SELECT * FROM uv_BookReviewRollup WHERE recordnum = 507 Midnight Rain, by James Newman Book Review |

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Midnight Rain, by James Newman
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Leisure Books
Published: 2004
Review Posted: 10/11/2004
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 9 out of 10

Midnight Rain, by James Newman

Book Review by David L. Felts

Have you read this book?

I ended up reading this one myself, which is not usually the case with books that are sent to SFReader. I read it because I hadn't planned on posting a review: Midnight Rain isn't speculative fiction, although it skirts the borders of fantasy and horror. As I read, I was reminded of other stories concerning childhood lost, stories like Stephen King's "The Body" and Robert McCammon's "Boy's Life". Interesting to note that the author mentions these very stories in the afterward. Despite its lack of speculative elements, in spirit Midnight Rain is closest to a dark fantasy and would be enjoyed by most speculative fiction fans.

As far as a summary, I can't do any better than the one offered on the Earthing Book's web site:
"Do you remember the exact moment your childhood ended?

1979. Jimmy Carter is elected America's 39th President. New York police apprehend the "Son of Sam," and the King of Rock n' Roll has permanently left the building. In a town called Midnight, North Carolina, twelve-year-old Kyle Mackey couldn't care less about any of that. He has his own problems to deal with, as he ventures toward a strange new world called manhood...

Kyle's older brother Dan is going away to college. Several years ago their father was killed in Viet Nam, and Mom is an alcoholic devoted more to the bottle these days than to her family. Kyle has never felt so alone. The night before Dan's flight leaves for Florida, Kyle visits what he calls his "Secret Place." All boys have a Secret Place, he believes, and his is an old shack in the woods bordering Midnight. Kyle's love for his secret place is shattered, however, when he stumbles upon something that proves his favorite spot in the world is neither as private nor as innocent as he once thought...

It begins with the naked, battered corpse of a young woman. And, standing over her, a man Kyle knows...

MIDNIGHT RAIN is a dark coming-of-age novel in the vein of Robert McCammon's BOY'S LIFE and Stephen King's THE BODY (STAND BY ME). It is a tale of growing up in the South, a reflection of boyhood and all its wonders, and the story of how one boy deals with a terrible secret that threatens to tear apart both his family and hometown."
If it sounds interesting, it is. It's also very well written with all the convincing elements one would expect from a craftsman: realistic setting, believable characters, authentic dialog and a story that drags the reader along into the wee hours of the night, that transported me, for a few moments, back to my own childhood adventures. You know... it's much easier to write reviews of books that are lacking than those that have it all together....

The copy sent was a beautiful hardback, signed and numberd, with some fantastic art... the kind of book you don't want to handle as you read. It's also available in a mass market paperback. This is one that will appeal to readers who like to be drawn back to childhood, who have a longing for that magic -- both light and dark -- that fades out of our life as we age, so slowly we don't even see it going, so quietly we don't even know it's gone until we look into the eyes of a child. Highly recommended.
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Comments on Midnight Rain, by James Newman
Posted by John Finnegan on 9/4/2008
I just finished this book and loved it, in fact I will go out today and pick up Wicked. However, the one critique I have is at the end when Kyle says "people change, my wife is proof of that". It just didn't make sense to me. Did I miss something?
Posted by Athena on 10/31/2005
I just finished the book, and it's every bit as good as you said it was (although the year was *1977*, not 1979). I read the paperback, so unfortunately I didn't get to see the artwork or afterword. Definitely a very well written and vivid book.