Res's Reviews > The Secret Hour

The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld
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's review
Aug 30, 2007

did not like it
bookshelves: sff, locus_poll
Read in September, 2007

The one where everything freezes for an hour at midnight, except for some teenagers with special talents and some fantastic beasts that are hunting them.

This bears about the same relationship to real speculative fiction that paranormal romance does. Which is to say, there may be conditions contrary to fact, but they don't provide a new perspective on the real world; they're just there to play certain roles in what might as well be a mundane story. The darklings might as well have been wolves or land mines or icebergs. They didn't teach Jessica anything except what someone would learn from any kind of danger and adversity.

I suppose there's nothing wrong with this as a teen adventure story, but it doesn't have what I read SFF for.

(Also, when a team of people with special talents is assembled to fight a new supernatural threat, why is it that none of them are ever old or ugly?)
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Emily Running Because society wants them to be what they imagine protagonists to be. I'm very sure the books wouldn't have sold nearly as well if an ugly, middle aged single woman moved to Bixby Oklahoma, and Scott Westerfeld wrote a few books on her. The majority of YA readers want to read something they can relate to, even if it's in the most minuscule way.

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