I ve read quite a few dystopian novels lately check my reviews and I have to say I think Midnight City is one of the best It is wildly imaginative Yes, there is a touch of John Christopher s Tripod series here, along with a bit of H.G Wells s War of the Worlds, some A Boy and His Dog , and even a little Night of the Living Dead, but from those pieces J Barton Mitchell has stitched together a truly unique story world.The main characters of Holt, Mira, Zooey, and dog Max are genuinely likable and interesting The situations they encounter, from outracing alien machines, to raiding an ancient nuclear reactor, to exploring a seemingly abandoned city, to finally arriving at the title city all are gripping and fast paced.The dialog is good, the action is great, and even the occasional flashback dream sequence seem to fit perfectly into the narrative, and are necessary for the reader Not always the case with flashbacks Often they grind the story to a halt Another plus in my book, is that the author accomplishes all of this while keeping the story appropriate for all ages and really for all readers In content, it is a soft PG And it loads of fun I especially like the twist of artifacts Very ingenious.The only criticism I might have of the book, as a whole, is that there were a number of instances where the alien attacking force seemed to show up at the most opportune time They became almost a Deus ex Machina, though one that fits with the story.Another thing that bugs me is having to wait to see where the series goes next Though the book has enough closure for a first book, it IS a first book So if you like it, you ll have to wait for Hopefully not long. Re read and just as good as the first time Great YA dystopian Right up there with The 5th Wave Fantastic. Rating 3.5 5 StarsYoung Adult Fiction these days is split very neatly into multiple genres, multiple types and multiple shelves Yet, every so often a book will come along that doesn t haveonegenre,onetype , oroneshelf it belongs to If anything, it belongs toallgenres,alltypes andallshelves In my opinion,Midnight Cityis one such novel While it is primarily a dystopian, it contains its fair bit of supernatural elements, action, survival, and romance Yet, it would also equally appeal to all ages and genders and is one of the most unique tales to have been written in the past few years In other words, I didn t think it could go wrong and I am thrilled to report that I was right it didn t disappoint It has been eight years since an alien race, The Assembly, has landed on Earth and wiped out the entire adult race Now, children scourge the dead lands, struggling to survive until The Tone, a deadly disease that caused the entire adult generation to become brain washed and walk into airships of The Assembly, takes them too Holt is a young bounty hunter running away from the price on his own head and struggling to survive, but he contains rare genes that have enabled him to escape The Tone and live to old age, alone and surrounded by young children When Holt manages to catch Mira, a freebooter with than a few tricks up her sleeve, he also unwillingly rescues Zoey, a young girl, from a fallen Assembly airship But, transporting Mira and Zoey, along with his faithful companion dog Max, is than Holt bargained for and as he will soon find out, the Assembly is after him Or rather, after Zoey, an eight year old girl who may just have the power to destroy the alien race once and for all I ll admit itMidnight Cityexceeded even my highest expectations of it I was sucked into this rich, futuristic, and original world that Mitchell had created and I didn t want to leave In fact, one of the main aspects of this novel that truly struck me was how complex and cleverly written the world building was It wasn t all dumped at you in one go, but it also wasn t withheld for too long Mitchell gives you just enough information at just the right time and employs the show not tell method very effectively in my opinion This can especially be seen in the portrayal of his characters he doesn ttellus that Holt is strong and self reliant, heshowsus through his actions He doesn ttellus that Mira is kick ass and brave, heshowsus WhileMidnight Citywas very much a plot driven novel with a heart pounding pace and something worse happening at every turn when you thought itcouldn tget worse, I admired how it was, in equal parts, a character driven novel Mitchell tells his story in third person and shifts perspectives, allowing us to see into Holt, Mira, and even Zoey s mind from time to time I thought this was a purposeful literary technique that worked very effectively in further developing these characters I really enjoyed how the pasts of Holt, Mira, and Zoey, an important aspect that truly helped shaped them into the fighters they had become today, unfolded slowly and methodically throughout the novel In fact, by the end ofMidnight CityI felt as if I truly understood these characters very well, but nottoowell that I wouldn t still be wondering about them until the sequel came out I thought the pacing of this was perfect not only in terms of the plot, but in terms of the character development as well I think one of the areas I was most apprehensive about before delving into this novel was the romance, but, like everything else about this book, I needn t have been worried Mitchell develops the relationship between Mira and Holt in a very realistic manner they both know that they are captor and captive and in the beginning, they are than a little hostile towards one another Yet, as The Assembly comes charging down on them and their mission to survive becomes dire and pressing than their current relationship of captivity, they began to slowly work together to keep Zoey alive and form a mutual respect and admiration for one another that slowly grows into something deeper Yet, what I love the most about their romance is that