Scott Westerfeld – Midnighters: Blue Noon
Length: 378 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Horror
Started: 19 September 2010
Finished: 21 September 2010
Where did it come from? Bookcloseouts. (That’s why the cover doesn’t match the first two.)
Why do I have it? When I was bad and bought the entire series before reading the first book, I was really bad and bought the whole series. *shame!*
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 15 April 2009.
The rules of midnight
have changed, and the darklings are
closer than they think.
Summary: The Midnighters have enough to deal with keeping safe from the ancient and powerful creatures, the Darklings, that stalk the one hour of secret time that happens every night at stroke of midnight. However, when the frozen midnight time happens one day during the mid-morning, they’re unsure what to think. Something is clearly changing; just as the structure of the midnight hour seems to be weakening, so too is the barrier between Rex’s human side and the lingering remnants of darkling that are left after his terrifying encounter at the end of Touching Darkness. While the Midnighters know that things are going wrong, they’re not sure what to do about it, but they’re going to have to figure something out, or else risk the world being stuck in the midnight time permanently.
Review: One of the things I loved best about the first book in this series was how clever and internally consistent it was. My favorite fantasy/sci-fi books are ones in which the worldbuilding makes logical sense – the magical system of allomancy in Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series, or the religious system of Lois McMaster Bujold’s Chalion books, for example. However, with the Midnighters series, I feel like while it started off strong, as the series has progressed, the worldbuilding has gotten somewhat more arbitrary – not less clear, or less inventive, but less able to extrapolate the details from the fundamental principles, which is a little bit sad.
I still really enjoyed (read: totally devoured) this book, don’t get me wrong. They’re fast and compelling reading, and while none of the characters are particularly wonderful people, they all feel very real, and I was always fascinated to see what would happen to them next. I particularly enjoyed Rex’s storyline in this book, and watching him deal with his (very literal) inner monsters provided some of the most creepy scenes of the entire series.
For the most part, the end was a satisfactory conclusion to the series, nicely bringing in some elements from the first book that I hadn’t realized were foreshadowing at the time. I was a little disconcerted by a few of the issues raised by the ending – issues that Westerfeld has one of his characters actually point out – that are just left completely unresolved, and even mostly unrecognized. On the whole, though, I enjoyed it quite a lot, and even got a little bit teary-eyed in parts… in between being thoroughly creeped out. Good stuff. 4 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: The series as a whole is great; I even liked it better than the Uglies series. (We’ll see how the rest of the Leviathan series goes before I declare Midnighters to be my absolute favorite.) It would be great for a creepy fall read for anyone who likes YA fantasy/sci-fi/horror.
First Line: Bixby High’s late bell shrieked in the distance, like something wounded and ready to be cut from the herd.
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