creepy dollhouse.Those of you who are familiar with my reading tastes probably know that I rarely read thrillers. I don't necessarily dislike them; I just don't gravitate towards them like I do to fantasy or sci-fi novels. With that in mind, reading The Midnight Dance was somehow a refreshing experience. Even though it wasn't so scary, Master's psychopathic behavior triggered a sour taste in my mouth. The things he did to Penny and the other ballerinas were twisted as heck. I often feared for Penny's safety (and sanity), and I was overwhelmed by the desire to know how and why Master became so...incongruous. He was gorgeous on the outside yet malevolent on the inside. If you've read Shadow and Bone, you might compare Master to the ever mysterious Darkling.Since this book was published by Swoon Reads, I was delightfully surprised that romance wasn't the highlight of the story. There were no too cheesy scenes nor an abundance of instalove. Penny and Cricket's relationship did add a touch of sweetness and intrigue, but I liked that the author was more focused on telling about their attempts to escape from Master's clutches. In this regard, The Midnight Dance is a rare gem among other Swoon Reads titles.Penny was the most significant catalyst behind my 4-star rating. She was an empowered female in light of her constant craving for the truth. In fact, her mind was so strong that Master couldn't control it completely. If Penny were thrown into a dystopian world, she would get along with Cassia Reyes (Matched) or America Singer (The Selection), heroines who always take something with a grain of salt.My main problem with this book was it's rationale for Master's mental condition. I simply couldn't accept that he became a control freak because of his Cinderella-like childhood. Also, I didn't fully understand Master's supposedly scientific process of mind control. The latter ideas were very promising, but their execution was unsatisfactory. Hence, by the end of the book, my mind was still shrouded in a mist of confusion.Nonetheless, I had fun reading The Midnight Dance. I recommend it to booknerds searching for a moderately thrilling book to read this fall. Since I still have some unanswered questions, I hope that a sequel is in the works.P.S. I read this book with the smart and pretty Brittney (Her Bookish Things). You can check out her review here.
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  • ⚔ Silvia ⚓ (semi-hiatus)
    January 1, 1970
    With this I fully admit that I do sometimes judge books by their covers and I allow anyone who reads this to use it against me.With that said.hAVE YOU SEEN THAT COVER JFC.Also it's set in Italy AND in a theater so idk sign me up, will you?
  • Fafa's Book Corner
    January 1, 1970
    Mini review:DNFI read part of this book on Swoon Reads.This book is just not for me. It seems to be a bit of thriller. Which is a genre I avoid.Still recommend.
  • Alyssa
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars. I loved this!***Review to come***
  • A.V. Geiger
    January 1, 1970
    This book kept me up past 2:00 am. I couldn't stop reading... Not until I understood all the weirdness going on at this bizarre-o boarding school for ballerinas. Creepy, twisty, and oh-so-deliciously DARK.
  • brooklynnnne
    January 1, 1970
    This book is coming out at the perfect time! The release date is October 17 and this book will give you all the Halloween feels that you want to be having during the month of October. This book is very mysterious and a pseudo thriller that had me on the edge of my seat throughout.In all honesty, the first few chapters were my favourite. It was the hook of this novel. The whole mysterious concept of this Master and his unknown control over these girls was introduced and it had me fascinated. Plus This book is coming out at the perfect time! The release date is October 17 and this book will give you all the Halloween feels that you want to be having during the month of October. This book is very mysterious and a pseudo thriller that had me on the edge of my seat throughout.In all honesty, the first few chapters were my favourite. It was the hook of this novel. The whole mysterious concept of this Master and his unknown control over these girls was introduced and it had me fascinated. Plus, in the beginning, I really didn't have any idea whether the Master was a good or bad character. Throughout the novel there were slow moments but that original suspense and intrigue kept me reading. I found that I liked the style of the author's writing as well with all of the details she included as how she included the past of the Master to help explain how he became who he was. The romance in this novel wasn't necessairily a component that I loved but at the same time, I think it was fair because this book isn't being advertised as a romance. It probably would have irritated me if the main character was solely focused on a love interest when there was so much else going on to deal with. I also really enjoyed the ending. I felt like it provided closure and answered all of my unanswered questions that I had throughout the novel. Also, I don't know if others felt this way but for me the ending left off with a little bit of mystery. I don't want to spoil anything and will keep this vague but....is that character really gone? We don't really know aside from making assumptions. Definitely a little bit of mystery there and I liked it!I would recommend this book. It's a quick and hard to put down read. Maybe not my favourite thriller but it definitely had some unique concepts and it kept me entertained. Definitely a great debut novel for this author and I hope to read more from her in the future!**Thank you to Raincoast Books for supplying me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review**
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    DNF at 70%I received an early copy of this through NetGalleyI just couldn't get into this... I don't think this had very much to do with the book itself, but rather the reading mood I've been in for the past month.
