January 19, 2016
Burning Midnight, by Will McIntosh
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.
You can always tell how much I enjoy a book by how fast I devour it. I knocked out the first quarter of the book on night one, and stayed up late to finish it the following day.
Burning Midnight is an exciting read with characters that make me root for the good guys and jeer the antagonist. I was emotionally invested in the ups and downs of Hunter and Sully, and kept swiping pages as the action-packed tale unfolded.
Burning Midnight is an excellent young adult science fiction adventure that will appeal to all ages. I’m glad I selected this book on NetGalley, and look forward to checking out more books from Will McIntosh.
Will McIntosh is a Hugo Award-winning science fiction author, as well as a finalist for eleven other awards. His alien invasion novel Defenders was optioned by Warner Brothers for a feature film, while Love Minus Eighty, was named the best SF novel of 2013 by the American Library Association. Coming in 2016 are his first young adult novel, Burning Midnight (Penguin Random House), about a pair of teens hunting for mysterious colored spheres that give people enhanced abilities, and the wild SF adventure Faller from Tor Books. Along with four novels that have been translated into five languages, Will has published dozens of short stories in magazines such as Asimov’s Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, Daily Science Fiction, and Interzone. His stories are often reprinted in different “Year’s Best” anthologies. Will was a psychology professor before turning to writing full time, and still occasionally teaches a class at The College of William and Mary. He lives in Williamsburg, Virginia, and is the father of twins.