When Jessica Day moves to the seemingly sleepy town of Bixby, Oklahoma, she has no inkling that she'll learn the town's supernatural secrets one sleepy night. When she wakes up at exactly midnight, she sees raindrops outside which appear to be frozen - not made of ice, but rather, suspended in mid-air. She cautiously, carefully treads outside and takes in all of the quiet beauty of the night. She thinks it's all a dream . . .
. . . until her new classmates tell her otherwise. Dess, Rex, Melissa, and Jonathan are connected by the time they were born: the stroke of midnight. This is a stroke of luck, for better or for worse, for it permits them to move around the town during the Secret Hour that starts at midnight, when everyone and everything else freezes. Each teenager has a cool ability which is truly unique. Thanks to Westerfeld's creative mind, even those powers you may think are typical of sci-fi stories, such as flying, have a new spin. He also makes math a superpower. Woo hoo! These powers are tested when the group has to fight the Darklings, creepy creatures literally from another time, creatures that can ONLY move around during the Secret Hour. Research, plans, patterns, steel, and thirteen-letter words must be prepared, and sacrifices must be made.
Read the trilogy in order:
The Secret Hour
Here's the piece as I wrote it for SparkLife:
Have you ever wanted to make time stop? How you ever wondered what it would be like to read minds or to fly? In Scott Westerfeld's innovative trilogy Midnights, five teenagers with very interesting abilities band together and use their skills and their wits to defeat the forces of darkness.
Though Bixby, Oklahoma may appear to be a sleepy little town, it's anything but. That's what Jessica Day learns when she moves there with her family. One night, she wakes up exactly at midnight and sees raindrops suspended in mid-air. She dares to venture outside and is delighted by the diamond-like drops, the quiet night, the thick clouds. The drops burst when she touches them. The next morning, she wakes up smiling, thinking it was all a dream.
Soon, though, she learns it wasn't a dream - it was an extra hour, The Secret Hour, that happens in Bixby at midnight. The only people that can move around at that time other than Jessica are Dess, Rex, Melissa, and Jonathan, all of whom were born at midnight. There are also the Darklings, creepy creatures, who can ONLY move around in that hour. Darklings fear little, other than steel, and thirteen-letter-words to ward them off. The story continues in Touching Darkness and concludes in Blue Noon. The second book will put you on the edge of your seat, and the third book will knock you right off of it.
Which of the Midnighters' powers would you like to have? What would you do if time froze all around you?
Related Posts at Bildungsroman:
Peeps by Scott Westerfeld
The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld
The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Interview: Justine Larbalestier and Scott Westerfeld
... and the now-defunct SparkLife link.