February 2, 2016
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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.There was a lot of the unexpected when it came to Burning Midnight and I loved the surprises it had in store.
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.
Sully and Dom are great best friends. At the outset, Dom seems like that perfect foil-slash-best-friend or goofy best friend sidekick character. He is girl crazy while Sully maybe isn't over his ex, his relationship with his parents is just about the opposite of Sully's with his mother and he isn't as serious. They make a great match as friends and for the beginning of the book. What I ended up loving most, though, is when Dom steps outside and beyond the funny, reliable best friend role. It was a surprise to me and to Sully but it worked really, really well and lead things in a great direction.
In Burning Midnight the world is almost the same as our own, except thanks to the spheres, hidden all around the world, some people have special talents or skills. Some have more than others, some even have none (by choice, circumstance, or both).
The way the book begins, with (relatively) normal life for Sully, his mother and friends makes the move farther into Will McIntosh's fantasy even better. Though it is almost sudden, it is also a very smooth transition.We have gotten comfortable with the world as it is, just like Sully has, and then when things are stepped up, it is exciting and fun.
The friendship, the romance, the issues of and around money, who has it, who doesn't, and who really doesn't and, possibly, the chance for anyone to improve their lives - not forgetting the consequences that may come with that - all make for an unforgettable, action filled, fantastic story. I really hope there is more of the Burning Midnight world to come.
review copy received, from publisher, via NetGalley