Review : The Secret Hour

The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld
Pages : 297
Genre : YA, Horror, Fantasy
Series : The Midnighters, book 1
My Rating :

What it’s about, in my Words :

Jessica Day just moved to Bixby and she can’t help but notice that things here seem a bit… different. Yet, nothing says different like discovering that every night at midnight, time stops for an hour. For most of Bixby’s inhabitants, this 25th hour lasts less than a second and goes completely unnoticed. For Jessica and a handful of others, the extra hour brings creatures called darklings and some peculiar abilities. Whether she wants it or not, Jessica’s life is about to change forever.

Having read the Uglies series, Leviathan and now The Midnighters, it’s becoming clear to me that Westerfeld is, in a sea of vampires and werewolves books, an original. The Midnighters series is set in a world with rules of its own, somewhere in between fiction, fantasy and horror.

The idea that people would live around me for an hour while I’m frozen in time is kind of creepy : add to that a series of nightmarish monsters roaming around, and it’s just plain scary! Westerfeld certainly did great work of describing this world and making it sound real. The Secret Hour felt detailed and well thought out and its fast pace made it difficult to stop reading!

Even though the story mostly centers around Jessica, I liked that the narration followed each characters in turns, depending on where the story was going. The cast of characters was diverse and also intriguing. I did wish they had a little more going on though. Outside of their special abilities, I didn’t really get a feel of who they were. For instance, Melissa was the Mindcaster and that was that. Her personality didn’t really shined through except in terms of her unique role. I would have liked to know her, and the others, better, but I guess it might be something coming in the next couple of books.

It was a fast read in the best way, a book hard to let go that sucks you in from the start. I wasn’t even finished with this one that I was already buying the next books, eager to see where the story was going! Even though I would have loved more developments for the characters (personal preference), it’s a book I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to fans of original worldbuilding and horrific creatures.

Series Reading Order :

  1. The Secret Hour
  2. Touching Darkness
  3. Blue Noon

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8 responses to “Review : The Secret Hour”

  1. Amanda says :

    Reading this review makes me want to revisit this book! I really did like this series, but you just reminded me of how I felt reading it and that makes me want to reread. My favorite was the second book. I admit I had some issues with the third. In fact, after I read all three, I went back and reread the first two but never bothered to reread the third.

  2. Juju at Tales of Whimsy... says :

    Ooo sounds awesome. Great review!

  3. bermudaonion says :

    My husband is a big Westerfeld fan, but I don’t think he’s familiar with this series, so I’m going to show him your post.

  4. kay says :

    Amanda : I finished reading the third book this weekend and I have to say, it’s my least favorite too. The interference of the blue time in the real world didn’t work that well for me, though it was still a fun read! I think the second book is the most complete of the three.

    Juju : Thanks! It was an awesome read!

    Kathy : I think if he enjoys the rest of Westerfeld’s work, he would enjoy this too. It was and engrossing read!

  5. taraSG says :

    I really loved the Uglies series and I think I have sitting on my shelf, but I haven’t read it yet. I might have to move it up in my TBR. Maybe I should make sure I have time to real all three back to back 🙂

  6. Michelle M says :

    I heart this series so much. True, Westerfeld is a complete original. I love his books and these ones were so creative — yet dark. Love them and glad to see you enjoyed them too.

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