  • alice (arctic books)
    January 1, 1970
    I think I might continue this at a later date. The first few chapters didn't entice me enough to keep reading but I hear a few good things about this novel. I might come back to this in the future, but as of right now, I'm putting this one down.
  • Demetra
    January 1, 1970
    I was fortunate enough to read an advanced copy of this book as one of the author's critique partners, as well as some revised versions and she goes through the editorial process, and I can honestly say I can't wait for this novel to be out in print in 2017.
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  • Pamela
    January 1, 1970
    Phew.  Ok, that was a tough read, and boy am I glad it’s over!  I really can’t think of many more ways that The Midnight Dance could have let me down.It’s only 320 pages long and took me a month to read, and I’ve got to admit, from the 40% mark I was skimming it.  The lingering question I was left with was ultimately, why?  I don’t understand why anything in this book happened?  And I must warn you, that if you proceed to read from here there will be spoilers.***Ok, let us proceed.The setting of Phew.  Ok, that was a tough read, and boy am I glad it’s over!  I really can’t think of many more ways that The Midnight Dance could have let me down.It’s only 320 pages long and took me a month to read, and I’ve got to admit, from the 40% mark I was skimming it.  The lingering question I was left with was ultimately, why?  I don’t understand why anything in this book happened?  And I must warn you, that if you proceed to read from here there will be spoilers.***Ok, let us proceed.The setting of Nikki Katz’s The Midnight Dance is a manor house where a whole lot of girls live and learn ballet.  This brings us to our first why.Why Ballet?  Ballet is totally pointless to the narrative.  The girls could have been in a regular boarding school, a work house, a brothel, the International Space Station; the narrative would have been exactly the same.  I got the feeling that Katz just liked the idea (and has probably seen Coppélia a few times) and thought it would be a cool plot device.  But it ultimately serves no purpose.Why is the Master trying to control people’s minds?  No seriously, I have no idea.  Maybe it’s because I skim read it, but I really am not sure what the villain’s motivations were other than Penny was a special snowflake and he was totally in love, (which again, why?).  There was an intro about a boy with a missing leg who grows up to be the master but because he was teased by his sister, he wants revenge, gets a robotic prosthetic, and experiments with mind control on a whole bunch of young girls who are ballet students.  Confused?  Yeah, me too. But seriously, why?Penny (our protagonist) has a grandfather, who’s not her grandfather, who wants to help her (but not the other girls, because they are obviously not as special as special, special Penny), but is also the medical mastermind behind all these experiments in the first place.  But why?  For the love of God and all that is holy, why, why, WHY??  There is no plausible reason given for his agreement to carry out the experiments to begin with.  He can apparently create artificial limbs and perform medical miracles unknown at the time, but instead of doing something useful he lives in a cottage by a manor house for ballerinas catering to the whim of a madman who has no good reason to want to control the minds of all these girls in the first place.God, this plot was just such a hot mess of different ideas that just went nowhere.  The narrative was batshit crazy from the start, so there were no surprises anywhere along the way.  Nothing that happened was shocking.  There was a bit of a romance that was just ‘meh’, an attempt at a love triangle that was just a bit gross and creepy, a lot of other characters who I forgot almost as soon as they graced the page or who appeared for the first time a few minutes before they were conveniently needed, and loads of Italicised Italian thrown in just to prove that the book was, in fact, set in Italy.  If there hadn’t been a date at the beginning of each chapter to tell me when it was set I wouldn’t have had any idea.  The way the characters spoke wasn’t believable, the setting didn’t give a sense of time, or place, and where the plot device was discussed it was, in fact, historically wrong.  (Ballet dancers used to be stocky and muscular, and pointe shoes at the time that this was set were not used for long periods as they were nothing more than regular satin shoes with some extra darning reinforcement at the toe and sides for the sake of occasional balances rather than prolonged dancing).The Midnight Dance was just a really mediocre read with a less than mediocre story.  The plot was nonsensical and the characters forgettable.  Do yourself a favour.  Read something else.  But hey, at least the cover is great.Read this review and more at I Blame Wizards.
