Title: Burning Midnight
Author: Will McIntosh
Publisher: Delacorte Press (Penguin Random House)
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Acquired Via: Publisher
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.
I'll be honest with you - I have no idea why I requested Burning Midnight. I don't even remember requesting it. (Granted, I'm the sort of person who has to write notes for everything or it won't get done. Period.) I just found a note on my calendar saying that I needed to read it and my review was due today. It was already on my Kindle, so I went along with it.
I am so glad that I did.
I try to go into a book with as little idea about the plot as possible, and it worked out with Burning Midnight. I only looked at the Goodreads tags before digging in, and I was immediately hooked. Sully is an underdog protagonist with a good heart, and he was easy to love since he lacked the cynicism that many can have in his situation. The other characters in on the sphere hunt were just as interesting and likable. They were all well developed, and that helped the story along.
I wish I could take the Maze Runner reference out of the synopsis because I don't really see where it fits, other than having a male protagonist. I know it's a movie, but Burning Midnight is more like National Treasure. (You should watch it if you haven't yet.) There is probably a treasure-hunting YA book that I could better compare it to, but I can't think of any. If you know of one, please leave the title in the comments. If you don't and are a writer, please get the book out there. Anywho, the book is a race against the "bad guys" to find the rare sphere(s) and deal with the consequences of their finds.
Okay, I thought of one: Burning Midnight reminds me of The 39 Clues series. Moving on.
While the science fictiony stuff about the spheres made sense in the beginning, I didn't really understand what was going on in the climax. I mean, I got the premise of it all, but I would have liked to know more about the why of it. Granted, I was reading an advance copy of Burning Midnight, so maybe that is fleshed out a little more in the finished book. I do plan on reading the finished version to see if there are any changes or if it makes more sense with it all tightened up, writingwise. That being said, that is hardly enough to take the fun out of reading the book.
I'm not sure how hard Burning Midnight is being promoted, but I can see this book being huge. It's a great read, and it will keep its readers hooked through the whole story. It is a standalone, according to the author, but I wouldn't hate seeing a few more books about Sully and the spheres.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Fishpond
Google Play | iTunes | Kobo
To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance digital copy of the novel from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All expressed opinions are awesome, honest, and courtesy of me.