they arenotin love there is still so much about each other that they don t know and even the future of their relationship is very precarious, but they make the best of what they have Further, Mitchell truly takes the personalities of Holt and Mira into account Holt, for one, is used to being alone, so for him to suddenly begin to care about not only Mira, but Zoey as well, is a huge leap of faith I thought Mitchell developed this inner dilemma very well and realistically portrayed Holt s growth, as well as that of Mira Ironically, despite the fact that Zoey is themostimportant character in this novel due to her special abilities, she has gotten the least amount of discussion time in this review Yet, there isn t much I can say about her Zoey has powers that she doesn t know about she can sense other people s emotions and has strong, intense gut reactions that never lead her astray Still, there is so much to her than just that and the journey to seeing her mature, become brave, and face on her scary abilities head on is nothing short of miraculous Zoey is very easy to like and while she may be just a tad bit clich d and too good to be true for an eight year old girl, I think it remains true to the type of environment she grew up in and her strange powers Of all the characters, the reader still knows the least about Zoey, but I think I like it that way I m curious about her and can t wait to see how much she develops in the sequel For all my praise of it,Midnight Cityis, by no means, a perfect novel I thought the pace of it sped up a bit too much after the half way mark and as events began to occur at greater and greater speeds, the conversation, witty banter, and heavy details that nicely balanced out the action previously seemed to disappear Thus, I found a couple dozen pages of the novel to be a little hard to get through In addition to that, I thought that the intensity of feelings that Holt had for Mira were a littletoostrong I suppose that, for a first love romance, they remain realistic, but I was a tad bit annoyed that we knew the intensity of Holt s feelings for Mira, but we were kept in the dark about Mira s true feelings towards Holt I suppose, in a way, it s a bit of a cliffhanger ending, and it s definitely one I can t wait to find out about Further, I found that the quality of the characters seemed to drop once the trio made their way into Midnight City I know this was because the characters mentioned at that point in the novel were trivial, but I wish that the pace could have been slowed down just a tad bit to give them a bit depth Nevertheless, these qualms are really only a slight dent in the creative masterpiece that isMidnight CityI am an avid Doctor Who fan, so of course, any novel about aliens was sure to go down well with me, butMidnight Cityproved to be far better than I thought With rich descriptions, vibrant characters, and a break neck plot that will leave you flipping the pages frantically,Midnight Cityis a fantastic and original new addition to the realm of dystopian fiction It is definitely a novel whose sequel I am already eagerly anticipating and one whose world I am dearly missing I cannot wait to immerse myself into this rich realm once again and cannot recommendMidnight Cityenough It is a novel that has something in it for everyone and simply one that cannot be missedThank you to NetGalley and St Martin s Press for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for a honest reviewYou can read this review and on my blog, Ivy Book Bindings. 2.5 5 starsMidnight City is a book that frustrated me It advertises itself as a dystopian, alien invasion science fiction novel And while it s most certainly a dystopian and there seem to be aliens, it s by no means a science fiction novel Instead it s a melding of dystopian alien with fantasy, yet it refuses to acknowledge that.Science is one thing Magic is another entirely I love them both but you have to know which one you are writing Key to this novel are these things called artifacts that are made from Strange Land objectsIt takes three types of artifacts to make the most basic combination, Mira began First you need a power source which is always two Strange Lands coins of the same denomination The higher the denomination the power powerful the artifacts Coins also determine the polarity of the artifact combination Placing them with the same sides facing out is negative I m sorry that s not science It s not even believable fake scienceThe artifacts were the closest thing the world had ever had to magic That s because they are magic It doesn t matter if Mira studied them or if they use words like polarity, there is no other explanation for the artifacts Yet the book continues to say there is no magic, or they don t believe in magic, when everything key to the book has absolutely no scientific explanation Even the climax of the novel depends upon this shoddy science magic and that frustrated me.This is not the only problem with the book I had trouble believing the characters as well Holt Hawkin s is supposed to be this gruff, tough bounty hunter For someone who s personal mantra is survival dictates this phrase gets annoying he s a bit of a pushover For him to survive to age 20 a rarity in this post apocalyptic world, especially being an experienced bounty hunter, it seems like he would need to be a little harder The fact that a girl with pretty eyes can effect him so much makes it difficult to believe his backstory as a bounty hunter.The writing is also lackluster and clunky Take this phrase for exampleDid you see them They were red Mira yelled down at him from the tree on the inclinePlaced plop in the middle of an action scene, it bogs everything down It would be better with less words, especially since the tree being on an incline isn t necessary to the plot It feels like the author is trying to force you to see the same image that s in his head