Title: Burning Midnight
Author: Will McIntosh
Recommended for: Grade 7 & up
Call Number/Link: Teen Fiction McIntosh, W.
Synopsis: 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.
My Review: The start to this one is a bit slow. I’ll admit I jumped into it without re-reading the description so it took me a good 20-25 pages to really understand what was happening.Once I got the concept, I did enjoy the book. The start is where it really shines. Sully meeting Hunter, them going hunting, and the bit of luck they find together. It’s when they going off to search new and, hopefully, untouched locations that it starts to drag again. The whole searching of water towers was a bit tedious. But once they find that mysterious Gold, things kick into high speed. Maybe a little too much.
Once the Gold is found, they’re immediately on a trip to find the other. Four teenagers, alone, with no idea where they’re going. I’m not sure why any parent would think that is a good idea, but I suppose the lure of money is enough to say okay to anything. Of course, they’re also being hunted by the main baddie (if you can call him that) and he’ll start at nothing for the Golds. Of course, nothing is quite as it seems and what the Golds (and Midnights) release is not good. (There’s also a lot of suspending belief at this point, too, you just kind of have to roll with it)
What does it bring? Well, I won’t ruin it, but it’s not completely unexpected though either. I was a bit disappointed in the solution though. It felt too easy and almost like a cop-out. I would have liked to have seen more happen. It just felt unsatisfying to say the least.
Overall, it was still a fun read and I would easily hand this to kids just exploring the Sci-Fi genre. It has a 5th Wave feel to it, but I’m not sure teens who have read that series would be completely satisfied with this one. I would suspect there may not be enough grit/depth to this one for their tastes.