Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction/Horror
Length: 304 pages
Release Date: January 2, 2008
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Midnighters series
Source: Swapped through Paperbackswap.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
I have had this book for a long time and was excited to finally get to read it. This is the first book in the Midnighters series by Westerfeld and is one of the few Westerfeld series I haven’t read yet. It ended up being an entertaining and creepy story that was well written and easy to read. I liked it better than his Uglies series but not as much as his Leviathan series.
Strange things happen in Bixby, Oklahoma when the clock strikes midnight. That is when the 13th hour starts; an hour in which most of the town stops but a select few teens are able to move around and gain special abilities. So far there have always been four midnighters; a Seer, a Polymath, an Arcrobat, and a Mindcaster…that is until Jessica Day moves to Bixby. Jessica seems to have a power that is unknown. Not only is Jessica’s power a mystery but for some reason it is causing the shadow creatures that dwell in the midnight hour to become more and more violent.
This book was a quick and easy read and was entertaining. It’s mostly a paranormal story with some mystery and some super-hero like overtones. I really enjoyed the idea of a 13th hour and I absolutely loved how if you give an object a thirteen letter name it can repel the shadow creatures.
There are some wonderful scenes in this book, in particular the first night Jessica awakes in the 13th hour and walks into the rain. The whole story has a creepy vibe to it, but never got all that scary. The viewpoint switches between each of the different Midnighters, which worked well for the story.
There is some excellent mystery here as the mystery of Jessica’s power is explored. There is also the overall mystery behind why Bixby is like it is and has this strange 13th hour. There is some high school drama in here as well, but it never really overwhelmed the story.
The story was well paced and made for a quick read. There are some creative ideas in here and some interesting characters. Things are wrapped up nicely for this first book, but there are unsolved mysteries left for the rest of the series.
Overall this was a fun and creepy paranormal read. I enjoyed the crazy 13th hour and the interesting powers our characters have. There was also some good mystery and some awesome supernatural elements to the story. I will definitely be reading the next book in this series.