Saturday, December 22, 2012

Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell

Series: Conquered Earth (bk. 1)

Genera: Dystopian Sci-fi/Fantasy

Subjects: Aliens, post-apocalyptic, adventure, war, supernatural

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 372 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: Macmillan: St. Martin’s Griffin

Summary/ product description: “Lord of the Flies meets War of the Worlds in J. Barton Mitchell's alien-invaded post-apocalyptic world where two teens and a young girl with amazing powers must stop the aliens’ mysterious plan
Earth has been conquered by an alien race known as the Assembly. The human adult population is gone, having succumbed to the Tone---a powerful, telepathic super-signal broadcast across the planet that reduces them to a state of complete subservience. But the Tone has one critical flaw. It only affects the population once they reach their early twenties, which means that there is one group left to resist: Children.
Holt Hawkins is a bounty hunter, and his current target is Mira Toombs, an infamous treasure seeker with a price on her head. It’s not long before Holt bags his prey, but their instant connection isn’t something he bargained for. Neither is the Assembly ship that crash-lands near them shortly after. Venturing inside, Holt finds a young girl who remembers nothing except her name: Zoey.
As the three make their way to the cavernous metropolis of Midnight City, they encounter young freedom fighters, mutants, otherworldly artifacts, pirates, feuding alien armies, and the amazing powers that Zoey is beginning to exhibit. Powers that suggest she, as impossible as it seems, may just be the key to stopping the Assembly once and for all.
Midnight City is the breathtaking first book of the Conquered Earth series.”

My Rating: êêê

My Review: I might have given this book more than 3 stars if the typography wasn’t so tiny. All those words on each page is a bit discouraging. It gave me really bad eye strain, but despite that, the world building amazed me. How did the author come up with this? Artifacts from the “Strange Lands” that when combined do really amazing things. I was not expecting this. I was expecting something similar to War of the Worlds. This “techno-magic” is a really creative idea. And yeah the book reminds me a bit of the Gone series in some ways too. And the Strange Lands made me think of Under The Never Sky. So is Dark Matter and Aether the same thing?

I think it’s kind of weird that the main characters are 20 (Holt) and 18 (Mira). That’s kind of old for YA/Teen books. Especially for the 1st in a series. And Zoey is only 8 or 10. I really liked the dog Max. Zoey calls his “The Max” and always asks if she can ride him. Most of the character do seem flat, and the switching 3rd person perspectives is really annoying. The plot is not bad. I like that they start their journey somewhere in Illinois or Missouri, and travel near the Mississippi to wherever Midnight City is. The compound in a dam is a really cool idea, and probably possible. The factions made me think of Divergent. This book is not filled with realistic stuff, but some stuff is. There are parts similar to Ashfall and Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin.

The journey continues in The Severed Tower, coming out Fall 2013.

Cover Art Review: I really like the cover. The colors are cool. The dystopian scene is interesting. There’s a city, some wreckage and a boy, girl and dog. I like the typeface for the title. And the symbol.


~Haley G

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