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Tuesday, 1 March 2016
Review: Burning Midnight
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy Courtesy of the publisher, MacMillan Children's
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 mum make the rent. No one knows where the brilliant-coloured 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 maths, 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. What they find will change more than just their lives... Because the entire world fights over spheres, but no one knows why they're here or what their powers are... until now.
Guys, I insist that you read this book RIGHT NOW. I read this boon in three hours. THREE. I sat down to read a couple chapters, and then ended up reading the whole thing, I sped through it and loved every single page! I wasn't sure what to expect going in, and I was completely blown away by how amazing this book was. It was brilliant! I saw on GoodReads that it's like "for fans of Maze Runner", yeah I can see that, I suppose. But this book blows Maze Runner away.
You're immediately thrown in to the world of the book and I was intrigued from the start and wanted to know more about the world, and the mysterious spheres. I was fascinated and completely and utterly hooked on the book and the story and the characters and everything. I couldn't put it down, seriously. It was funny, it was well written, it had such a fantastic fast pace, and there's so much information in such a concise way. Not to mention the cast of completely brilliant characters and the beautiful relationships in the book.
I liked Sully straigh away, I felt for him, and I connected with him. I liked how he handled everything, he kept trying, he kept doing everything he could to help out his mum, he even sold something so precious to him to keep them in their home. He was such a strong character for how he kept on working and doing whatever he could to scrape some cash together. I also loved Hunter straight away as well, she cracked me up and I was so curious to know more about her character and her past, but it was so heartbreaking at the same time, and then there where points near the end when I wasn't too sure of her! I also wanted to smack her a couple of times towards the end, but then I wasn't entirely sure if it was all her.
Dom and Mandy where two more characters I immediately loved, Dom and his friendship with Sully was beautiful to read, how he kept insisting on helping him and stood up for him, but was also quite shy and quiet and kind of at odds with his appearance. Mandy had an interesting backstory and I thought she was going to end up being Dom's girlfriend and I was bit like hmmm, but then she was like "sorry dude, I'm a lesbian" and oh my God it was brilliant, and so was Dom's reaction!
Each character is fantastically written, there's more to them than meets the eye, you're eager to learn more about them and they come alive and practically jump out of the book. The book has such a fantastic cast of characters, both primary and secondary and they all really where a huge part in bringing the story to life, and making me love it! There's little tidbits about characters and events from the past dropped everywhere which makes you more and more fascinated about the world of the book and the characters and their histories, and you so badly want to know more and then you do and it's always so emotional!
I completely loved the friendships between the four of them as a group, as well as between Dom and Sully, Sully and Mandy and so on. Pairs I guess! Their relationships with each other where so realistic and organic, and where written with such depth that despite not knowing the characters for very long, you still understood the characters and their friendships and how they all worked together, as well as getting such a feel for the friendships. I loved watching the characters interact, whether good or bad!
As well as the nice characters, we had the evil Alex Holliday, and I completely and utterly hated him. Don't get me wrong, he was perfectly written, he's the kind of bad guy that you hate but kind of love because he's the best kind of villain. I will admit, I was kind of like "this guys has got to get what's coming to him" and it was all fine in the end. But yeah. Kind of the perfect villain. And as much as I hated him, his speech near the beginning did a good job of providing more information on the spheres as well as what the narrative told us!
I really liked the vibe of the book, it was original, it was cinematic, and it was really atmospheric and vivid. The book pulls you in until you're in the world with the characters, walking the streets with them and hunting for spheres. Each new location had it's own vibe and atmosphere and I'm so mind blown because like I keep saying..the books like 300 pages and the amount of detail is insane, none of it slows down the pace and it's always concise, giving the maximum impact with just a few words.
The main thing that fascinated me about the book, was the world. Like you had top 40 artists who are only there because they burned specific spheres and sports players burning spheres, and if you sit and think about it, on the one hand the spheres can help people out, but on the other they make the world kind of unfair. Plus you have no idea where they came from, or what the consequences of using them might be, I agreed with a lot of what Mandy said in the book! But it really made me think, would I burn spheres if the opportunity every arose? I'm not too sure. Because towards the end everyones like...what happened might happen again, so may as well make the most of it, and I kinda agreed with that as well! It was really thought provoking.
The plot was brilliant and it was a really fast moving book. There where so many surprising twists, and so many things to be unsure of. There was so much tension and suspense and a sense of distrust as we near the end of the book. As a reader, you're not entirely sure about Hunter at the end. I was never sure what was going to happen next, the book surprised me from the start and kept on doing it right up until the end. Like I said, I wasn't sure what to expect going in and the book was just a huge surprise and I completely loved it! It also ended perfectly, with everything wrapped up, but the ending was just so satisfying!
Burning Midnight is a fantastically written, original and fast paced book, with a world that will suck you in and fascinate you, and that doesn't quite leave your thoughts even when you've finished reading the book. The characters are believable and realistic, you root for them, you love reading about them and watching them interact and they're full of intrigue. The little tidbits dropped throughout will drive you made with intrigue as you want to know EVERYTHING and begin to guess at past events! The story is brilliant, you breeze through it, soaking in the tension and suspense, the fear and the doubt. It's impossible to put down, and it's one of the best books that I've read this year so far!