Friday, February 12, 2016

#Friday Review - Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh (YA, Speculative Thriller)

Series: Standalone
Format: Paperback, 320 pages
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

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.

Will McIntosh's Burning Midnight is a young adult, science fiction standalone novel where nine years ago, sphere's suddenly showed up out of nowhere, and caused an international sensation. 
Nobody has a clue where the sphere's came from or what they really do to the body. The spheres come in all sorts of colors like Forest Green (enhanced sense of smell), Army Green (resistance to the common cold), Lemon Yellow (grown an inch), or Cranberry (better looking). Once the spheres are burned, the "gifts" stay with that person for a life time.

Meet 17-year old David "Sully" Sullivan. Sully is the kid who discovered a very rare Cherry Red Sphere. He was famous for all of about 10 minutes and set to make millions. Then he met billionaire Alex Holiday who screwed him over, and left him with absolutely nothing for his troubles. Sully, the boy known as the one who lost everything, hasn't given up on his dream of finding another rare sphere to save his mother and him from living with an uncle in Pittsburgh. In the meantime, he buys and sells spheres at a local flea market where he meets the mysterious Hunter. 

Hunter is a girl who has the remarkable ability of finding spheres hidden in strange places, like water towers, for example. She's been "hunting" spheres for 5 years, and discovered interesting new colors like Rose and Hot Pink which are high on the rarity scale. Hunter and Sully become partners, and after a painstakingly long search, they discover a Gold sphere, the rarest of the spheres. 

But, in this world, nothing escapes the notice of Alex Holliday and his sphere hunters. Holiday will do anything to control all the rare sphere's for himself and goes to great lengths to do so. It will take a group effort, including Sully's best friend Dom Cucuzza, and Mandy Toko, the one who time and time again warns about the consequences of the spheres, and who also has a beef with Holliday to keep.  

The Good: I liked the pace of the book. I liked that there are four entirely different characters like Sully, Hunter, Dom, and Mandy who come from different backgrounds and ethnicity. They each have different issues, but they end up together regardless of minor issues regarding the spheres and what to do with them. I like that Sully and Hunter are similar yet different in the ways of being poor. I like that Mandy was the one who wanted to search for the spheres, but was hesitant in using them herself. I dare say that she had the most strength as a character.

The Bad: After a stunning revelation about the spheres, and a life or death fight against super beings called Harvesters, the book ends with a whole lot of questions. Where did the spheres actually come from? Were they gifts from God? Did Aliens somehow manage to leave them behind? Or, are they the Devil's work? Who came up with the idea that if you burned two sphere's together, you can enhanced your life and abilities?

Sold as for fans of The Maze Runner and The Fifth Wave, a debut novel that pits four underprivileged teenagers against an evil billionaire in the race to find the most valuable spheres. 

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