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  • Katy Alice
    January 1, 1970
    This book has a beautiful cover.That is a where the positives end. The plot is bonkers, the pacing is ridiculous and the characters are so flat and uninteresting. It's full of dated YA tropes and is completely predictable. It's supposedly set in 19th century Italy but besides some occasional italicized Italian words there is no discernible sense of time or place.But perhaps its greatest sin is that it has potential that it almost willfully avoids.I cannot in good conscience recommend this book t This book has a beautiful cover.That is a where the positives end. The plot is bonkers, the pacing is ridiculous and the characters are so flat and uninteresting. It's full of dated YA tropes and is completely predictable. It's supposedly set in 19th century Italy but besides some occasional italicized Italian words there is no discernible sense of time or place.But perhaps its greatest sin is that it has potential that it almost willfully avoids.I cannot in good conscience recommend this book to anyone.I received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • fifi
    January 1, 1970
    Woohoo! My first ever ARC! When the music stops, the dance begins.Seventeen-year-old Penny is a lead dancer at the Grande Teatro, a finishing school where she and eleven other young women are training to become the finest ballerinas in Italy. Tucked deep into the woods, the school is overseen by the mysterious and handsome young Master who keeps the girls ensconced in the estate – and in the only life Penny has never known.But when flashes of memories, memories of a life very different from the Woohoo! My first ever ARC! When the music stops, the dance begins.Seventeen-year-old Penny is a lead dancer at the Grande Teatro, a finishing school where she and eleven other young women are training to become the finest ballerinas in Italy. Tucked deep into the woods, the school is overseen by the mysterious and handsome young Master who keeps the girls ensconced in the estate – and in the only life Penny has never known.But when flashes of memories, memories of a life very different from the one she thinks she’s been leading, start to appear, Penny begins to question the Grand Teatro and the motivations of the Master. With a kind and attractive kitchen boy, Cricket, at her side, Penny vows to escape the confines of her school and the strict rules that dictate every step she takes. But at every turn, the Master finds a way to stop her, and Penny must find a way to escape the school and uncover the secrets of her past before it’s too late. I won't lie - as ingenious as the plot for The Midnight Dance was, I got a bit confused at times. Even now, I'm only 95% sure of what was going on! Nevertheless, I from only reading this I would have guessed Nikki Katz was a seasoned author - but I think that this is her first novel!The writing style is effortless; simple and easy to read, yet managing to convey a rich, gorgeous backdrop. I also love the Italian setting - although some phrases were a little indiscernible, it made for a beautiful, historical feel to the story.Can we just take a moment to acknowledge that Cricket is just... aaah. He's now my favourite male character (next to Richard Gansey III). Cricket is so kind, caring, compassionate... not to mention how well he treats Penny! No lust, all love <3I liked Penny, I suppose. Yet although there was so much depth to her, it felt like she was a bit... flat. As for the rest of the characters - Alidoro was so cute (in the six-year-old kind of way), Master was weird, and the other girls seemed lovely.Penny, Cricket and Master are the only characters with any depth. And Beppe! So they were all fun to read about :) A rich, dark and unusual story, set against the beautiful backdrop of historical Italy. The characters are all steeped in mystery, and nothing is what it seems. The writing will draw you in, and leave you wanting more of this gorgeous tale. The Midnight Dance is definitely a book I'd try to read again. I feel it's something you actually should reread, just to gain a bit more understanding of the story. but all in all, I would definitely recommend it!Also, that cover -[image error] Author | Social Media Consultant Editor | Freelance Writer | Blogger | Rocket Scientist | Reality TV Addict | Avid Book Reader | Social Media Nut ... Not necessarily in that order :)Aerospace engineer turned freelance writer turned nonfiction author turned YA author! Debut novel, The Midnight Dance, coming October 2017 from Swoon Reads/Macmillan. I was provided with a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.I hope you enjoyed reading my review! Make sure to check out Nikki Katz's book The Midnight Dance, coming October 17th and being published by Swoon Reads.Make sure to share this to support Nikki! Have a beautiful day <3
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  • Kayla (Kdrewkthebookworm)
    January 1, 1970
