Written by Eoin Dempsey, Toward the Midnight Sun promises adventure and romance against the rugged backdrop of the Klondike goldrush in 1897. The story follows the young protagonist, Anna, as she embarks on a wild trip from Seattle to Dawson City to join her betrothed, a stranger twice her age.
As a native Coloradan, I LOVE westerns and the gold rush and anything about rugged mountain adventures. After reading the description, I couldn’t wait to pick up this book and dig in.
After a very slow start and a slow build up, the action picks up when Anna finds herself stranded with dishonest chaperones and a pair of strangers her only allies. The story really picks up and gets interesting as Anna starts her trek across the land to Dawson City. I enjoyed the description of life on the trail and all of the work involved in getting yourself and your supplies across an unpredictable landscape with winter breathing down your back.
Things take a turn for the worse in Dawson City, and Toward the Midnight Sun moves from a slow starting adventure novel towards a cheap romance novel that loses the plot. Things start to tumble together quickly and eventually characters are thrown into situations and reactions that don’t make sense for the story or their personalities. Dempsey tries to be inclusive and empathetic towards the plight of women but it ends up feeling unnatural. Anna becomes a young woman whose primary thoughts revolve around showing everyone she could do survive. Rather than inspirational, her inner monologue quickly gets boring.
About 3/4 of the way through the book, things start to feel too big to wrap up with just 25% of the book left and Dempsey steamrolls through to a quick ending. The last portion of the book feels like Dempsey realized he needed to finish in a certain amount of pages and did anything to get there.
Overall, this book was a quick read. I enjoyed the subject and the trail adventure. However, the girl-power factor was overdone and the book was slow too start and too quick to end. 3 stars for me today.
Until the next time, happy reading!