Monday, October 15, 2012

Review: Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell

Midnight City (The Conquered Earth, #1)

Goodreads Summary:
In a post-apocalyptic world controlled by alien invaders, two teens and a young girl with mysterious powers embark on a dangerous journey. What they find will change everything...

Earth has been conquered. An extraterrestrial race known as The Assembly has abducted the adult population, leaving the planet's youth to fend for themselves. In this treacherous landscape, Holt, a bounty hunter, is transporting his prisoner Mira when they discover Zoey, a young girl with powerful abilities who could be the key to stopping The Assembly. As they make their way to the cavernous metropolis of Midnight City, the trio must contend with freedom fighters, mutants, otherworldly artifacts, pirates, feuding alien armies, and perhaps most perilous of all: Holt and Mira's growing attraction to each other.

Midnight City is the breathtaking first novel in the Conquered Earth series, and a stunning work of imagination from debut author J. Barton Mitchell.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher (via Netgalley) in exchange for an honest review.

My Review:  
I've had a fascination with aliens since seeing "To Serve Man", a Twilight Zone episode, as a child. 

When I saw the cover and description of this book on another blog, I thought, "Wow, aliens + apocalypse + male protagonist = the trifecta of awesome" Well, if the author can pull off writing a good book. So, I started the book hoping this would be a great book because my son is the King of Reluctant Readers and books for boys are a publishing rarity.  This is one of those books that I started and before I realized it, I was finished. This book made you feel like a tourist at an evil Disneyland- where you are gawking at the world that the author has built in this book. The culmination of this is winding up in Midnight City.

These are the two main strengths of this book- the plot that just pulls you along and the world that's created in the pages of the book. In my experience, the fast paced plot with a male protagonist makes this a good choice for reluctant male readers. I do think girls will like it too, though, because I found Mira and Zoey (eventually) to be compelling characters. I say eventually because that's one of the books weaknesses. I think that there's not enough back story in the beginning. First of all, the artifacts that do mysterious and magical things- at first it's not explained why or how it happens or is possible. Second, I know that Zoey is supposed to have an air of mystery surrounding her, but I wish that we knew more about Mira sooner. A few things- like the artifacts- would have made more sense.

I loved the time I got to spend in Midnight City. I think it was my favorite part of the book. I do not want to spoil it by describing it- plus the author does a much better job than I ever could. But I thought Midnight City was just amazing- the author's description brought the underground city to life. It wasn't just the sights and sounds, it was also the people and the society they built that made "touring" Midnight City so compelling. I will definitely be reading the sequel.

Overall Rating: 3 1/2 stars
Genre Rating: 4 flying saucers

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Midnight City (The Conquered Earth, #1)
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