Author’s Note: We were provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Plot & Storyline Quality (3 points)
Politano’s latest novel, A Midnight Dance, is a true work of art that encapsulates ballet in the Victorian era and takes an alternative look at the Christian life – a look that is both relevant and needed.
A major strength of the plot and storyline is the many relevant Christian themes woven into the story – listening to the Holy Spirit, not caving to legalistic behaviors, and living out one’ faith through action (Matthew 3:8). Other strengths include an engaging plot and the story’s strong conclusion. Major weaknesses of the plot and storyline include some minor choppiness throughout the plot, and the story’s rocky beginning. For example, the five-year time jump at the start of the novel is a bit awkward and could have been filled in through well-placed flashbacks throughout the story. It would have been nice to hear more about what happened during those missing five years of Ella’s life. Despite this, the story is quite good on the whole, and the plot twists in the last quarter of the novel are well orchestrated. This being said. the pros and cons in this area balance out to an above average score in plot and storyline.
Character Development (3 points)
Likewise, the character development in this novel is also above average. Elodia/Ella is a strong protagonist with a fully developed personality, tendencies, strengths, and flaws. Furthermore, Ella is not dragged around by the plot, so to speak, but learns important lessons throughout her fictional journey and maintains an unpredictable character arc. Lily, on the other hand, could have used further development. For instance, the story can exist without Lily, so her role in it is a bit underdeveloped. If Lily had been developed via the flashbacks we mentioned earlier, she could have added an additional layer of depth to Ella’s backstory. In comparison, Jack is a strong character, and while the first-person perspectives him are good, it would have been nice to see more of the story from his perspective. Finally, the minor characters are above average. These pluses and minuses round out to a strong score in this section.
Creativity & Originality (1.5 points)
To conclude, A Midnight Dance earns a point in creativity for portraying how the arts can be used to glorify God, and a half an x-factor point in originality for exemplifying true romance and real relationships in an overcrowded genre full of…well…garbage. This novel would make a very strong Christian series or miniseries, and should be adapted to a screenplay sometime very soon! Politano shows the talent and ability to act as a screenwriter, so she should be at the forefront of any project whose goal is bringing this novel to the big screen. If more Christian authors wrote with their Savior as Politano does, we would soon see a real revolution in Christian fiction.
Wish List Rating: 7.5 out of 10 points