    When I was requesting ARCs from Indigo's weekly newsletter, The Midnight Dance caught my eye right away. It just seemed like the type of book I'd devour, being about dance and mysteries. Unfortunately, it did not meet my expectations, thus leaving me quite disappointed.For a short summary, this book revolves around Penny, a ballerina whose goal is to become one of the most successful dancers in her home country of Italy. She has been stuck inside her prestigious dance school for basically her en When I was requesting ARCs from Indigo's weekly newsletter, The Midnight Dance caught my eye right away. It just seemed like the type of book I'd devour, being about dance and mysteries. Unfortunately, it did not meet my expectations, thus leaving me quite disappointed.For a short summary, this book revolves around Penny, a ballerina whose goal is to become one of the most successful dancers in her home country of Italy. She has been stuck inside her prestigious dance school for basically her entire life, being closely watched over by the Master. But suddenly, Penny starts remembering things that she shouldn't. Things that could change her entire life. So, with the help of love interest Cricket, she makes plans to escape her school and discover the truth, hoping to slide right by the Master.Penny was a wise and strong character whose actions I enjoyed in the moment while reading, but once I shut the book, my memories of her went flooding away. I found that she didn't really stand out in the sea of YA protagonists- rather, she fit in. The Master and Cricket are the only other two characters I can recall upon my writing of this review, but still, all I can remember about them are flirting and kisses with Penny.The premise of this story was definitely interesting, but I'm not sure if it really followed through. To me, the plot was just thrown all over the place with random characters and events coming in and out of the story, and in short, I couldn't keep track of anything! I was also quite bored by a large portion of this book and wanted to dose off to sleep. And what the heck was that ending?!I must say, though, that the writing style of this book was amazing! It was very lyrical and unique, and if there's anything to remember about this book in a year, it is the writing for sure.All in all, The Midnight Dance was a mediocre read, and I was not blown away by it in any way. I think it was a little more paranormal and thriller-y than what I was expecting, and it took me a while to get used to that kind of atmosphere. I'd recommend this book to those wanting an interesting paranormal story with a unique premise and beautiful writing style- but don't expect to be wowed any more than that.*I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review.*
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  • Megan Lyons
    January 1, 1970
    1 1/2 stars I was really disappointed by this. I think the book did have some potential. Perhaps if the author had started with the fairly normal day to day runnings of the dance school, and had built up the general sense of wrongness more slowly, it may have been creepy and atmospheric. Instead, the author gave away too much, too early on, missing out on the chance to make use of a gothic atmosphere and build suspense. All the characters kept doing idiotic things. The protagonist would talk abo 1 1/2 stars I was really disappointed by this. I think the book did have some potential. Perhaps if the author had started with the fairly normal day to day runnings of the dance school, and had built up the general sense of wrongness more slowly, it may have been creepy and atmospheric. Instead, the author gave away too much, too early on, missing out on the chance to make use of a gothic atmosphere and build suspense. All the characters kept doing idiotic things. The protagonist would talk about how she had to pretend she had not idea what was going on, and act normal, then would immediately do something illogical, obvious and reckless. She should have been caught almost instantly, but the villainous Master, acted just as brainlessly as her. All the characters’ actions were illogical and existed only to move the plot along. There was very little ballet in the book, which disappointed me a bit. And the romance drove me crazy. It was repetitive, forced and filled with tired phrases. We were told about Cricket’s familiar cinnamon scent dozens of times throughout the book (I was ready to throw the book across the room if I had to read that phrase one more time) and the protagonist was constantly shivering and feeling thrills whenever she was grazed by either Cricket or the Master. The writing was just not sophisticated. I am likely a little more critical than a lot of readers will be, and mystery/suspense isn’t one of my favourite genres in general, so I am probably not the ideal audience. However, I do like a good gothic novel on occasion, and I used to be a dancer, so I was intrigued by the setting of a dance school. However, although the cover is gorgeous, and the premise sounded interesting, this just wasn't for me.*I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Indigo Books and Music in exchange for an honest review*
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  • Allyson
    January 1, 1970
