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Stupid Perfect World by Scott Westerfeld

Welcome to Saturday Shorts where we feature short stories and novells. This story gets a shiny five because I love anything Westerfeld does. Everything he writes is unique and beautifully written.

stupid perfect worldTitle: Stupid Perfect World
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publish Date: December 4th 2012
Genre:  YA Science Fiction
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionIn this future-set novella by bestselling author Scott Westerfeld, Kieran Black lives in a “perfect” world. Disease and starvation have been eradicated, sleep is unnecessary, and it takes no time at all to go from the Bahamas to the moon. But now Kieran has to take Scarcity, a class about how people lived in the bad old days. And as if sitting through an hour of Scarcity every day wasn’t depressing enough, it’s final projects time. Each student must choose some form of ancient hardship to experience for two whole weeks. Kieran chooses having to sleep eight hours a night, which doesn’t seem too annoying.

Maria Borsotti has never thought much of Kieran, but she decides to take pity on him and help him out with his project. Soon, Kieran is sleeping and having vivid dreams, while Maria, whose Scarcity project is to give up all teenage hormone regulation, is experiencing emotions she never knew she had. As their assignments draw them closer together, they begin to wonder if the olden days weren’t so bad. Maybe something has been missing from their perfect lives after all?

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Kat_Mandu_100Kat Mandu says…

Oh my god. This. THISSSSSS.

I wish Scott Westerfeld would have done more with this – made it a whole book or even a series. The concept is fabulous and I would have liked to spend more time getting to know Kieran and Maria and to indulge in the world he created. A world without feelings? Where technology is so updated that we don’t even have to sleep? Where we can teleport? I love imagined worlds like this.

badge5v4Kieran is adorable to read and Maria is a character I can relate to well. I love the teasing between them and how it grows into something stronger. I love the concept of the world they live in and how futurized it is. Nice, short read that really grabs the attention and draws you in.

Other reviews…

If you like this book…

…you might try the Delirium series by Lauren Oliver, Girl Parts by John M. Cusick, or Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza.

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Blue Noon by Scott Westerfeld

The teenagers of Bixby, Oklahoma that know time freezes at midnight and only they can exist within in it, are used to their blue world and even all the creatures within it. But nothing has prepared them for the events in the final installment of the Midnighters trilogy. Because this time – Midnight happens in the middle of the day. Small spoilers ahead.

Blue NoonTitle: Blue Noon 
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Series: Midnighters Book 03
Publish Date: February 6, 2007
Genre: YA Horror
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: The darklings will hunt once again.

The secret hour when time freezes arrives every night at midnight in Bixby, Oklahoma. It’s a dangerous time, when five teenagers are the only humans awake and dark creatures crawl out of the shadows, but at least the midnight hour is regular and predictable.

Until suddenly, the blue time comes . . . in the middle of the day.

The noise of school stops. Cheerleaders are frozen in midair, teachers brought to a standstill. Everything is the haunted blue color of the midnight hour.

The Midnighters can’t understand what’s happening, but as they scramble for answers, they discover that the walls between the secret hour and real time are crumbling. Soon the dark creatures will have a chance to feed after centuries of waiting, unless these five teenagers can find a way to stop them.

A desperate race against time, a mind-blowing mystery of paranormal logic, a tale of ancient evil and spine-chilling sacrifice: blue noon is the exhilarating third volume in the Midnighters series by acclaimed author Scott Westerfeld.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Kat_Mandu_100Kat Mandu says…

The rip mentioned in the second book, Touching Darkness, is growing and swallowing everything it touches. People are going missing, Darklings are growing hungry, and time is running out. Rex, Melissa, Jessica, Johnathan, and Dess must put aside their differences and come together as a single force – even if it means one of their own has to sacrifice themselves.

