January 20, 2016

Burning Midnight Tour: Review + Giveaway

Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on the BURNING MIDNIGHT blog tour! Today I'll be sharing my review of the book with you - and don't forget to enter the giveaway! To follow the rest of the tour, check out the schedule at the end of the post.

Burning Midnight
Author: Will McIntosh
Genre: YA Fantasy/Science Fiction
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Format: Hardcover, ebook, audiobook
320 pages


For fans of The Maze Runner and The Fifth Wave, this debut YA novel from Hugo Award winner Will McIntosh pits four underprivileged teens against an evil billionaire in the race of a lifetime. 

Sully is a sphere dealer at a flea market. It doesn’t pay much—Alex Holliday’s stores have muscled out most of the independent sellers—but it helps him and his mom make the rent. No one knows where the brilliant-colored spheres came from. One day they were just there, hidden all over the earth like huge gemstones. Burn a pair and they make you a little better: an inch taller, skilled at math, better-looking. The rarer the sphere, the greater the improvement—and the more expensive the sphere. 

When Sully meets Hunter, a girl with a natural talent for finding spheres, the two start searching together. One day they find a Gold—a color no one has ever seen. And when Alex Holliday learns what they have, he will go to any lengths, will use all of his wealth and power, to take it from them. 

There’s no question the Gold is priceless, but what does it actually do? None of them is aware of it yet, but the fate of the world rests on this little golden orb. Because all the world fights over the spheres, but no one knows where they come from, what their powers are, or why they’re here.

Burning Midnight is a young adult thrilling adventure that will leave fans begging for more. The story follows our two main characters - Sully and Hunter - as they team up to search for the strange orbs that have appeared suddenly all over the world, and offer the owner special abilities or qualities - like growing an inch or becoming better looking. The rarer the sphere, the higher the value and the better the improvement. Sully and his mom are barely making it in their small apartment in Yonkers, and things look dismal if they can't find a way to make some money - soon. Sully works hard to try to help his mom pay the bills, and he also sells orbs at the flea market on weekends. He's down to earth, smart, determined, a loving son and devoted friend, and willing to do whatever it takes to make things right. Hunter is a bit more of a mystery, but we get to know her better throughout the story. She's tough, serious, wary of most people, but also determined and has a natural skill for finding spheres. I enjoyed getting to know both of the characters on a personal level during the story, as well as watching them both mature - both mentally and emotionally. I also loved watching the relationship between Sully and Hunter develop throughout the novel - from strangers to trusted friends, and then even deeper. 

The plot of the story was exciting, full of twists and turns, and kept me eagerly reading to see what was going to happen next. The pace starts off at a natural speed, but picks up momentum as the story continues and the stakes get higher. When billionaire Alex Holliday tries to get a never-before-seen sphere from Sully and Hunter, he'll stop at nothing until it's his - not matter the cost. I loved watching the two of them - along with two of their friends - stand up against Holliday and what he stands for. The mystery behind the golden orb was fascinating and I kept trying to figure out what it might do - even though none of my ideas were even close. The writing was very well done and highlights the author's storytelling ability as well as his natural talent. I absolutely loved the world the author built for the book - it was almost exactly like our world today, with a few differences - like the spheres. The story contains lots of cultural references that are relevant to our society - some examples include talking about Taylor Swift, Kanye West, ebay, and Harry Potter. I think these references make it easier for the reader to identify with Sully and Hunter's world - it proves that it's not that different from ours. The story is told in the third person point of view, which I'm not a huge fan of. I'm a firm supporter of the first person POV, since it allows the reader to form such a personal bond with the main character. In this case, however, the author was able to use the third person perspective in such a way that it still felt like we got to know all of the characters on a deeper level than normal and I easily found myself inside the story alongside Sully and Hunter while everything goes on. Overall, this was a fantastic book that readers of the genre will definitely want to get their hands on! I personally wish it was going to be a series - it certainly has the potential for one. I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to readers who enjoy adventure, action, science fiction, fantasy, and even contemporary fiction.

Will McIntosh’s debut novel, Soft Apocalypse, was a finalist for both a Locus award and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. He is a frequent contributor to Asimov’s, where his story “Bridesicle” won the 2010 Reader’s Award, as well as the 2010 Hugo Award for Best Short Story. His third novel, Love Minus Eighty (based on “Bridesicle”) was published by Orbit books in June, 2013, and was named best Science Fiction novel of the year by the American Library Association. His upcoming novel, Defenders has been optioned by Warner Brothers for a feature film. Will recently moved to Williamsburg, Virginia with his wife Alison and twins Hannah and Miles. He left his position as a psychology professor in Southeast Georgia to write full time, and still teaches as an adjunct, at the College of William and Mary. Will is represented by Seth Fishman at The Gernert Company. Follow him on Twitter @WillMcIntoshSF 

(3) winners will receive a finished copy of BURNING MIDNIGHT - US Only!


Tour Schedule:

Week One: 
1/18/2016- Swoony Boys Podcast- Interview 
1/19/2016- Fangirlish- Guest Post 
1/20/2016- A Dream Within A Dream- Review 
1/21/2016- Such a Novel Idea- Interview 
1/22/2016- Seeing Double In Neverland- Guest Post

Week Two: 
1/25/2016- Once Upon a Twilight- Review 
1/26/2016- The Young Folks- Interview 
1/27/2016- Falling For YA- Guest Post 
1/28/2016- Just Commonly- Review 
1/29/2016- Paranormal Book Club- Interview

Week Three: 
2/1/2016- Curling Up With A Good Book- Guest Post 
2/2/2016- Wandering Bark Books- Review 
2/3/2016- The Cover Contessa- Interview 
2/4/2016- Two Chicks on Books- Guest Post 
2/5/2016- Eli to the nth- Review 

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