Midnighters #3: Blue Noon Hardcover – Feb 16 2006
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From School Library Journal
Grade 6 Up–There is something evil brewing in Bixby, and the teens from the previous Midnighters titles must save the world from the darklings. The monsters have found a way to expand midnight so that all humans will enter the blue time and become prey. Complicating the crisis is Rex's residual darkling characteristics that leave him with the unsettling notion that other humans are food, Jonathan's secret desire that the midnight hour could last forever so that he would always be free of the confining flatland gravity, and the fact that no one has yet figured out why the darklings wish to dispose of Jessica Day. Blue Noon has an end of the world premise that will appeal to Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans. Even though the characters are not completely developed, they all have distinct skills that set them apart from one another. Westerfeld doesn't rehash all the events of the earlier books. Instead, he subtly includes the information that is needed to follow the story. Since the characters' schemes never proceed according to plan, the plot maintains an exciting pace. However, it is never fully explained why everything works out the way it does. Despite this minor flaw, this is fun recreational reading.–Heather M. Campbell, Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO
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About the Author
Scott Westerfeld has written many acclaimed novels for adults and teens, including So Yesterday, Peeps, and the Midnighters and Uglies series. His books have been named New York Times Notable Books of the Year, and have won the Aurealis Award, the Victorian Premier's Award, and the Philip K. Dick Special Citation. Scott lives in New York City and Sydney, Australia.
Top Customer Reviews
When I picked up the book I thought that whatever character development there was, was done during the first two books. I wasn't expecting much to change but I was wrong. I was surprised by Rex. In Touching Darkness he got that close to becoming one of the darklings. Now in Blue Noon we see the effects of such a close encounter with them and I was amazed by how strangely addicted I became to Rex. He became multidimensional and nothing like his old self, the boring and safe Rex he used to be.
Through this book we got also the chance to learn more about the lore and the mechanics behind the secret time. All of our midnighters get to test their powers to their maximum and see that even though they thought they learned everything they could to fight the darklings they still didn't see it coming... the ending.
When I finished this book I was so mad that I couldn't think anything else for this book expect of how Scott Westerfeld ended this story. As I got invested into the characters and read their stories, I wanted for them to have good endings, happy endings. Scott Westerfeld managed to do that but with a sting to it. His ending was bittersweet leaving you with the impression that there might be more to this story.
Overall I loved it even though I was shocked by the ending of the story. Hopefully there is more to the Midnighters and I will definitely be picking up more books from this author.
Just when everything seems to have gone back to normal, odd things start happening. The blue moon starts appearing randomly during the middle of the day and the darklings seem to be celebrating this event. There seems to be a rip between the normal time and the secret hour that seems to be spreading. Will the Midnighters ever find a way to stop it? Or will the old darklings finally feed after waiting centuries?
Overall, the Midnighters is a great Young Adult series with creative ideas that can be enjoyed by anyone over the age of fourteen. Fourteen because there are words used in here that I wouldn't want younger children reading.
The main plot of this installment is the sudden emergence of the "blue time" right in the middle of the DAY. Thats right, the secret hour is happening OUTSIDE of midnight now. This suspense leaves the 5 Midnighters restless and drives them to find answers.
The secret hour is finally "ripping" coming into normal time, where the darklings will hunt again after a millennium of starvation. A "rip" is basically a contortion between blue time and regular time, joining the Darkling world with the human world. Now, its in the hands of these 5 Midnighters to save Bixby, or possibly the world,because now thousands of lives are stake.
The two couple(s) relationship becomes stronger, leaving Dess feel lonelier than ever. This was the most emotional installment because each and every character makes a sacrifice towards the end to save the world, but one sacrifice will leave your jaw-dropped and eyes popped. Sometimes one life is worth sacrificing to save lives of thousands.
The significance of Halloween will be explained and so will the purpose of the Midnighters.
This is a dramatic piece and a thrilling page-turner, filled with action, adventure and romance. A battle takes place towards the end with an unpredictable conclusion.Out of all three, this one had the most action. I really wished Scott Westerfeld had written an alternate ending because I prefer "Happily Ever Afters", thats the true END to me. Oh well, not all stories have a happy ending, just like life doesn't always have a happy ending. In a way i am glad for this ending because it reminds me of the imperfect reality and world we live in. Sometimes made-up stories mess with your mind soo much that a person loses hope each time life doesn't go there way.
Everything is seemingly returning to normal. Till the blue time comes. In the middle of the day. The Midnighters are baffled, they don't know what's happened. But they soon find out it's not good. The Darlkings are celebrating. It's a race against time to find the problem and fix it, before Midnight sweeps over the whole world, and the Darklings hunt again.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
So what do you say when 98% of a trilogy keeps you ripping through pages and neglecting important life duties, only to have the climactic end fizzle, stumble, and fall flat? It's not just artistic license that I personally don't like. It's not some bittersweet, catch-in-the-throat sadness. The ending is horrid.
Spoilers ahead: despite the main plot lines about the darklings and the dangers found in dusty Oklahoma, the reader (by the third book in the trilogy) has the greatest emotional investment in the two teen couples: Jonathon and Jessica, and Rex and Melissa. We are hoping against hope that Rex and Melissa will have a happily-ever-after following years of struggle and staying by each other. The author arbitrarily rips our hopes apart. Jonathon and Jessica don't get what they want either; they are ripped apart, too, but at least this is done with poignant artistry and purpose. Our emotions are deflated and left there. This is truly an artless ending with the one exception of Jessica.
I, along with other readers here, hope that this is not the last book in the series. It would lower my opinion of the writer's skill if it is.
(An aside: that was stupid. Why wait so long? The thing only took two days to read, and only that long because I didn't have to wait in the doctor's office as long as I anticipated. So go on and get the three books and read them, back to back to back, if you've not already. If you start now you can be done in a week.)
Holy wow, Batman. What a good book.
Westerfeld took a darker turn in Midnighters #2 and accelerated down that path in this volume. Beyond just a ripping good tale, he explores the rugged terrain of fear, power and their uses, while drawing together disparate plot points from the previous books that tie up the series satisfyingly. He does, however, leave just enough hanging and unresolved at the end to give it a genuine feel--including the bitter twist at the end.
I note with both trepidation and excitement that Westerfeld seems to have deliberately left the door open for future Midnighters stories. I hope that he won't become a victim of the "genre-series-that-never-die" syndrome, but given the results of these three books, I'll certainly give a chance to whatever he puts out next.
When I read the first 2 books in this series, I kept asking myself why Bixby had that many midnighters. I have never once met anyone who was born at midnight, and for a small town to have 5, it is kind of astonishing. "Blue Moon" explains it and it makes sense. It wraps up other issues quite nicely too except the origin of the darklings. From what I understand, darklings were conjured from human's primal fears. I still have a little trouble grasping the concept on conjuring something in material from something immaterial.
Scott Westerfeld did a superb job in plot and character developments. All the characters started growing in me almost instantaneously. The writing is fluent and the events are logical, although I found myself quite frequently flipping to the beginning of the chapters to look at the time index again, just to make sure I get the sequence of events correctly.
The ending of this series is so good that it sucks. After having invested so much emotion towards the characters just to find out that they didn't end up the way I wanted them to really sucks. However, it could be worse. Scott Westerfeld could have just killed off Jessica instead. There isn't really a good logical way to keep Jessica alive after she was being struck by a powerful lightning. Keeping her alive only during the blue hour seems the next best thing. I am also genuinely grateful to see Melissa opened up and actively seek out other midnighters.
All in all, the Midnighters series is a worthy good read.
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