    Historical fiction, in and of itself, can be a beautiful thing. Historical fiction melded with science fiction can be stunning. (Please see the genre of steampunk.) Done well, and the story will sweep you away. Done badly, with unstable context, two-dimensional characters, and an arbitrary setting, and the reader's patience won't last beyond the first few chapters. I have saved the reader a whole lot of time by finishing the entire story so they won't have to. Weak depictions of a famous Europea Historical fiction, in and of itself, can be a beautiful thing. Historical fiction melded with science fiction can be stunning. (Please see the genre of steampunk.) Done well, and the story will sweep you away. Done badly, with unstable context, two-dimensional characters, and an arbitrary setting, and the reader's patience won't last beyond the first few chapters. I have saved the reader a whole lot of time by finishing the entire story so they won't have to. Weak depictions of a famous European country only serve to make the story even flimsier. Changing place names to French, Russian, or even Cambodian wouldn't make any difference. It feels as though the author simply wanted an 'exotic' locale, and has absolutely no idea what it is actually like to visit Italy, much less live there. The mesh of history and modern pseudo science was extremely jarring, as were the modern speech patterns. They only served to remind the reader of the tissue-paper thin characters.This ARC was provided courtesy of Netgalley.
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  • Marta
    January 1, 1970
    2,5*
  • Adero Brooks
    January 1, 1970
    A bit of a thriller. There is mind-control, dancing, action, romance. A well rounded novel, full of anticipation and suspense.
  • Liz Overberg
    January 1, 1970
    Much better in concept than in its amateurish execution. Pass.
  • Casey (caseyrosereads)
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of the book from Netgalley in partnership with the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This book is not about ballet. I can’t stress that enough because I was drawn in by the gorgeous cover and the description that felt more coherent than the actual content of the book. The choice of having the girls be ballerinas feels so arbitrary, “Master” could have been training them to be maids, assassins, prostitutes, and while the moral implications would be potentially more com I received a copy of the book from Netgalley in partnership with the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This book is not about ballet. I can’t stress that enough because I was drawn in by the gorgeous cover and the description that felt more coherent than the actual content of the book. The choice of having the girls be ballerinas feels so arbitrary, “Master” could have been training them to be maids, assassins, prostitutes, and while the moral implications would be potentially more complicated, it would likely feel just as “background” as the rare glimpses of the ballet world. There are two large matters at the center of the story: a boy with a bad leg who grows up to be hellbent on revenge and control (wtf) and a kind of cybernetics, “just go-with-it” mash-up of faux science and technology and animal/human integration, that could be steampunk because of the era, if it just didn’t feel so unapologetically incongruous.Normally I try to avoid spoilers, especially for books that I want people to enjoy as the story unfolds in their own reading, but in this case, I feel like I got duped and I don’t want anyone else to get duped. (view spoiler)[The biggest issue for me is that we’re meant to believe that a childhood of being taunted and teased by his sisters led the boy who would become “Master” to use the talents of his friend to not only replace his bad leg, mess with his sister’s head, but to eventually open up a ballet school with the specific intent of wiping the memories of orphaned or stolen girls and having a bunch of thoughtless marionettes. It’s a an interesting idea, but one I just don’t understand how we got from A-B. There’s also some strange loose ends that both me: We never learn Bianca’s official fate- I think we’re meant to assume that she went with the master willingly because she had some physical handicap he fixedThe man we know as Beppe- dude can make people walk again and give them new lungs! And he got tricked into using his work for evil? Fine. But let’s give the man more than the cursory wrap-up that he got.What was the master’s endgame? I kept reading because I assumed there would be a better explanation or long game as to what he wanted to accomplish, or what he wanted the girls for. But the reality was simply that he was a sick man with unattended mental issues, fixated on a wilful girl that he wanted to break. Still makes the whole world of the ballet program and the estate a bit confusing. (hide spoiler)]Overall, it was at least nice to spend time with a main character who acted with courage to save her friends, but a lot of the world felt superficial and overpopulated with the most mustache-twirling kind of villainy.
