Tana considers herself one of the good girls. A life planned out from birth, engaged to secure an alliance for her coven, she has never doubted her role in her community – and in life. Until she meets Wolfe, that is. Drawn into a world that makes her doubt the truths she has been told her entire life, Tana has to reevaluate her morals, her relationship with magic, and her family, as she falls in love. Bring Me Your Midnight is a dark and haunting tale of romance and betrayal, of sea and storms – in both the literal and metaphorical sense. It is not a book for every reader of Grimdark Magazine, but one that will appeal to many – Rachel Griffin’s work is perfect for those who have enjoyed Belladonna by Adalyn Grace or A Study in Drowning by Ava Reid.
Like Rachel Griffin’s first two standalone novels, The Nature of Witches and Wild is the Witch, the atmospheric setting is a key character in the story. In the case of Bring Me Your Midnight, Tana’s coven lives on an island, cut off from the mainland through magically induced currents. Rather unsurprisingly, the mainland society does not have access to magic, and is wary of it. As someone who experiences ultimate happiness sitting by a rocky coast, hearing the sounds of the sea and smelling the salty air, reading Griffin’s lush descriptions and having the island come alive was a wonderful, sensual experience. As the story progresses, so does nature’s character arc. What starts out as a pleasant side character grows into a menacing threat, one that influences all other story arcs and may threaten the entire island. The powerful role of nature and setting in Griffin’s books makes them stand out.
What will make Bring Me Your Midnight appeal to many readers of Grimdark Magazine is the shift of perspective Tana has to navigate throughout the story. As she meets Wolfe, who claims to be from another coven hidden on the same island, she is forced to question everything she has been told. What her coven has called “dark magic”, Wolve’s coven calls “high magic”. The morals Tana has considered so black and white are suddenly rather more shaded in grey. Ultimately, every major character in Bring Me Your Midnight is harboring secrets, manipulating others for their own gain and no stranger to betrayal.
It is wonderful to have these hallmarks of what we like at Grimdark Magazine packaged into a beautiful-looking, lush and atmospheric YA fantasy with a good dash of romance. Because what falls under the umbrella of what we can consider grimdark is far broader than our reputation may suggest – and Bring Me Your Midnight is a wonderful addition for those who would like to branch out from the obvious.