Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh is a sci-fi thriller stand alone that is perfect for when you want a completely engrossing and fast-paced read that will keep you hooked to the very end. The premise fascinated me and I loved trying to guess what was really going on with these spheres of different colors that just randomly popped into existence a while ago. Fans of Illuminae, don’t miss this one!
Note: I received an advanced copy of Burning Midnight from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh
Published by Delacorte on Feb. 2nd, 2016
Genres: Sci-fi, YA
Page Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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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.
- The pacing of Burning Midnight is break neck speed! This pace is mainly accomplished by McIntosh not worrying about showing the boring moments that would clearly happen for the characters, but aren’t really necessary for the reader to see. I was routinely delighted when I worried that there would be a chapter devoted to the several day car ride, and then bam, jumped forward three days to the next exciting event.
- The premise of this story fascinates me and is really what caught my attention. What if colored spheres that can’t be broken suddenly appeared everywhere in the world? What if eventually someone realized that they can be used to gain a specific color-coded ability such as holding your breath longer or getting a little bit stronger? What if we had no idea where they came from?
- Economic hardship isn’t something often seen in YA, so it was great to focus on two main characters that were struggling with different levels of poverty and had to make decisions based on how to pay the rent or buy food. It’s a reality that a lot of kids live with and should be reflected in our fiction as well.
- The ending is full of crazy twists. I remember in the pitch I saw that the ending was often remarked on and so I was very excited to experience this craziness and it did not disappoint!
- I had a delightful moment when a female secondary character showed up and it seemed inevitable that she would pair up with one of the guys, but no, surprise! She’s gay and the guys are okay with that and everyone is just friends, woot.
- The problem with crazy endings is that they do still need to be logical within the world of the story and I think that especially in the end, logic was sometimes thrown out for poetic symmetry. I just wasn’t convinced by everything the kids figured out about the spheres and there were still a few too many questions for me to be satisfied.
- There are a strange number of pop culture references in this book that will make it age rather badly I suspect. Putting in direct references to bands that are currently popular is going to really confuse a kid picking up this book in even just five years.
Burning Midnight is a book that you’ll want to reserve a weekend of reading for since you won’t want to put it down. It was great to read while exercising! It has a fascinating and unique concept and a crazy ending to go along. I appreciated the diversity of the characters both in terms of economic status and sexual orientation as well. Overall, definitely recommended for fans of YA sci-fi!
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh
© 2016, Anya. All rights reserved.