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  • Jenea Whittington
    January 1, 1970
    The Midnight Dance was one of my anticipated reads for the year, and I have always had a soft spot for ballet, so of course I had to get my hands on it. So, I was so excited to get a chance to read it so soon. I will warn that there isn’t as much ballet as I would have hoped but in its place was a thrilling ride of twist and turns and I wasn’t disappointed at all.The story centers around Penny who has been attending the Grande Teatro, where she is one of twelve ballerinas. This is the only place The Midnight Dance was one of my anticipated reads for the year, and I have always had a soft spot for ballet, so of course I had to get my hands on it. So, I was so excited to get a chance to read it so soon. I will warn that there isn’t as much ballet as I would have hoped but in its place was a thrilling ride of twist and turns and I wasn’t disappointed at all.The story centers around Penny who has been attending the Grande Teatro, where she is one of twelve ballerinas. This is the only place that Penny has ever know, but her memories start changing, and they don’t make sense. She sets out to find out what is going on.Penny is the main character, who I just adored, had a strong will and determination, something that the other girls did’t possess. Penny’s journey to the truth was rocky, and certainly not pleasant at times, but she never stopped and for that I liked her even more. Now Cricket, the boy who lives there and helps her was a sweetheart. And yes, there is a budding romance between them, it did take a backseat to the story itself. Which was alright with me, but it was kinda sweet and I enjoyed their little moments together. There were a couple of other characters that I wished we have more interaction with, and some I could have done without. Snoody little ballerinas, but anyway, it was a interesting group of characters.The world building was strong and everything was described so that we get this picture of this beautiful estate that is hidden away from town, but there were some seriously twisted things going on in this ballet school. But what exactly, is what kept me turning the pages. It almost seemed like the girl were obsessed with The Master, what he thought about each of them and each of them wanted his attention. They’d get all nervously giddy when he came to the studio. I get that he was gorgeous and mysterious to them, but it was all very strange. As the mystery begins to unravel, everything seemed to come together taking on a dark yet intriguing tale.The concept behind this was compelling, and even though it ended up being a little different than I expected, it was a fantastic read. It had suspenseful moments, a dark mystery, a sweet romance and hint of ballet. What more could I ask for? Fans of ya thrillers will enjoy this one for sure.
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  • J.A. Ironside
    January 1, 1970
    I know I have zero patience when it comes to waiting for books but I want this one so badly.And there are no ARCs available for UK, Only US :'(
  • Teresa Mary Rose
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this one! Full review to come.
  • Marsha
    January 1, 1970
    This book takes its time getting going. That’s a great thing. We don’t just get to learn about Penny, a prima danseuse at a very special dancing academy. We also gradually discover the truth about the mysterious Master, a man loved, adored and feared by almost everyone around him.Most stories about people fighting the “forces of evil” don’t explain why that evil exists in the first place. (Even Voldemort didn’t get his complete backstory until the last book in the HP series.) But this one touche This book takes its time getting going. That’s a great thing. We don’t just get to learn about Penny, a prima danseuse at a very special dancing academy. We also gradually discover the truth about the mysterious Master, a man loved, adored and feared by almost everyone around him.Most stories about people fighting the “forces of evil” don’t explain why that evil exists in the first place. (Even Voldemort didn’t get his complete backstory until the last book in the HP series.) But this one touches on how a boy named Cirillo gradually loses his basic human decency as he creates a world that revolves entirely around his desperate need for control and love. It’s just as fascinating as Penny’s search for her identity as she navigates around the holes in her memory.The Midnight Dance is a very special kind of book, part mystery, part romance and part steampunk. But, like Penny herself, it is so much more than the sum of its parts.
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  • Tami
    January 1, 1970
    This fantasy novel with a slightly steam punk feel kept me enthralled! Just a splash of sweet romance - a little suggestive perhaps, but nothing explicit. Also, no cussing, which is rare in a YA (and very exciting to me) There were a few plot holes and parts that could have been a bit more detailed, but I found it to be a gripping fantasy all the same. Great YA book!