even when it s not important.There was time when this book got the pacing right and it was readable, but overall it just didn t feel worth it When I read a science fiction book I expect science New dystopians need to be GREAT because they are following in the footsteps of The Uglies, Hunger Games, Chaos Walking and everything that comes before You need characters that sweep you off your feet or mind blowing revelations or something special to make your novel stand out This one just doesn t An advanced reading copy of this was provided by the publisher through Netgalley For reviews and check out my blog Galavanting Girl Books It s pretty unlikely to come across an alien book in YA fiction, which is part of the reason why I was so curious about Midnight City I was also still catching up on Doctor Who when I picked this book up, so I guess you could say I was in a si fi mood Never the less, this book proved to be an interesting read with an easy to follow plot and an undeniably great mix of futuristic tech, alien life forms, unexpected mini villains, an interesting take on post apocalyptic society and an unexpected romance For a first novel, J.Barton Mitchell did an excellent job writing Midnight City Just by the way it was written you can tell that JBM is a really good storyteller But although plot was easy to understand and the characters were really well written, I did have my problems.Let s talk about the characters Holt is defiantly not your typical YA fiction hero He s not going to go out of his way to save people or do things because of justice or it s the right thing He does everything because of survival, and really he s a bit stubborn He has nearly zero hope for the future and his past life was a mess It s as if he s locked his feelings and emotions away Although, that all changes once he meets Mira Toombs Mira is the complete opposite of Holt, and the two of them don t get along at all at first Unlike Holt, Mira is reckless and always thinks things can change Although she can be a bit hot headed at times, she s also very clever and determined, and almost serves as a mother figure for Zoey She s also the biggest bad ass in the whole book Like Holt, Mira doesn t have the greatest past let s face it The world got taken over by aliens and she s a wanted criminal But she knows she can fix things, or she ll at least try to Zoey is the mysterious little girl who s sort of an enigma She doesn t have any memories and she doesn t know who she even is Zoey feels intimidated by the world that she s in, but she wants to help and find her identity She s a little shy and depends a lot on Holt and Mira, and sometimes leads them into trouble, but she s got a power that can save the human race and that s important You ll find out what that it The character development was pretty good By the end of this book, Holt and Mira are changed for the better and and is revealed as the story goes on about Zoey s past And the pacing was excellent except for the last 30 pages.I feel like the ending was rushed The pacing for the whole book was perfect, but everything happened so fast at the end, when I finished it, I was just liked What just happened I had to go back and re read the end The plot was really good I know the description sounds a little crazy, but everything that happened in this book just fit together really nice The action scenes were exciting and were easy to follow, and were balanced out by the perfect amount of romance, mystery and si fi The aliens were also interesting, and they proved to be a major obstacle for our characters, although they weren t the only villains There were some questions that remained unanswered by the end of this book Like, what exactly did Zoey to break the dam Or, what did the aliens do with the people that succumbed to the tone And are the adults still alive And others that would be spoiler worthy I m assuming that they will be answered in the next book of the series which will be released October 2013 but I closed this book feeling like at least some of them deserved to be answered Overall, I would give this book a 3.5 out of five, because although it had a good plot and strong characters, there were a bit too many unanswered questions and the ending was extremelycc rushed. 13494718 GoodreadsLord of the Flies meets War of the Worlds in J Barton Mitchell s alien invaded post apocalyptic world where two teens and a youngc girl with amazing powers must stop the aliens mysterious planEarth 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.I love the characters They re all really interesting Neither of them are the same They have special personalities Great ones And special powers Colt is brave He s strong too He has a motto Survive And his past is dark His sister especially I like that Colt is a great guy A nice guy even He pretends like he doesn t care But he does I like this tough guy not really character It s pretty awesome I ve sucker for tough characters They have secrets Reasons for being tough Colt s is his sister And he becomes and fascinating He is someone else A caring person A loving person even And that s amazing Mira is smart I love her cocky personality She s such a cool person And she is dangerous And wicked smart I like her personality She s brave and daring But she has secrets Secrets in Midnight City Demons in Midnight City She has to accept them And she s slowly turning towards the Tone She s a fighter Mira fights Plus, she uses her knowledge like a sword How to use different artifacts How to take different artifacts Ehem Chance Generator Zoey is fascinating There is just something about her It s not her childish personality Wellmaybe Her childish personality contradicts her words and the feelings It s as if she doesn t care I m not sure who Zoey is She s childish, but she has the feelings Which I think is the Tone talking to her Who is Zoey Is she Heedless Is she human Was she never