Monday, July 24, 2006

Midnighters series - Scott Westerfeld

In the UK Scott Westerfeld's Midnighters series consists of Midnighters: The Secret Hour (Atom, April 2006) and Midnighters: Touching Darkness (Atom, out August 2006).

Midnighters: The Secret Hour

In the town of Bixby, Oklahoma (13 letters), strange things happen at midnight as time freezes and most people, animals and objects (including cars, rain and leaves) are static. But during that one hour each night the town belongs to the dark creatures, the slithers and darklings that hide in the shadows. A small group of people know about the secret hour and they are free to move about during the midnight time. These people are called Midnighters and each one of them has a different power at midnight. There's the Seer (Rex), the Mindcaster (Melissa), the Acrobat (Jonathan) and the Polymath (Dess). For years the Midnighters have shared the secret hour uneasily with the dark creatures, mostly by avoiding one another. But that all changes with the arrival of a a new girl in town - Jessica Day has the unmistakable aura of a Midnighter, as Rex notices when she first appears at Bixby High School. Jessica, however, seems perfectly normal in every respect: for a start, she doesn't wear black clothing and dark glasses, as do the other Midnighters. Soon, however, it becomes clear that the dark creatures can sense Jessica's hidden power and they're determined to stop her before she can use it to stop them !

The one power that all the Midnighters have in common, is the ability to hurt or destroy the dark creatures by naming metal objects (hubcaps and scaffolding poles, as well as knives) with tridecalogisms (13 letter words) such as abnormalities, splendiferous and indescribable. More potent still is the use of three tridecalogisms, giving 39 letters, such as magnificently instantaneous gratification - a metal object (preferably made from a modern metal) named in such a way has devastating consequences to the dark creatures.

Midnighters: Touching Darkness

The Midnighters are used to keeping their knowledge of the secret hour to themselves, but they have begun to seriously wonder what has happened to the earlier generations of Midnighters, who all appear to have disappeared about 50 years ago. Why are these five teenagers the only Midnighters in town ? As the Midnighters start to uncover mysteries about Bixby's history, they also find a conspiracy that touches both the world of daylight and the secret hour. At the same time, their own secrets start to emerge, including some that were never meant to come to light. These secrets change the fragile dynamics amongst the five Midnighters, and then they find themselves in grave danger of forever losing one of their number.

The Midnighters trilogy closes with Midnighters: Blue Noon (Atom, November 2006), which I will probably receive from Atom around October; I shall be interested to see how the series concludes.


Camille said...

ooh, I just finished the first Midnighters too! I really liked it and can see why kids do too.

Michele said...

I'm glad that you liked it - and glad to know that kids like them too !

Sarah said...

Im just starting the third book and the first 2 were amazing i finished them both in a day and a half! Is the thirdbook the last?

Michele said...

As far as I know it's the last of the series. I've not heard that SW is writing any more...

emilyetnyre said...

I really liked the series! I wont spoil anything but ... I hated the ending.I love Scott Westerfeld and all but whats with all the doom and gloom endings?