Saturday, November 24, 2012

ARC Review of Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell

Midnight City (Conquered Earth, #1)
Midnight City
By: J. Barton Mitchell
Review by: Kaede

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 384
Series: Conquered Earth
Source: ARC via NetGalley
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.

Let us just begin by admiring this cover here. Personally, I think it's beautiful. The swirls of the different tones of blues, and the amount that was able to be done with just one color, amazes the graphic designer in me. But here comes the million dollar question: Does the actual book measure up to the expectations worthy of this pretty eye-candy called a book cover?

If you're curious for my answer (but seriously, c'mon, who isn't? Wait, don't answer that...), I'd say it does, and it doesn't. I didn't go into Midnight City expecting a fresh new and unique dystopian book, I gave it a chance because I wanted a good steady read. One that'd keep me interested but not dying to read on; a book to serve as back-up when I didn't wanna any of the other books I was currently invested in. I am confident when I say that Midnight City fulfilled it's purpose for me, but I will also admit, had it been issued another purpose, we may not have the same outcome. Shall I tell you why? In a review formatted specially just for this book? *sigh* I really am being underpaid for all that I do. (What nonsense am I sprouting? I don't even get paid. Pfft. I really should be though. So you know, if someone wants to do just that for poor old me, you're more than welcome to do so. No, seriously. I. Strongly. Encourage. Doing. So. And I also strongly hope you know I'm kidding.)

For all the places Midnight City rocked in.

• Do I even need need to repeat myself? The gorgeous cover. 
Max. I've always been particularly fond of animals. I can't help it!
The Librarian. You don't get to meet him until almost the very end, but he's exactly how I'd picture someone of his caliber to be. He's wise, with hundreds of years of experience under his belt, and he knows the weakness human emotion provides and how easily it can be used against an unexpecting person. He is able to keep his emotions disguised, and his feelings protected, but in the end he was still human once. He knows, no matter how distant that memory is, how to love and the power of a sacrifice made with love. What he did for Zoey and Mira and Holt definitely made me tear up a bit.
The writing. While it isn't anything spectacular, it managed to stay at the steady pace I wanted. It wasn't all "OH I'M GONNA SO KICK YOUR BUTT NOW" one moment and "We strolled through the moonlight, hand and hand, enjoying the moment" the next. It was a good blend of fast and slow.

For all the places Midnight City did not rock in...

Connection. For all that it's worth, Midnight City failed in making me care deeply. In fact, I started out not caring if one of the main characters died until almost I was more than halfway through the book. I was never ever fully invested in this book, but when I reached the end, I can say that Midnight City did manage to improve slightly, as far as understanding the hidden agendas and motivation behind certain characters' actions go. But honestly, everything introduced felt distant. Like there was always a wall stopping me from seeing the whole picture, and connecting with everything. There was always that glass wall I couldn't break through, try as I might.
The romance. Okay, seriously. WHERE DID IT COME FROM? I'm not even mad, cause I kinda do like Holt and Mira together, but I haven't a clue where the romantic feelings came from. Because for goodness sake, the boy started out trying to, and may I add suceeding in, kidnap you, darling Mira. My tiny brain cannot fathom how that would somehow form the beginning of a everlasting and forbidden love, but hey. Whatever pleases you. You know what they say. Love is complicated. (It sure is, my friend. It sure is...)

If nothing else counts, at least know that Midnight City had far more pros than cons. Is it a must read for readers of all ages? Probably not. But do I regret reading this book? Most certainly not. And who knows? I've been eyeing the finished copy.

*cough* Must add to the way too huge list of "to-buys". Perhaps I'll put it on the Christmas list instead? How 'bout it Mom? *cough*

3 and ½ coffee cups!

An advance copy was provided from the publisher for review via NetGalley. However, all opinions remain honest and my own.


Contact Kaede:

Kaede is currently reading: Through the Ever Night, 52 Reasons to Hate My Father & Send. 

• Splintered by A.G. Howard (5 STARS. Did you expect anything less?)
• Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter. (5 STARS. OH MY GOD. 4 hours later and I'm still thinking about this. THIS CAN'T BE THE END. I NEED MORE. MORE OF HENRY AND KATE...please? I see a re-read of this series not so far in the future too... Huh. Definitely not far.)

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