Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh

Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh

Release Date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rated: YA 14+
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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Seventeen-year-old David Sullivan’s life is about to change—all because of one tiny, priceless item found in the murky bottom of a Brooklyn water tower.

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 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 more expensive—and the greater the improvement.

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 worth millions, 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.

I was offered a review copy of Will McIntosh's young adult novel, and I couldn't turn it down. The book sounded like it had a touch of fantasy, and I was eager to read it. However, I put it off because school work got in the way, which is why I only got to it now. Burning Midnight wasn't exactly what I was expecting. I, for some reason, was expecting a world not like our own, and kind of resembling the flea markets found in post-apocalyptic worlds and so on. Instead, I found something else. This one wasn't what I would call fantasy, but leaned more towards science-fiction, but not futuristic. Anyway, it was an interesting read from start to finish.

I really enjoyed the diverse characters in this book. First off, Sully! A male protagonist! In young adult fiction! YAY! It might just be me (or not really) but there is a lack of male main characters, so coming upon one is kinda rare. For me at least. It might just be my taste in books. Any-hoo, Sully was a great character, although I wish that the narrative got in touch with his emotions more. I get that it's from a third person limited view, but it wouldn't be too bad to show us how he feels every now and then. Hunter was such a kickass female character–I liked her backstory. Dom was just a lovable best friend, and so was Mandy. I only wish that Mandy was featured a bit more because it seemed like she was always lagging behind the other three characters by just a titch. Holliday was a pretty interesting villain, and he kinda works well with our world today with all them billionaires trying to buy out smaller sellers *shakes fist at Wall Street*. But yeah anyway–diversity! Hunter is partially Puerto Rican! Mandy is Asian (although the generality of being labelled "Asian" kinda angers me) and a lesbian! This book was wonderful when it came to characters and representation–other than the generality of being called "Asian," of course. 

As I mentioned before, it was kind of weird finding an alternate version of our world set today. It threw me off a little bit because I had no idea what to expect. Was it exactly like our world just with the weird spheres and people with enhanced abilities? Were there groups divided by ability? I mean, I got a better understanding as it went on, but I never really got the whole picture. What I took away from it is that there is some sort of class structure thing going on, that kind of mirrors our own, except it's based on how many abilities you have–which you display via clothing. Otherwise, the world is pretty much the same. I even remember Kanye West and Taylor Swift mentioned in the book, so it definitely has be set in our present.

While I did enjoy the story for the most part, the last quarter of the book was a little bit silly. Butttt...Burning Midnight was still an entertaining read. All in all, the story grabbed my attention from start to finish, and it was an original and quirky science-fiction novel that young adult readers will love. McIntosh seriously knows how to spin a good story, and I'm really looking forward to reading his next young adult book!

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Cassie by Random House Children's Books for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪

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  1. So true. I enjoy reading books in male pov's so I totally agree with you on that. I haven't read too many reviews of this one, but you made it sound so intriguing!

  2. Oh! I'm glad you liked this one! I had my eye on it last year, but kind of lost interest as the pub date drew closer. :o It seems like a quick and entertaining read, which is sometimes the best kind of story! Fantastic review, Rabiah. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  3. if you're interested, here's my review of Burning Midnight.


  4. True male pov in YA is rare .... did not know this book had it, definitely getting this book now. I love plots based on alternate universes.

    Great Review :)
    Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex

  5. Like you, I also liked this one but found it a little odd. The reasoning behind why the spheres were there was kind of surprising but I liked the mystery up to that point!

  6. Interesting but not my usual genre. The diversity and male protagonist is tempting me though. I agree with you, we need more male heroes/POV in YA

  7. I did like how different this one, definitely something more unique for sure. ;)


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