Patrick's Reviews > The Secret Hour

The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld
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's review
Jan 11, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, paranormal
Read from January 09 to 10, 2012

Just started. Intriguing aspects: The very limited bits we know of secret powers, the midnight hour with the new girl, and the semi-psychotic strange things slowly being revealed about the town.

Run-of-the-mill aspects: Normal outcast, but heroic kid hero in the midst of horrible, apathetic classmates.

Finished: Awesome! Westerfeld is just original. Such an interesting concept with some strange archeological facts thrown in for fake historical authenticity. And I am a word nerd and LOVED the word humor--the names for weapons. I also like the math and whatnot being a plot point. Maybe non-sensical when you think about it, but entertaining.

The characters annoy me at times, but I think that may be authentic and true to life as well. What teenagers don't annoy adults at times with their mood swings and self-centeredness? None of them are perfect paragons of virtue and none are rotten "Mean Girl" types.

I love the very stark ways their powers and secret hour painfully intersect with real life--school, family, and fitting into society. I think this alienation and family trouble are what would really happen, not easily managed alter-egos shadowing successful "normal" lives. I enjoyed the slow flashbacks as we learned more about the characters' experiences in realizing their abilities and the secrets they keep from each other. The final reveal after the climax is totally interesting and turns at least one assumption on its head. Very effective heart grabber and set up for the next book.
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