I believe I've started an epidemic. Many of my friends, irked by the fact that I won't shut up about Midnighters, are reading the books and enjoying them just as much as I do. But Book 3, Blue Noon, is the one that really made Midnighters stand out in my mind as one of my favourite sets of books (yes, I'm mad about Harry Potter and I adore Artemis Fowl and Bartimaeus, and this ranks right up there with them).
The thing that really makes this book outstanding is the characterization. As a writer, (Okay, kid who likes making up stories, same thing)I can't enjoy a book unless it really has well-developed characters and a character-driven plot. All five of the main characters are real people with good and bad traits and interesting personalities.
*THIS IS LOTS OF CHATTER ABOUT CHARACTERS. IF YOU DON'T KNOW THE CHARACTERS, YOU MAY WANT TO SKIP THIS*
To me, the most compelling is Rex, who was my favourite character in book one in his nerdy incarnation and who I continued to love as his personality dramatically changed through the end of books two and three. Because Rex is not all Rex anymore... he's half darkling, which is both a blessing and a curse. (The darklings are the evil beasts that were Rex-and-company's enemies, so that makes life complicated.) Like his friend Melissa, I watched Rex evolve with confused disbelief, still recognizing the character that I knew and loved but frightened by the thing that he was becoming. Spooky.
Melissa's personality, meanwhile, has taken a turn for the better. Thanks to her mentor, Madeleine, Melissa has learned to control her talent of mindcasting and has become calmer and more logical. This is interesting, because it's strange to watch her support Rex through his psycho moments and calm him down when it used to be the other way around. The book comments that it seems strange that Melissa is becoming saner while Rex is going "six kinds of crazy," and that it's almost as if there wasn't enough sanity to go around for the five of them.
Jessica has an interesting role in this one, as she's having conflicts with her daylight life, in her family and soforth. In the end, she's forced to make a... *DUN DUN DUN, SPOILER* sacrifice, which is an extremely touching ending. All I can say is that you come to like Beth (her moody younger sister) more than you did before. Jessica for some reason seems the most difficult midnighter to describe personalitywise, as she's the most normal, I suppose.
Jonathan's part is depressingly small in this one. He doesn't have as much of his easygoing, lighthearted Jonathan charm that made fangirls sigh in the first book-- in fact, he seems a bit moody. He's torn, because he doesn't want darklings to take over the world, but he does want to be able to fly all of the time. Jonathan is a great character and I like him very much (but not as much as Rex, who holds a special place in my heart), and I wish there was more Jonathan action in Blue Noon.
Dess is also a bit moody, as she's upset about Melissa invading her mind in the second book, but she has some seriously awesome action and some wonderful Dess-like lines. (She has a great sense of humour. The author said on his website that Dess was his favourite of the midnighters, and it shows in his writing.) Dess has her shining moments in the second book, but the very end of the book makes Dess dear to all readers. My favourite Dess moment in the book was one part where they were discussing Halloween, and the following discussion ensued:
Dess: So the goth holiday is for real?
Rex: Celtic, actually. The Goths were from Asia.
Dess: No, I meant the kids in black!
Melissa: Uh, Dess, mirror check?
Dess: What, this dress is charcoal!
Dess and Melissa calling each other goths becomes a bit of a running joke in this book. It has a perfect balance between humour and darkness, one that's often very hard to strike.
The plot is absolutely enthralling, but if I were to describe it all, this review would be longer than the book itself, knowing me. All I'm going to say is, the blue time is no longer merely during midnight, and the darklings have a sinister plot(like there are other kinds of plot??)to take over.
My only quibble with the book is that (and you, the reader, probably won't care about this, because I seriously doubt that you are as immature as I am) there is a tad bit too much romance for my own taste. True, the romance is very touching (Jess and Jonathan is pure sweetness, and Rex and Melissa is extremely interesting, almost a complete plot on its own), but there are ways to express a deep relationship without saying "and then they kissed" every few sentences. In fact, the Rex/Melissa kiss at the end of book two was so dramatic and beautiful because it was the first one. Making them kiss about as frequently as they, say, breathe, takes the impact away from the kissing. (Of course, this is just my opinion, as I'm too young to be romantically involved with anyone and am still pondering life's little mysteries like 'where do you put your noses when you kiss?')
I'm sorry for ranting on and on like this, but I'm extremely passionate about these books, and if I had it my way, everyone who enjoys reading would have a copy of them. And don't quit after reading the first book! Blue Noon is the best of the bunch.