Title: Burning Midnight
Author: Will McIntosh
Published by: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication date: 11th February 2016
Genres: YA Fantasy/Sci-fi
Source: Review copy from the publisher.
The world is overrun with coloured, indestructible spheres that give special powers to whoever burns them. They appeared on earth one day, hidden and valuable, and David Sullivan, otherwise known as Sully, sells them at the local flea market to get by. But stock is dwindling and it looks like him and his mum will have to move. Then Sully meets spiky Hunter whose one passion in life is hunting spheres, and together they make a formidable team. But when new spheres are discovered, everyone knows the world is about to change. They just don't know how...
Lets get straight into it: some of the world building/science behind the spheres could be confusing at times. Not so confusing that it ruined the book, but just enough that I was thrown a little and had to read the sentence again. Plus, being written in third person, I felt quite detached from the characters. I wasn't always sure what they were thinking and I didn't connect with their emotions or, in fact, feel any of my own. In some ways, this was a good thing - it gave an unpredictable twist, one I enjoyed. But as a whole, it wasn't such a good thing and led to me deducting a star from an otherwise fantastic book.
What made it a fantastic book, then, I hear you ask? It was gripping, thrilling, original and fun. I've never read a book like it and the detail was pretty spectacular. As I said, it was unpredictable and I can see why it's been so hyped up across the pond. McIntosh got the teenage voice exactly right - none of the characters knew what they were doing but, with sudden responsibility dumped on their shoulders, they did the best they could.
Burning Midnight is truly unique, but if you liked Fire & Flood, Monument 14 or The Hunger Games, I'm sure you'll like this.