human to begin with There are so many questions Don t worry You ll find out something later The plot is great Fast paced Mysterious Daring It s fascinating The story kept me going I want to read The action is good too It was fast The characters were fighters That made their fights better If that makes sense The plot also reveals things about all three characters Emily Ben And the Apex All these things are revealed They change the characters which change their actions which affects the plot I do think there is a problem, though They don t really go outside of Midnight City Why is that They don t think about running until it s too late I feel like Mira could have avoided this by leaving Or not returning Then againyou wouldn t find out part of Zoey s backstory And the inhabitants of Midnight City are all focused on their Points Is that resemblance to today s society We re all in love with our money Is that implying anything I m unsure of the truth I want to say this is an economic thing Not sure, though The romance isn t bad It s kinda cute actually I m a huge fan of enemy turned lover I don t know why And this is a good example of it I like how the characters don t rush It s slow and gentle And it s not you can t see the chemistry It s definitely there You can see it.What I don t like is that Holt seems fixated on Mira s physical attributes I think it s okay for the emerald we this That s important to the story, the Tone and all I get it Nice lady figure means you likey Okay okay But really Physical looks aren t all that important Not to me, at least.I actually liked the premise The world has ended There is the Tone The only people exempt Children and the Heedless We have Mira and Holt A Freebooter and a bounty hunter And Zoey They are all interesting characters The story has many terms Freebooter Spiders Osprey Many things And the world is different There are stories with alien types But this story is different The endingwow What a surprise What a reveal I loved the ending In a way This story was so open ended Lots of things could happen Or not happen Seems interesting, right Indeed I think the ending really highlights Zoey s importance And how she is powerful than anyone else Weather Sunny with a few clouds4 5 This is the first book in his Conquered Earth series, and I have to say I can t wait for the next book The way the author combined so many different fantasy and science fiction attributes was amazing I would have to say this is an excellent combination of War of the Worlds meets Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome Holt Hawkins is a bounty hunter, a lone and a rare human on a future Earth that has been taken over by an alien invasion 10 years ago, the Assembly invaded earth Their ships drove into the earth like giant spikes After a short series of battles, Earth s defenses were quickly conquered Most of the adults of the world were subject to the Tone, a signal broadcast to the matured minds of the world that slowly caused their eyes to turn solid black and drove the infected to immediately drop whatever they were in the middle of, abandon their lives and walk to the closest Assembly ship never to be seen from again Holt is a Heedless a human that is for some unknown reason, immune to the Tone This also means he was forced to watch everyone he ever cared about abandon him and walk into the horizon Since losing his sister, Holts only friend has been his constant companion, Max the dog Holt is sent out to capture Mira Toombs, a Freebooter from Midnight City After catching up to Mira, they are caught in the middle of an Assembly civil battle between the common variety of Assembly and a new faction, never seen before During this battle, a new type of ship appears and is quickly destroyed It crashes into Holt and Mira s campsite and after a quick investigation Holt finds Zoey, a young girl, not than eight or nine years old, inside the destroyed craft Zoey seems to have a sixth sense and can tell where the Assembly units are and also what Mira and Holt are thinking, but she remembers nothing of who she is or where she came from.After a long, grueling chase the three make their way back to Midnight City, each with a different reason for being there Mira goes willingly to save an old friend Holt goes to turn in Mira and claim his bounty to buy his own freedom Zoey is drawn there but doesn t know exactly why Upon arrival at Midnight City nothing turns out as expected.Within the city walls our three travelers find deceit, truths, lies and love Will Mira save Ben, the man she has risked her life for Will Holt get his reward and gain his freedom to live his life out in peace What of Zoey who is she where did she come from what is in her future This action packed book tells the tales of the beginning and if the author can keep the rest of the series as engrossing and nail biting as this first book is, then it will surely make literary history. I hate really good books, I go through them so fastThe story takes place about 10 years after some Aliens called the Assembly have come, reduced the adult population to zombies and taken them off someplace and children are left to run the place, battling the aliens and the Tone, some kind of mind control wave that seems to get them when they turn adult.Let s see, Holt, an immune to the Tone young 20 something is a bounty hunter, his target is Mira and he plans on getting her, turning her in for the bounty and then getting away from a group of nasty customers call the Menagerie We know ahead of time that he falls for Mira, he tries not to, but he does, that s pretty much old hat, but still, the author almost made it new again Holt is on his way to get his bounty when he runs into Zoey a very special little girl, they snap her up because it s obvious that she needs protection and that there IS something about her The bulk of the story is their trip to Midnight City and a