by Will McIntosh
Published on February 2nd 2016
by Delacorte Press
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Amazon | Goodreads
For fans of The Maze Runner and The Fifth Wave, this debut YA novel from Hugo Award winner Will McIntosh pits four underprivileged teens against an evil billionaire in the race of a lifetime.
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.
Bee: It’s been a day since I read this book, which is a long time for me to have between finishing it and writing the review. And it’s not a good sign when it takes me this long to find the words to say. This is not a bad book. But it’s also not a good/great book. It’s very meh. And meh-reviews are by far the worst to write.
Rachel: I have to agree with Bee on this one. Burning Midnight was such a meh read for me that it’s hard to come up with enough words to fill a review…. which makes it sounds a lot worse then it was though. There was potential hidden in there, somewhere. I liked the idea of the story – the spheres and the hunting and learning the ways that the spheres’ appearance changed society – but I wasn’t overwhelmed by anything. It needed something extra, something a little more, to make it stand out.
Bee: Same. I don’t even know what else to say, honestly! This book did have a lot of potential to me. The story was interesting enough for it. The concept of the spheres was insanely cool and it’s what made me want to read this book in the first place. But in the end this book was just really boring for the most part.
Rachel: I think the cover is what actually attracted me in, lol! But I thought the spheres were going to be more interactive or something? They didn’t really do much. Oh, and did you get why it was called ‘burning’? I thought that they actually burned the spheres to release the powers or something, but now that I know they don’t, I’m confused why they call it that.
Bee: I don’t know why either, hah! The ending was crazy like it’s promoted and I liked that part. It was really insane and weird and kind of awesome! But there was at least 70% of boring stuff that came first.
Rachel: I thought that the ending packed a lot of punch too. It was a little too little, too late though. It was thrilling, if kind of insane like you said, Bee, but I think that if the story had been more focused on that sort of plotline then it would have made for a much more interesting and exciting read.
Bee: Jup. It didn’t help that I couldn’t bring myself to care about the characters. The romance is rushed and I didn’t buy it at all.
Rachel: Don’t even get me started on the romance! I’ll never understand why books cannot just have male/female friendships, rather than having to turn into a romance. The characters were sweet but I just didn’t think the romance was needed – and it was definitely rushed which is an even bigger no-no.
Bee: This feels like such a useless short review but I really don’t know what else to say. Interesting concept and story with a crazy weird ending, but kind of boring for the rest. I’ve seen good reviews of this book, better than mine, so I think I’m just a black sheep here.
Rachel: Well, we did what we could, Bee. Meh reviews are always the worst to write – there’s only so many ways to write ‘it was okay, not good or bad, just okay’! I think I’ll try to pick up something else of the authors at some point. I like the creativity of his idea. Maybe his other stories will have better execution?
Bee: Maybe yeah. In any case, check it out if it sounds like your thing because others have enjoyed it far more than we did.