Monday, November 9, 2009Jessica Day moves to the town of Bixby, Oklahoma where she finds things to be pretty strange. For starters, the water tastes really funny and time freezes at midnight. Only a small group of her fellow students are aware of the secret hour that occurs each night and each is gifted with an ability to help protect them from the dark creatures that haunt the secret hour. As long as the Midnighters never got in the way of the darkling creatures they were safe but Jessica's presence has the darklings riled up. She must discover her Midnighter ability before the darklings have a chance to stop her.
This one was a reread for me. I wanted to refresh my memory before going on to read the second book in tha Midnighters series, Touching Darkness. The book is very enjoyable. I would not have bothered to read it again or even bothered with the sequels if I did not like it the first time around. I am still going to stand behind my previous statement that Peeps is my favourite Westerfeld book so far. That said, I think that the thing that I like more about Peeps is that the characters are older than the characters in Midnighters. As a twenty year old, I find it easier to relate to the maturity levels of nineteen year old Cal than fifteen year old Jessica. Or maybe it is just that I am so very over high school.
I particularly liked all of the thirteen letter words Westerfeld slings at you and the funny combinations he comes up with: "Purposely Hyper-Inflated Individuality." I don't know about anyone else, but I got suspicious and often when I saw a long word I would wonder if he was sneaking in more thirteen letter words and pause reading to count. Focus! I really must learn to focus!
I really like the idea of the secret hour, a twenty fifth hour in every day that is rolled up so tight that only people born at the exact moment of midnight can experience it, and seeking the history behind it and Bixby. A similar concept of the moment in time that occurs between one day and the next, I hear, is explored in Persona 3, a video game released in 2006 (Japanese release date), but no one fires any gun like objects at their heads in the Midnighters series to invoke powers...
The Midnighters, aside from Jessica, are a bit stereotypical in the looks department with dyed black hair and Rex being a trench coat kind of guy, not to mention that they are a mite bit antisocial, but the stereotype contrasts with Jessica's normalcy and how very "11:59" she is. Their looks did not really bare too much impact either as Westerfeld spends the time to build their personalities. Their gifts are a major factor into their characterisation. I found myself particularly liking Dess. I wish that I could be a polymath! I suck at maths. Although, defying gravity would be pretty cool too.
Overall, it is a pretty entertaining read. You will also be seeing a review from me on the next book in the trilogy very soon, partially because I am looking forward to getting stuck into it and partially because it is due back at the library in a couple of days, so keep an eye out!