No one knows where the brilliant-colored spheres came from. Read more...
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.
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. 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. 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.
Chosen as a 2017 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
-Burning Midnight is for (1) adrenaline junkies and gamers, (2) obsessive collectors, and (3) people who can't get enough of crazy endings. I'm all of these things, and I loved it.- --Margaret Stohl, New York Times bestselling author of Black Widow: Forever Red and coauthor of the internationally bestselling Beautiful Creatures series
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-01-18
- Reviewer: Staff
The spheres are mysterious artifacts that appeared one day; often hidden just out of plain sight, they are coveted for their ability to convey various effects—Copper for ambidexterity, Cranberry for better looks, Cream for athleticism, and so forth. While the more common spheres are relatively cheap, rarer finds can fetch massive sums, turning sphere-hunting and speculation into a lucrative business. Sully is one such reseller, trying to make ends meet at a flea market. When he teams up with Hunter, a resourceful girl with a knack for finding spheres, it seems like they might get lucky. However, their discovery of a never-before-seen Gold opens up new questions about the nature of the spheres and attracts the attention of a ruthless billionaire. In an impressive YA debut, adult SF author McIntosh (Defenders) spins an action-packed adventure that makes a statement about the relative value of commodities and self-improvements that can be bought, not earned. An engaging cast and thought-provoking premise help fuel this thriller, though the slightly off-the-rails ending doesn't quite live up to the story's other strengths. Ages 12–up. Agent: Seth Fishman, Gernert Company. (Feb.)
An imaginative urban fantasy
In a universe just slightly different from our own, small spheres in a rainbow of hues are hidden throughout the world, wherever people live. When matched with another sphere of the same color and “burned” by holding them to one’s forehead, spheres increase human abilities: A common pair of Army Green spheres promotes resistance to the common cold, while rare Mustards grant high IQ.
Sphere hunting has become a global business, where multinational corporations coexist with small-time flea-market sellers. Sully is one of the latter, trying to earn enough in his afterschool sales to help his mother pay the rent on their small apartment. When he meets Hunter, a teen girl in even worse economic straits, they team up to look for spheres, knowing that billionaire Alex Holliday will use any tactic to acquire the most valuable spheres . . . especially the match to the one and only Midnight Blue. The results of Sully and Hunter’s searches will change the world in ways that no one could predict.
The high-action ending, while unexpected in some ways, is appropriately set up throughout the story, making for a surprising yet satisfying resolution. Hugo Award-winning author Will McIntosh ventures into YA lit for the first time with this combination of urban fantasy, magical realism, science fiction and adventure. In this world, the bizarre seems normal, the fantastical follows its own rules and within these rules, anything can happen.