Title: Midnight City
*Series: Conquered Earth #1
Author: J. Barton Mitchell
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: Hardcover; 384
Release Date: October 30, 2012
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Mild Violence
HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy strong characters who are being forced to survive under insane circumstances!
Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
Lord of the Flies meets War of the Worlds in J. Barton Mitchell's alien-invaded post-apocalyptic world where two teens and a young girl with amazing powers must stop the aliens’ mysterious plan
Earth has been conquered by an alien race known as the Assembly. The human adult population is gone, having succumbed to the Tone---a powerful, telepathic super-signal broadcast across the planet that reduces them to a state of complete subservience. But the Tone has one critical flaw. It only affects the population once they reach their early twenties, which means that there is one group left to resist: Children.
Holt Hawkins is a bounty hunter, and his current target is Mira Toombs, an infamous treasure seeker with a price on her head. It’s not long before Holt bags his prey, but their instant connection isn’t something he bargained for. Neither is the Assembly ship that crash-lands near them shortly after. Venturing inside, Holt finds a young girl who remembers nothing except her name: Zoey.
As the three make their way to the cavernous metropolis of Midnight City, they encounter young freedom fighters, mutants, otherworldly artifacts, pirates, feuding alien armies, and the amazing powers that Zoey is beginning to exhibit. Powers that suggest she, as impossible as it seems, may just be the key to stopping the Assembly once and for all.
After sitting here, writing and rewriting the same sentences, I'm still at a loss as to how to accurately describe my feelings about Midnight City. The words bouncing around in my head range from "wow" to "stunning" so if this review is a slight rambling, please forgive me. Now that the PSA is out of the way, on to the good stuff.
For the first time ever I was given both a strong male and female protagonist. From the moment that I met Holt I knew I'd love him. His humanity is evident, even through the hard outer shell that he has built in order to survive. Here's a guy who is the perfect mix between a knight in shining armor and a lone wolf. Then I met Mira and my whole world flipped upside down. When these two characters interact, there are literally sparks. Two evenly matched, survival-minded individuals, who also happen to be of two different genders. Do you sense that there might be chemistry? Oh, you'd be right my friends.
Which brings me to my next talking point, the lack of what we all like to call "insta-love". Holt and Mira definitely clash at first. However the further the reader follows them into the story, the more these two come to rely on one another. This is a slow, sweet, and completely believable build up. Unfortunately for you, I won't go any deeper than that. I truly believe that this is something you need to read to really appreciate. Let me just say that this romance was so fulfilling for me. It wasn't overdone, but simply added another layer to this expertly woven story.
Now I'm sure there are those of you who are balking at the idea of an alien invasion as the main premise of a book. I can assure you that the writing in Midnight City is gorgeous. It builds a world that is ravaged by invasion, and held together by only the younger generation. Even if you aren't generally a reader of science fiction, there is a strong dystopian element as well. Everything that J.Barton Mitchell writes flows just perfectly, and allows the reader to get lost in the struggle. Thus the reason I read this straight through.
Never in my bibliophilic life have I been as floored after reading a book as I was upon finishing Midnight City. This book is the whole package. A lightning fast plot, two equally matched and well-fleshed out characters, plus writing that draws you in. I loved absolutely everything about this book. More please. As soon as humanly possible.