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A Sea of Stars

 Teenaged. Clinomaniac. Caffeine Addicted. Fangirl. Bibliomaniac. Introverted. 


Challenge Participant
The Secret Hour (Midnighters #1) - Scott Westerfeld 2.5 to 3 stars.

All righty, then.

So I actually decided to read this because I heard that there was a TV series for this book series in the works that could be on air in the 2013 fall lineup and wanted to see what it was all about.

Fast paced, decent enough read. I expected a little more coming from the author of the Leviathan series


but....he wrote that series of awesome I suppose. So his legacy will live on.

The inventiveness of this bookseries is what makes it worth the read. The idea of a group of teenagers who were born at the stroke of midnight, granting them a super cool powergift. They get an extra hour in the night: "The blue hour," wherein blue lights emulates from and surrounds everything. It's always been there but only those special "midnighters" and the "darklings" are able to obtain entrance.
The midnighters have special abilities: some that can only be used in the blue hour, others that are always on, all day and everyday. Or should we say all night?

Beautiful imagery of the blue hour. Esp. the first scene in which it is present: Jessica's first exposure to the blue hour, with raindrops suspended in the sky. That was my favorite scene.

This was marketed as "Fast-paced and spooky." Yeah, it moves along and it's not something that will drag you down to the depths of the ninth circle of hell before you slog through chapter 2, but it's also not spooky. Or scary. Or in any way something that made him shiver andor look around and wonder what was coming for me.

I realized that, had I been in their positions, facing down giant man-eating spiders, giant kittysnakes that want nothing more than to eat your face off, then yeah, I'd be scared. But as a reader, I felt nothing. There was no pounding heart, no recoiling in fear thoughts, no furtive eyes shifting, looking all around. Even at oh-dark-thirty. So yeah, no suspense-edge-of-your-seat factor. Sad. I was in the mood.

The darklings and slithers: Wow. So all imagination spent on the idea? No cool names? Okay. Fine.
I was slightly confused about these little plot points. So they are the original source for all our nightmares and fears. Giant morphing kitties? And a few snakes? Huh.

Where did they come from? Clearly, they are not normal.

If they are the source for all fears and nightmares, mustn't they have come very early in the timeline? So when? The very beginning?

How do they have the power to crush a whole hour down to an instant for normal humans?

If they have that much power, why don't they just eliminate us?

If they decided not to kill us (for reasons) then why were we trying to kill them?

If we were trying to kill them because they caused fear in us (which would actually make sense), why would they cause fear if they were benevolent towards us?

Are they fairly innocent?

Why does the number thirteen strike fear into their hearts?

Characters: Jessica, Rex, Dess, Melissa, and Johnathan.

Jessica Day, a redhead, (makes me think of [a:Jessica Day George|359109|Jessica Day George|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1299045947p2/359109.jpg] *giggles*) was the "main character", as far as that went. She was the focus. The new girl in the town of Bixby, OK. The new midnighter. She was all right but I found her to be pretty bland and cookie-cutter. We've all seen the new girl who arrives, is skeptical of the crazies in town, then finds out she's one of them, and, hey!, the previously unheard of most powerful. And that might have been okay had Jessica been a more interesting character. And I hate her sister: Beth.

You really don't get too much about Rex. But here's what I gathered. He's best friends with Melissa. They've known each other since they were eight. Rex is the "lore" master. It's his thing. He, supposedly, knows most of the lore behind most of my questions. Of course, he doesn't share.


He likes being in control, telling everyone else what to do. His drive for knowledge marks him as a RavenclawSlytherin. His knowledge quest sometimes causes him to shut out his friends and attempt to gain lore at what could be unfortunate costs. I didn't really see how his ability was a super power. He was okay. I guess.

DESS. My favorite of the group. This chick is awesome. She is a polymath. She's a genius at math and loves it. Kind of a geek and I love her for it. Though I hate math, getting into her mind was really interesting and I found myself wanting her POV. She also has the best personality.

Young Dess here:


She makes the groups weapons by naming steel objects with 13 letter words. She keeps the group together, I feel. Can't wait to see her in future books.

Melissa is the person I wanted to hate. But instead I felt sorry for her. I even sorta, in the weirdest way, liked her. She is a mindcaster. She can hear the noise of all the minds of Bixby. I assume. It's never really clear how far her little gift extends. She gives the cold shoulder to anyone she doesn't know really well. She doesn't like touching anyone. She wears headphones pretty much all the time since it helps drown out all the noise and thoughts of everyone else. That's really all you know. You only get her POV I think twice. Hers is the ability I would want the least.

Johnathan is the boy that I thought would be a bad guy. He was gonna turn on them. And that didn't happen. Curses. Gravity doesn't really affect him in the blue hour. He is practically weightless which is really helpful when you need to get somewhere quick.
He and Rex don't get along very well. They probably both want to be in charge. He quickly becomes Jessica's boyfriend. Meh.
You almost never get his POV. His ability, when you read it, sounds like it would look silly. BUT REALLY FUN.

So in order of how much I want their abilities:

I found it cheesy that whenever Jessica and Johnathan kiss in the blue hour, she floats up in the air a bit. Really?

What is so special about the town of Bixby that the blue hour only shows up there??

In this book, the story is just getting rolling. The characters are introduced, a small amount of backstory, you know part of the evil that they face, and ominous ending *is ominous*.

We'll see how the rest of the series goes......