Thursday, April 14, 2016

Burning Midnight {Review}

Burning Midnight
Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh
Visit the Author's website HERE
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publishing Date: February 2, 2016
Seventeen-year-old David Sullivan’s life is about to change—all because of one tiny, priceless item found in the murky bottom of a Brooklyn water tower.

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 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 more expensive—and the greater the improvement.

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 worth millions, 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.
I picked up a copy of this book from the library. All opinions are my own. Buy a copy today! 

My Thoughts:
See my Sneak Peek thoughts for "Burning Midnight" HERE :)

To borrow a phrase from Jen at YA Romantics, "Burning Midnight" follows a 'Scooby Gang of underdogs' as they search for rare orbs and solve their ultimate mystery. The gang works against a jerk of a billionaire who collects and sells orbs and once ripped off our MC Sully, so you know there is a good history.

What I think is important to know first, "Burning Midnight" doesn't really read like a YA novel. It feels more like a mature middle grade story. So if you are looking for your standard YA sci fi, look perhaps elsewhere. The language used felt a bit dumbed down and the emotions of the characters felt elementary, perhaps just not fully explored.

The characters themselves we never fully get to know. They remain sort of flat and aloof. Sully, as our MC, has a quirky, sarcastic voice. It was fun to read from a male POV. I hadn't realized until I read this book that I hardly ever read in male POV! It really is rare, which is unfortunate. Hunter is our other main player. We don't get to see any of the action through her eyes, which I think would have really benefitted the story. She has a sad backstory, which makes the reader feel for her a bit, but we never really come to understand her. This makes her actions incredibly hard to understand. Over all, she was my least favorite character and she played the biggest part!

The coolest character? I would say is actually Sully's mom! Not that she actually did anything per se, but I just loved that she wasn't the Absent Parent. She existed, Sully liked her!
"But once again: Mom. She wanted this, and since she was without a doubt the finest mom who'd ever lived, he was going to make her happy." (pg 248)
Overall the plot clips along, I enjoyed the first half: Sully eking out a living for him and his mom, orb hunting with Hunter...but after finding the gold orbs, the book changes suddenly. It actually feels like a huge chunk of story is missing. Chapter 29 marks a turning point where the gang suddenly has tons of money and a plan to find the other midnight, but we don't get to read about any of these changes! I think it could have added a lot to the story.

"Burning Midnight" needed more depth and it needed more time. The plot and characters could have benefitted greatly from both. BUT there is no need to completely skip over this read. It is short and fast. In an interview I had with author McIntosh in 2014, he actually mentions that this novel is based off of a short story. Knowing this, some of the story's 'flaws' make more sense. There is plenty of action and it is purely sci-fi. If you are a science fiction fan, add this to your TBR soon list. Fans of the genre will appreciate the story's roots as it feels very reminiscent of H.G. Wells. I, however, have to leave my rating at a solid 3 stars. 

No comments:

Post a Comment