Book Review: Midnighters #1: The Secret Hour

Midnighters #1: The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld

This book was recommended to me by a friend who is a fan of Westerfeld author of Peeps, Uglies, Pretties, The Risen Empire, and many more.

The Midnighters are a group of high school kids in Bixby, OK who are the only ones awake during the 25th hour of the day. Well, the only humans anyway. There are a fair share of baddies, called slithers and darklings, that become increasingly more active and the Midnighters are wondering if it has anything to do with the new girl in town. This book focuses a lot on action with enough character development to satisfy but leaves you wanting just a little bit more.

Westerfeld has created a very interesting world in which an even more interesting troupe of characters tries, a bit unsuccessfully, to be a team. Each of the Midnighters has a unique ability which helps them to fend of the darklings and survive the secret hour, but their flaws keep them from being a team. It is these flaws that make the story interesting. If only 5 people were “alive” for an hour, who would assume the leadership role? Who would be the muscle? What if self preservation is more important than the whole to one or more members?

These are the questions that Westerfeld poses through the characters. As the first book in a series, this novel merely sets up a larger struggle and many of the questions above are left unanswered. The second book in the series, Touching Darkness, promises to reveal more and is sitting on my dining room table right now.

Highly Recommended – fantasy-esque so not necessarily for everyone