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  • Réh
    January 1, 1970
    The Midnight Dance encompasses all things beautiful about ballerinas and a world hidden away in a forest. Penny attends a ballet academy that is tucked away in a forest. She lives a simple life of dance, studying and friends. Family? Penny doesn’t have any, only a photo album as a reminder of the family she once had. The only care taker she knows is her Master. Incredibly creepy and twisted, the ballerinas of the academy are his prized possession. Katz did an incredible job with writing this boo The Midnight Dance encompasses all things beautiful about ballerinas and a world hidden away in a forest. Penny attends a ballet academy that is tucked away in a forest. She lives a simple life of dance, studying and friends. Family? Penny doesn’t have any, only a photo album as a reminder of the family she once had. The only care taker she knows is her Master. Incredibly creepy and twisted, the ballerinas of the academy are his prized possession. Katz did an incredible job with writing this book, her vocabulary was incredibly stunning and whimsical. My rating fell short when it came to the plot. The story became incredibly repetitive, with a solid 100 pages of the same chapters repeating themselves over and over once the story developed more. It REALLY fell short for me when it came to the ending. it was incredibly underwhelming and very rushed, the author could have taken a bit more time to patch up any loose holes at the end instead of doing the “I’m going to drag the story on for 300 pages, intensify it for about 40 pages and shove the ending into the last 10”. Overall the book was a ‘meh” read for me, if the story didn’t become so repetitive i would have enjoyed it more. This book is being advertised as a thriller but I had the whole story figured out about 50 pages in which ruined the experience of the book for me. It was too predictable.
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  • Renee
    January 1, 1970
    Really enjoyed this, and I'm super glad it lived up to my expectations. I do have to say it wasn't what I expected, and I had heard it was a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses which is nowhere close to the actual story. The writing could be a bit odd at times. Every time I came across a sentence that started with "And" at the beginning of a paragraph (more than in any other book I can remember) it threw me off. It could just be a bit clunky at times. Then there was the fact that every se Really enjoyed this, and I'm super glad it lived up to my expectations. I do have to say it wasn't what I expected, and I had heard it was a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses which is nowhere close to the actual story. The writing could be a bit odd at times. Every time I came across a sentence that started with "And" at the beginning of a paragraph (more than in any other book I can remember) it threw me off. It could just be a bit clunky at times. Then there was the fact that every second of the book I was screaming for someone to just murder the master for Christ's sake. Beppe could DEFINITELY make it look like an accident.The characters were enjoyable, and my favorites were Beppe and Tatiana. The romance between Penny and Cricket was nice. It was a bit drawn out, but still kept my attention for me to get through it relatively quickly. I would recommend this to people who like The Night Circus or Stalking Jack the Ripper, or for people who like characters like the Darkling. Overall I was impressed and had a lot of fun!
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  • Hollowspine
    January 1, 1970
    The Midnight Dance is a creepy sci-fi/historical fiction romantic thriller. For fans of gothic stories such as A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. Penny has spent most of her life at a prestigious dance school under the care of The Master. Sometimes she wonders what life outside the grand estate where she and her 10 fellow students live, but that just leads to headaches. Instead she should focus on the thing she loves, dance! Right?Wrong. The more Penny thinks about it, the more she feels The Midnight Dance is a creepy sci-fi/historical fiction romantic thriller. For fans of gothic stories such as A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. Penny has spent most of her life at a prestigious dance school under the care of The Master. Sometimes she wonders what life outside the grand estate where she and her 10 fellow students live, but that just leads to headaches. Instead she should focus on the thing she loves, dance! Right?Wrong. The more Penny thinks about it, the more she feels something is wrong. She doesn't understand her love of dancing, she sometimes can't even remember how she takes her coffee or her favorite color or... her own mother. Sometimes the other girls forget things too. And the headaches always seem to come when she questions. Is it coincidence, or something more disturbing?Review: The premise is good, I loved the idea of this gothic estate where young women are kept like dancers in a music box, spinning beautifully to music, but ultimately trapped. However, the plot veers around without allowing readers to breath, let alone get to know the characters or the world. The creepiness of the story was ruined by the complete ineptitude of Penny, who was unable to do a single thing without needing to be rescued. The details of the world, the backdrop of ballet, did not add to the book, but seemed just stage dressing.For the first few chapters of the book I was fascinated. I knew some kind of mind control was going on