Review: Midnighters: The Secret Hour

The new girl at Bixby High School discovers that one particular clique has a bigger secret than normal – and no, it doesn’t involve vampires…

If you’re tired of novels that follow the Twilight path of “new girl falls for brooding teen”, bear with The Secret Hour’s first couple of chapters – for a start, it was originally published a year before Stephenie Meyer’s opus hit the shelves. The secret that Jessica eventually learns is that Bixby is located at a point where a mysterious 25th Hour still happens, and a small group of youngsters can experience it (think elements of Dark City). At midnight, the rest of the town freezes and these teens can move around, battling against the monsters from the past that inhabit the segment of time but apparently have no influence during the 24 hours that the rest of us live. Unsusprisingly, the teens also gain certain powers during this time…

There’s a strong Buffy feel to this – the disparate group brought together to deal with the stuff that the rest of us know nothing about – and like Joss Whedon, Westerfeld has a knack for creating more credible teenagers than most Young Adult writers. It’s a rapidly-paced read, which leaves you wanting to know more about the set up. Not too surprising that it’s been optioned by the team behind Chuck

Verdict: An intriguing pilot novel.   7/10

Paul Simpson



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