A review by fictionalcass
Midnight Rooms by Donyae Coles

dark mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


This is a gothic and fairytale inspired novel that follows Orabella into a surprise marriage in a house of horrors, full of vivid imagery that is frankly disturbing. Coles has created a haunting world within this book that was incredibly engrossing. I often felt like I was right alongside Orabella in her confusion about everything happening, and I think that ultimately added to the overall effect. 

This book is full of characters as interesting as they are unsettling, and I wanted to know more but the not knowing is what sells it. Reading this book felt like running down a road that you know drops into a cliff but you don’t know when. You always feel like there’s something coming, but never get to be quite prepared for what ends up happening. I think that it does work in this novel, but it did make some sections a bit challenging to get through. 

I really enjoyed Orabella as our protagonist, and I was always rooting for her. The way that she was so often torn between such conflicting emotions felt so raw, and she really felt fully realized to me as I was reading, as though she could have walked right off the page. Elias, her counterpart, was another interesting character and I love the way that we are kept guessing about him through the entirety of the novel. Korringhill felt like another character all on its own, and I did enjoy the way that Coles achieved through such vivid descriptions. 

Overall, I did really enjoy this one but I did feel a bit lost at times. While it works in the big picture, it made the experience of reading it a bit perplexing. 4⭐️

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a review copy of this book.