Meneesha Govender's Reviews > The Secret Hour

The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld
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's review
Dec 06, 2010

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bookshelves: kids-teens

Forget about vampires and werewolves, now we have Midnighters.
It appears there are only five of them and they’re all teenagers. But there was a time when the earth was full of midnighters - special people who are able to exist in that special time at midnight.
During the day they’re a bit weird and even freaky. They keep to themselves and no one really cares about them. Rex, Melissa, Dess and Jonathan go to Bixby High School and they are Midnighters.
For them a day consists of 25 hours. So while, for everyone else, the world freezes for an hour at the stroke of midnight, these teenagers get to enter a new world tinged in blue where they each have unusual abilities.
Rex is able to read and understand the strange language of this time so he is the keeper of truth so to speak, while Melissa is able to read minds and see into the future. Dess is a whizz with numbers - a mathematical genius who uses her gift to make amazing weapons. Jonathan is jumper - his leaps can take him across 10 soccer fields.
They have no idea why they are this way or why this world exists - there are no adults to guide them and they can only depend on Rex to decipher whatever he comes across in this time.
All they do know is that it is a dangerous world that is inhibited by creatures of people’s worst nightmares - creatures that really do want them dead. Hence the need for Dess’s metallic weapons that all have 13-letter names like “Deliciousness”or “Overzealously”. Numbers are important -especially uneven numbers and 13 is the strongest.
As the four teens negotiate their way through the secret hour, Jessica and her family move to the town and soon Jessica finds herself sucked into the world of the Midnighters.
But the other midnight creatures - the slithers and darklings - are not happy and want her dead.
It is up to the other four Midnighters to teach her what they know, keep her safe and find out what special power she has in the dark hour and why the creatures want her dead.
Jessica, meanwhile has to come to terms with her new self, keep secrets from her family and deal with a new town and unfriendly people. The only consolation is that Jonathan is on her side.

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