(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Published by Random House Children's Books on February 2nd 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction, Young Adult
For fans of The Maze Runner and The Fifth Wave, this debut YA novel from Hugo Award winner Will McIntosh pits four underprivileged teens against an evil billionaire in the race of a lifetime. Sully is a sphere dealer at a flea market. It doesn’t pay much—Alex Holliday’s stores have muscled out most of the independent sellers—but it helps him and his mom make the rent. No one knows where the brilliant-colored spheres came from. One day they were just there, hidden all over the earth like huge gemstones. Burn a pair and they make you a little better: an inch taller, skilled at math, better-looking. The rarer the sphere, the greater the improvement—and the more expensive the sphere. When Sully meets Hunter, a girl with a natural talent for finding spheres, the two start searching together. One day they find a Gold—a color no one has ever seen. And when Alex Holliday learns what they have, he will go to any lengths, will use all of his wealth and power, to take it from them. There’s no question the Gold is priceless, but what does it actually do? None of them is aware of it yet, but the fate of the world rests on this little golden orb. Because all the world fights over the spheres, but no one knows where they come from, what their powers are, or why they’re here.
Burning Midnight is the first book I have read by Will McIntosh and I will definitely be checking out his books in the future. There were some things I liked and some things that didn’t necessarily click for me. With that said, I thought this was a solid story and I absolutely love the cover for this book.
One of the pieces of this story that I enjoyed was the fact that it was a male narrator. David Sullivan is a sphere dealer and things aren’t easy for him and his mom. In this world that McIntosh has created, spheres are what make people more than what they were born as. Spheres mysteriously appeared on Earth and people realized they gave them certain abilities. Different colors meant different abilities and the rarer the sphere, the greater the value…and cost.
David has been selling spheres at the local flea market but because he is competing with the big box stores…namely Alex Holiday’s stores, business and money isn’t steady. When he meets Hunter, a girl who makes a living searching for spheres, they make a deal to hunt together and that is when things begin to get interesting.
Let’s talk characters for a minute. I really liked Sully (David) and thought he was developed well. He is a great mix of caring, driven, and smart…when he actually does what he thinks they should do instead of listening to Hunter. I found Hunter frustrating. She was so distrustful and refused to listen to reason which really annoyed me. I think this is why I didn’t believe the romance between Sully and Hunter…at all.
The secondary characters in this story are well done and I wish we would have had more of them with Sully. I loved the friendship between Sully and Dom and the brief glimpses we had were well done. Alex Holiday is the bad guy. He burned Sully in the past and now that Sully and Hunter have found something he wants, he is willing to do anything to get it. He clearly doesn’t care about anyone but himself and what he wants. I was glad that Sully didn’t fall for his tricks and stood up to him. Eventually he got what was coming to him and I wasn’t sorry about how things ended up for him.
Going back to the spheres…things come to a head and we finally find out where the spheres came from and why. I found it interesting although slightly rushed at the end and what happened with Hunter was a bit odd but overall what I liked most about this story was that it is different. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of action, an interesting premise, and a solid male point of view. If you are looking for a YA in the science fiction genre that gives you a story that is different than other books out there, consider checking this one out.
Thank you to the Publisher for the review copy!