Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 3384
Midnight City
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell sounds pretty cool and/or unique. Aliens, dystopia, three kids running for their lives, awesome cover art. Basically, this book promises a lot to its readers; therefore, I came into reading this with lowered expectations (this book sounded too good to be true). So it was nice to discover that Midnight City is actually well worth reading.

Holt Hawkins, one of three narrating protagonists, was 12 when the aliens invaded and acted as extraterrestrial Pied Pipers, stealing away anyone over the age of 18 by using a magical transmitted frequency. Holt, however, is immune to the frequency, so at 20 years old, he’s sort of an old-timer.

Enter Mira, expert in the “magic” the aliens brought to earth with them. Also enter Zoey, a little kid with “magic” powers that also have to do with the aliens.

Enter aliens, who want Zoey because she’s some sort of “chosen one” or whatever.

Cue national search-and-destroy mission and three kids on the run.

I’d say that has the makings for a pretty good plot, all told.

It was honestly a nice change for the main character to not actually be the “chosen one” or “the most special of all specials” for once. Holt was a normal guy, except that he was immune to alien magic, but even then he was hardly one of a kind. He was a refreshing change from the norm.

Altogether, Holt, Mira, and Zoey were nice, likable characters. I was interested in their individual stories and invested in their success. I would, personally, have wanted a bit more depth in their characterization and motivation, but what J. Barton Mitchell gave me wasn’t bad.

Where Midnight City and I had a disagreement was over the action scenes. Confession time: in any given book, action scenes bore me. I just cannot get engaged in those parts. Problem was, Midnight City has a lot of “fight scenes”—I struggled with them, not going to lie. I think Mitchell is a good writer, if a bit wordy, but that type of thing is just not something I enjoy in a book.

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy Midnight City. I most certainly did. I just think that I would have liked it more had things been different. Either way, though, Midnight City was far from being a waste of my time, and J. Barton Mitchell’s Conquered Earth series is one to watch out for.
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