Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder by T. A Willberg

A charming yet action packed murder mystery with some fabulous characters and a hefty dose of intrigue.

I can certainly see why there are so many mentions of Harry Potter in the reviews for this novel. The concept of a secret institution, Professors at every corner and tunnels that change direction certainly suggests that T. A Willberg was inspired by the Harry Potter series. However the post-war setting and the amount of gadgets screams James Bond to me, albeit perhaps slightly dialled down.

The style of writing felt directed towards a YA audience in my opinion, particularly with the inclusion of monsters, young apprentices and booby – trapped corridors.
This isn’t a criticism of the writing at all. The characters are so well rounded and I really admired that the main characters, although opposite genders and very close, seemed to have a rock-solid platonic friendship.

The shifts in time were also a very clever addition to the story of Marion Lane. As well as allowing us to get to know Marion, her family and her personal history better, the time lapses intensify the mysterious elements and lead the reader down so many suspect rabbit-holes that we feel as confused as our protagonist.

The pace of the writing definitely speeds up significantly towards the end of the novel but this feels deliberate rather than rushed. It really helps to place the reader in Marion’s shoes during her dangerous predicament and keeps us wanting more.

A very intelligent YA murder mystery with lots to love. This could be the next Percy Jackson or Hunger Games. Thank you to Netgalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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