*Originally published November 26, 2013*
MIDNIGHT CARNIVAL: A KLAUS & CAROLINE STORY
By Alexi James Ronson
Summary: “Tonight changes everything…”
Caroline Forbes has no idea what she’s in for when Original vampire, Klaus Mikaelson drives her out into the woods of Mystic Falls in the dead of night. But before the sun comes up, she’ll see, hear and experience things beyond her wildest imagination. Welcome to the Carnival at Midnight, a place of magic and enchantment. Where dreams become actuality and the impossible is commonplace. Klaus is right about one thing: this night will change everything. The question is, will it be for better or worse?
Main Characters: Klaus Mikaelson, Caroline Forbes
Midnight Carnival, by Alexi James Ronson, follows her previous tale, Falling Slowly. Like her first short story, she focuses on Klaus and Caroline and the potential for their tentative friendship to grow into something more. Midnight Carnival, unlike its darker predecessor, is fantasy mixed with whimsy and completely delightful.
Ronson seems to have the ability to dig deep into who Klaus Mikaelson is. She paints an image of an ageless, lonely, lovely man who has done terrible, awful things. He seeks redemption in the arms of a young woman in whose eyes he sees the unconditional love he has sought for close to a thousand years. With Caroline by his side, Klaus sheds his carefully constructed ‘big bad’ persona, at times mischievous, though constantly charming, yet easily hurt by Caroline’s unkind words.
We see more of the vulnerable, yet passionate, Caroline in this installment. She hesitantly accompanies Klaus on what she insists is not a date, at one time insisting he’s “like a dog with a bone” (a clever nod to Klaus’s werewolf side). Ronson’s characterization of Caroline in these moments is spot on. Once they begin their journey Caroline encounters the magic of the midnight carnival that Klaus has arranged for her as a birthday gift. As she walks among the marvels of the carnival, Caroline sees deeper into Klaus’s true self and discovers possibilities she hadn’t considered before.
And as wonderful it is to read of the relationship between Klaus and Caroline, the midnight carnival of the title is a delightful fantasy that each of us has dreamed of or saw as we walked down Main Street at Disney World or encountered as we lay in a field on a clear night, staring up at the stars. It’s beautifully described for the reader, making real life seem so mundane. I truly hope that Ronson continues her series as I believe she has the talent to write a convincing, beautiful romance between Klaus and Caroline.
Oops Factor: NONE