The world Westerfeld has to offer is changing. Bixby is full of history and signs, some telling of prophecies and some telling of lies. Former Midnighters can’t be trusted – and maybe even one of the Midnighters now can’t be. Being half-Darkling has its advantages though and Rex isn’t above using them against his enemies. With Melissa at full power and finally comfortable with herself, the duo are ready for battle. Dess readies her toys. And Johnathan and Jess prepare themselves for a fight they didn’t want. The battle scenes are pretty epic.

And it all ends with a streak of lightning.

badge5v4This is a beautifully written book, though there is a sad note on the end. However, I don’t think it’ll last too long with how open-ended it was. Nothing is for certain except for the blue time now. But the Midnighters know they can face it. I love this series and give it a five for an exceptional ending.

Links…

See my reviews of the first two books in this trilogy, The Secret Hour and Touching Darkness.

Other reviews…

If you like this book…

…you might like Westerfeld’s other series, the Blue Blood series by Melissa de la Cruiz, or the Cold Awakening series by Robin Wasserman.

Touching Darkness by Scott Westerfeld

Thrilling from start to finish, Touching Darkness takes the Midnight world by storm in an action-packed sequel. In this, the teenagers of Bixby, Oklahoma that can exist in the Midnight hour discover new secrets about their blue world – and each other. Small spoilers featured below.

Touching DarknessTitle: Touching Darkness
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Series: Midnighters Book 02
Publish Date: March 1, 2005
Genre: YA Horror
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: Bixby, Oklahoma, is full of secrets. Some come out at midnight. Some should stay hidden.

As the Midnighters search for the truth about the secret hour, they uncover terrifying mysteries woven into the very fabric of Bixby’s history, and a conspiracy that touches the world of daylight. This time Jessica Day is not the only Midnighter in mortal danger, and if the group can’t find a way to come together, they could lose one of their own . . . forever.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Kat_Mandu_100Kat Mandu says…

Rex, Dess, Melissa, Johnathan, and Jessica are back – and becoming closer than ever. Rex and Melissa stop fighting their inner tension and start giving in to each other. Dess reveals a dark secret to Jessica about Melissa that destroys her trust in the Mindcaster. Dess also gets to invent some new, Darkling-butt-kicking toys. Johnathan and Jessica further their relationship but have issues of their own.

And all the while, a Darkling plot is taking hold.

More secrets and history are revealed in this sequel, facts about the town and the Midnight hour the Midnighters themselves weren’t expecting. They’ve always known there have been Midnighters before them but they were never aware of what happened to them. But now they do – and the news isn’t great. There’s a rip in the blue time – and it’s going to expand and drag the midnight hour with it, which is exactly what the Darklings want.

One of the Midnighters is kidnapped and transformed into something…interesting, is what I’ll say for now. The sadistic part of me frankly loves it because now Rex, well, now he’s more of a badass. And although that badassery isn’t really explained until the third one, you can definitely tell by the end of the story he’s been changed. I’ve always liked Rex but now I really like him.

badge5v4I also love the way Dess’s mind works. She loves her toys. Imagine weapons (steel mostly, with the exception of Jessica’s powers) that are magnified in power by thirteen-letter words (tridecalogisms). They act like energy guns when thrown and are pretty cool. I love Westerfeld’s originality in coming up with something that awesome as word weaponry.

Another shiny five. I love the mysteries surrounding this series. One of my favorite trilogies.

Other reviews…

If you like this book…

…you might like Westerfeld’s other series, the Blue Blood series by Melissa de la Cruiz, or the Cold Awakening series by Robin Wasserman.

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.

The Secret HourTitle: The Secret Hour
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Series: Midnighters Book 1
Publish Date: March 2, 2004
Genre: YA Horror
Source: Purchased

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.


Kat_Mandu_100Kat Mandu says…

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…

badge5v4I’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.

Other reviews…

If you like this book…

…you might like Westerfeld’s other series, the Blue Blood series by Melissa de la Cruiz, or the Cold Awakening series by Robin Wasserman.