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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Midnight House is Ian Dawson’s sequel to The Field. Sixteen-year-old Daniel Robinson is still haunted by the horrors of his abduction two years ago, becoming paranoid and experiencing nightmares in between his sleepless nights. Cautious that his family and friends do not find out, he tries to cope and live a normal life. Amber somehow manages to add meaning to his life. On top of that, there is his best friend Kyle, who is invited by varsity basketball captain Luke Darden to take part in an initiation rite to gain a position in the basketball team. But Daniel’s gut feeling tells him there is something more sinister that takes place in those dopey rituals at the Midnight House, and it is up to him to save his best friend from the danger of hazing.
Midnight House has a great psychological element that you rarely find in young adult fiction. Dawson fleshes out a protagonist burdened by so much mental pressure from dealing with his own demons and protecting those that he cares about. Daniel’s psychological trauma makes this novel gripping and relevant. You get a balanced look at Daniel and Kyle as chapters alternate between their situations. If you put yourself as a character in the story, as one of the important people in Daniel’s life, and finds out that he intends to save his best friend, you cannot help but question if it is paranoia or genuine instinct that is driving him to risk his life. That being said, you should be thankful that you are merely a spectator to the tale. This narrative will challenge your contemporary sensibilities, and that makes this book highly recommended.