little bit about Midnight City itself.The characters are fairly complex for a scifi dystopia, not all just the last perfect people in a group of human animals, they have their weaknesses too, even some of the bad human guys have some redeeming qualities, mostly greed and survival, but they seem to be able to function as humans.You never learn anything about the aliens, they are a big mystery, not just to the reader, but to the characters too, they never reveal themselves and the only weakness they seem to have is to water and some kind of conflict within themselves that no one understands either.I give it 5 stars not because it will be a classic, it s awfully close, just missing by maybe a little character depth, but it accomplishes what it sets out to do well, it s a premium dystopic sci fi, lots of action, cliff hanging and interesting ideas, I could barely put it down and it s not a book to read before bed.unless you re in a slow spot I could even see a decent movie out of it if made properly I hope he writes a good follow up, it s definitely stand alone, another aspect that I like, I really hate the modern series making machines, but I d like to see another even better written follow up, I d definitely get it. Read This Review More Like it On My Blog 3.5 out of 5I have many, many feelings about this book A lot of them are good, like Ooooh, this is unexpectedly creeeepy or This is an author who can write strong female protagonists but, sadly, some are along the lines of What the hell is going on and Why aren t any of my questions most pertaining to key elements of the plot being answered There s obviously a lot of imagination and inventiveness going on throughout the nearly 400 page ARC I read, and some elements just aren t satisfactorily touched on enough to merit than a 3.5 5 star rating That all aside, I inhaled this book in under five and a half hours I was glued to the pages from the first actiontastic chapter up until riiiight about 30 or so pages from the end, when Midnight City tried to do too much in too short of a span of pages Missteps and unanswered questions aside, I really liked what Mitchell had to offer in this strong debut novel, and I would read it again.The blending of post apocalyptic and science fiction genres is not one I encounter a lot in my reading areas I like both, but rarely seek them out, and the stark picture Mitchell paints with his almost dystopic future is wholly unique for me as a reader The scenario and mix of genres allows Mitchell to create a very engrossing, new type of setting, with a creative plotline to go along with it I admit that I went into this with low expectations because I don t read a lot of science fiction about aliens, especially hostile ones they ve scared me deeply since I watched Aliens when I was, oh, five or so Blame my sister I surely do but Midnight City has an undeniably great mix of futuristic tech, alien life forms, and creative mixes of all the above, which was than enough to make me see past my alien bias While not everything about the story is explained as well or cohesively as I d have liked or enough to inflate my rating like the artifacts and the Strange Lands , the bare bones laid down here are surely to be explained in the forthcoming sequels Or so I can fervently hope what I can forgive in an introductory novel is far than in subsequent novels.Third person limited can be tough to pull off, especially in YA and especially with than one character used to narrate the story Not so is the case here though Mira and Holt are always at a bit of a distance from the reader, it s quite easy to invest in and care about these two characters struggling to survive and do the right thing in a world gone mad And it s impossible not to love Max I appreciated how deftly Mitchell portrayed his protagonists both are sharp, cunning, and resourceful, though in vastly different ways The author obviously takes time and care to illustrate their respective strengths and weaknesses, very rarely falling into the trap of telling instead of showing Their relationship is complex and doesn t rush headlong into tropes or cliches refreshing for a YA novel indeed From a captor captive situation to uneasy allies to friends with sparkly feelings, the evolution of Holt and Mira s connection felt both organic and natural for both This is definitely of aplot driven novel, but all of the main characters from Holt to Mira to the Max to Zoey can than hold their own Midnight City was easily coasting along at about a 3.75 or even a 4 5 rating for me, until the very end What had been an adventure at an even pace for 350 pages turned into a madcap rush to the finish line The ending thirty or so pages were a chaotic mess of unexplained happenings and no clear sense of what was going on I was super confused, and then, pretty damn frustrated with a novel I had been thoroughly immersed in, just chapters before Chaotic and much faster in pace than anything that had come before, I was let down by the final climax and that cliffhanger of a denouement There are so many unanswered questions once the final page is turned and they felt like a glaring omission For instance view spoiler why was Holt on the run from the Menagerie have a bounty on his head What was Ben s relationship with Mira How why can Zoey do the things she can do The few memories felt like a cop out and explained NOTHING Why are the different factions of the Assembly fighting one another for over the eight year old hide spoiler 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 ChildrenHolt 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 ZoeyAs 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
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Midnight City book, this is one of the most wanted J. Barton Mitchell author readers around the world.
- 374 pages
- Midnight City
- J. Barton Mitchell
- 10 June 2019 J. Barton Mitchell