Saturday, March 15, 2014

Review: Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell

Midnight City (Conquered Earth, #1)Title: Midnight City 
Author: J. Barton Mitchell
Publisher:  St. Martin's Griffin
Publishing Date: October 30th 2012
Pages: 384
Genre:  YA Sci-Fi Adventure/ Alien Invasion
Series: Conquered Earth #1
Source: Audio


Earth has been conquered by an alien race known as the Assembly. The human adult population is gone, having succumbed to the Tone---a powerful, telepathic super-signal broadcast across the planet that reduces them to a state of complete subservience. But the Tone has one critical flaw. It only affects the population once they reach their early twenties, which means that there is one group left to resist: Children.Holt Hawkins is a bounty hunter, and his current target is Mira Toombs, an infamous treasure seeker with a price on her head. It’s not long before Holt bags his prey, but their instant connection isn’t something he bargained for. Neither is the Assembly ship that crash-lands near them shortly after. Venturing inside, Holt finds a young girl who remembers nothing except her name: Zoey.As the three make their way to the cavernous metropolis of Midnight City, they encounter young freedom fighters, mutants, otherworldly artifacts, pirates, feuding alien armies, and the amazing powers that Zoey is beginning to exhibit. Powers that suggest she, as impossible as it seems, may just be the key to stopping the Assembly once and for all.

This was one of those books that sat on my TBR list for a long time, and really I had forgotten about it for a while. Lately I seem to be into alien reads. This one was a good alien invasion read. It was a bit mysterious, a bit creepy, and a real adventure.

Holt is a bounty hunter of sorts, Mira is the catch. Holt finds Mira, captures Mira, Loses Mira, Finds Mira, Saves Mira then discovers Zoey. That is when everything Holt and Mira believed, changed. There is something special about Zoey. She has great intuition about the the aliens and their army. Oh and for some reason every alien army out there is after her. Now the adventure changes from Holt getting paid for turning in Mira to running for their lives. 

I liked this book. The only issue I had with the book was the pacing. The were time the book was slow, but I am like that with adventures, and this book was more adventure, survival than anything else. There were moments I was a little bored, not enough to stop listening, but enough to sometimes miss something. There were also times I was completely engrossed in the book. Those are the times that made the book worth the read.  Sooo, a little issue with the pacing but other than that it was a great book. 

The story was good, not real original when it comes to alien invasions but it was original enough. Everything was shrouded in mystery, I did like this aspect of the story the best. Holt had a secret, Mira had a secret, and Zoey had a secret.  It was torturous to slowly discover what they were all hiding. The author did a wonderful job allowing bits and peisces to come to light throughout the read. Some things became obvious but there was a whole bunch of whys, whats, whos, and hows that came into play. I would have liked to know a bit more of the alien invasion and the aliens themselves, maybe that will come in the next book. I can tell you the alien army things, creepy, huge, bug like, destroyers. 

The characters were something else. We have a young adult.... Holt... about 20, Mira who was about 15-16 years old, and we had Zoey, best guess about 7-10 years old. They were a mess together. Holt was by far my favorite. I fell for him pretty early in the book. He was arrogant but sweet. He didn't allow himself to care most of the time, but when he did care, he was all in. He was pretty swoon worthy.  He was very charismatic and quite humorous. There were times he had me laughing out loud and making quite a fool out of myself in public. He was a loner but wasn't meant to be a loner. He needed a family and in Mira and Zoey, he got what he needed. 

Mira annoyed me at the beginning. I am not totally sure why. I think it may have to do with my love for Holt and she didn't treat him very well in the beginning. Of course he was trying to capture her and turn her in for money. So I guess I wouldn't have treated him very well either. I think I was also annoyed with her decision making, rash actions, and not asking for any help. Obviously Holt was the type of person that would help out, I mean I could see it.... OK so I understand why she wasn't completely honest with him and didn't want to depend on him, but her decisions still seemed stupid to me. The one thing I liked about her.... she was pretty sly and really smart.... when it came to escaping or fighting. She was feisty and snarky. She was pretty cool most of the time. 

Zoey was a real sweetheart, she was a normal little girl with obvious powers of some sort. Powers she didn't understand and didn't have control over. Other than those powers, she was just a little girl. One who needed help and was quite adorable. Easy to want to save. 

The ending was pretty emotional for me and I was in love with a every character and the story at this point. Completely immersed. The ending did have conclusion but just a tad. It left things pretty wide open for the next book, so now I need to get the next one. 

The narrator was really good. I want to touch on the narration since this an audio book. He read the book at a great pace and really brought the characters to life for me. I loved the individual voices he gave each character. Wonderful narration.

It was a sound start to what looks like to be an exciting series. It was good.

J. Barton Mitchell
J. Barton Mitchell is a creator and writer of speculative fiction, and the author of the science fiction YA novel series CONQUERED EARTHpublished by St. Martin’s Press. He has sold screenplays to Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox, and created the comic book series POE for ‘Boom! Studios’.

Or at least that’s what someone wants you to think…

The truth is, J. Barton Mitchell doesn’t exist. He’s a shadow persona created by another shadow persona dreamed up by an even more shadowy persona. Who is he really, you ask? A super villain named Dr. Sinister? Maybe. The world’s most daring thief, desperately trying to save the world from a hidden alien menace only he can see? Who’s to say? A master assassin trained by an ancient crime syndicate in Myanmar? We’ll never know. All we can know is that you take your life in your hands every time you look at this site. And that’s why you keep coming back…

Just one more page, you tell yourself. Just one more blog entry. And each click of that little wireless, bluetooth mouse of yours (that’s right, he even knows what kind of input device you use) is more exhilarating than the last.

Yeah. Now you see his master plan. Now he’s got you…

J. Barton Mitchell lives and writes somewhere in Los Angeles. Or…does he?

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