and I wanted to find out why - what's the point and see what Penny would be able to do about it. But, the reason behind the mind control...was just because? And it seemed that throughout the narrative what Penny could do about it was basically run around like a chicken with it's head cut off. First she runs away from the estate, then she runs back to the estate, then away, then back. She hides from the Master, he finds her. She tries to lie and seduce the Master, he sees through her. She tries to sneak into the estate in disguise, she immediately rips her dress and gives up. She tries again to trick the Master. He basically rolls his eyes.For the first part of the narrative we also get a glimpse into the Master's past. He grew up being teased and abused by his step mother and step sister because he had an impaired leg. His best friend is a stable boy/scientist who is able to basically give him a metal leg to replace it that works perfectly. They also start experimenting mind control (for unknown reasons). Eventually this falls off as more time is focused on Penny's budding romance with the dashing kitchen boy.There was so much back and forth, it really made the book disjointed and ruined the flow of the narrative. I wish that Penny would have stayed in place more, instead of dashing from one source of help to another. I just wish she'd been a more successful person, instead she just seemed to blunder around and somehow everything worked out okay in the end and she was named a hero.For better paranormal historical fiction, similar in tone and style to this, try The Cure For Dreaming by Cat Winters. It also features a man trying to control a young girls mind and make choices for her, has elements of romance and a great ending. It also is much more successful in portraying the time period it is set in, 1900's Oregon.For creepier historical fiction, try The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It is beautifully written, extremely creepy, but with a dash of romance as well. The characters are also realistic and the settings are amazing!
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Midnight Dance was a decent book. I thought the premise was really interesting. Penny is a student at a prestigious dance studio. However, she suddenly starts to get flashes of another life, one that is not as glamorous as she’s been accustomed too. I think the story was good, but it seemed to be a little repetitive in my opinion. She’s remembers, then forgets, then remembers again, and Master continues to interfere with everything. I felt as though maybe the book could have been a short story a Midnight Dance was a decent book. I thought the premise was really interesting. Penny is a student at a prestigious dance studio. However, she suddenly starts to get flashes of another life, one that is not as glamorous as she’s been accustomed too. I think the story was good, but it seemed to be a little repetitive in my opinion. She’s remembers, then forgets, then remembers again, and Master continues to interfere with everything. I felt as though maybe the book could have been a short story and would have been better. Even though it was not a very long book, 320 pages. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the book, I just got a little tired of essentially reading the same thing over again. It was also a very predictable book, between the description and the first chapter, you can figure out what is happening pretty quickly. I think some of the most interesting parts of the story where the flashback chapters in the book. I wish there had been more of those. Cricket is Penny’s love interest and while he is sweet, I felt like there could have been more to him. Like I said this book was decent, but not as fantastic as I had hoped it would be. Received an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review from MacMillian Children’s Publishing Group via NetGalley.
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  • Fay Tannerr
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars!{I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review - this does not in any way influence the opinions of my review}The Midnight Dance was a mysterious, interesting, and captivating novel.It had elements of suspense, mystery, action and some romance that made it really interesting. I was eager to see what would happen next! I also liked the ballerina theme, the characters and the intrigue of the novel.The main character, Penny is one of eleven young 4.5 Stars!{I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review - this does not in any way influence the opinions of my review}The Midnight Dance was a mysterious, interesting, and captivating novel.It had elements of suspense, mystery, action and some romance that made it really interesting. I was eager to see what would happen next! I also liked the ballerina theme, the characters and the intrigue of the novel.The main character, Penny is one of eleven young girls in training to become the finest ballerinas in Italy. The school is overseen by the mysterious and secretive Master. This is the only life Penny has known, but when flashes of another life start appearing to Penny, she decides to find out the truth with the help of Cricket, the kitchen boy.The plot was captivating and enticing and there were also some really great characters in The Midnight Dance. Penny was brave, resilient and eager to learn the truth while Cricket was supportive, helpful and understood Penny. I also liked how Cricket and Penny really got along. I would recommend The Midnight Dance to fans of mystery and suspense!
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