The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld
Imagine a world where for one hour every night – time freezes. Westerfeld introduces this world in the Midnighters trilogy, a book where only five teenagers can walk around during the Secret Hour – and although they may be the only humans there, they’re definitely not alone. And that’s where Jessica Day comes in. Small spoilers ahead.
Publisher’s Description: Strange things happen at midnight in the town of Bixby, Oklahoma. Time freezes. Nobody moves except dark creatures that haunt the shadows and the few people who are free to move at midnight, Midnighters. Their different powers strongest at midnight are: Seer, Mindcaster, Acrobat, Polymath. All changes when Jessica Day comes to Bixby High with a hidden power.
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Bixby, Oklahoma is an interesting town where Jessica comes to live, having to relocate for her mother’s new job, though she’s not terribly excited about it. One night she wakes up and finds the world is tinged in blue and everything is frozen. She plays in a suspended rain and thinks it’s a dream. Only when she wakes up the next morning again, she finds it wasn’t.
Rex, Melissa, Dess, and Johnathan are already aware of their “Midnight” hour and have explored it for years. Each gifted with a unique power that only functions once time stops, they’re able to navigate the blue world quite well, though maybe not function in the real world quite so much. Rex is kind and a natural leader, able to “see” what others can’t; Dess can turn math into weapons; Melissa can read minds and emotions; and Johnathan can defy gravity. That being said, Jessica doesn’t automatically discover what her powers are until the end – but they’re pretty cool.
But the Darklings inhabit the blue time too – and they’re the stuff of nightmares. They also have it out for Jessica, mainly because they know what she’s capable of. And they know she can stop them. Together, these teenagers have to work together to fight them off and figure out just what’s causing the Darkling attacks. But it’s even worse news than they imagined…
I’m quite fond of this series which is why I’m giving it a five. Rex is my favorite character: he’s kind and sweet, though he comes off as a little intense and demanding to the others. I love the relationships Scott Westerfeld builds with all of his stories. Rex and Melissa have a complex “thing” where they know they like each other but their powers prevent them from moving forward, Jessica and Johnathan create sparks too, and Dess could fall in love with her math and be completely okay with it. I love the tension between the characters and yet how they all come together in the end to kick some Darkling ass.
If you like this book…