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The Secret Hour

(Midnighters #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  28,783 ratings  ·  2,046 reviews
Strange things happen at midnight in the town of Bixby, Oklahoma. Time freezes. Nobody moves except dark creatures that haunt the shadows and the few people who are free to move at midnight, Midnighters. Their different powers strongest at midnight are: Seer, Mindcaster, Acrobat, Polymath. All changes when Jessica Day comes to Bixby High with a hidden power.
Paperback, 297 pages
Published January 2nd 2008 by HarperTeen (first published March 2nd 2004)
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Chelsea It should be. There isn't any sexual content, and violence is fairly minor/non-graphic. …moreIt should be. There isn't any sexual content, and violence is fairly minor/non-graphic. (less)
Chelsea I can't think of anything that a 5th grader (or parent) would find objectionable. The characters are a little older and so some 5th graders might not …moreI can't think of anything that a 5th grader (or parent) would find objectionable. The characters are a little older and so some 5th graders might not find it interesting.(less)

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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  28,783 ratings  ·  2,046 reviews

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Jan 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finnished-books
This is the best book by him!!! (even though i have only read this book by him!!!)
May 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Just finished this trilogy and I really liked it. It's premise is that there are actually 25 hours in each day but only those born on the stroke of midnight can live in that secret hour. To everyone else it passes in an instant. Those who live in that hour are born with special abilities to help combat the various nasties who also live there. Fun read. If it was a movie it would be PG-13 for language. No "F" word, no sex but more swearing than I would prefer. ...more
Wendy Darling
What a cool concept! For one secret extra hour each night, a small group of teenagers is able to move about freely--even though the rest of the town around them is frozen in time. What's going on? Why is the town like this? What do the evil darklings want with Jessica Day, the new girl in town?

I really enjoyed this book. The idea is incredibly intriguing, and I liked the descriptions of focus/out of focus, the kids' purple eyes, the wondrous flying, the injections of humor, and the beautiful nig
Aug 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
"The Secret Hour", the first book of the Midnighters series, is about Jessica Day who just moved to the small town of Bixby, Oklahoma. Of course she has to worry about the average teenager things - fitting in and making new friends, adjusting to the atmosphere of the place, and even avoiding some new gossip. However, things get even more difficult when she realizes that every day actually has 25 hours, not 24. The secret 25th hour takes place at the stroke of midnight, and for an extra hour only ...more
Brigid ✩
Feb 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who likes Uglies
I LOVE this series. Although the Uglies/Pretties/Specials/Extras series is more popular, I actually like this series better. It's about five teenagers who are the only people that can move during "the secret hour", when everything else in their town freezes at midnight. Although a bit weird, the story is very exciting and the characters are well-developed. Scott Westerfeld is one of my favorite authors, and these books did not disappoint me. ...more
Kezzy Sparks
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
I got so disappointed by this novel and will not be continuing with the series. Scott Westerfeld is an acclaimed best-selling writer, but for him to produce something so middling, I totally couldn't wrap my mind around it.
The M/C, Jessica, is only mildly interesting at the beginning but then falls flat in the middle and then it's all just downhill from there.
A little spark occurs toward the end but it's too late to save anything. This series is not for me, sorry.
I've got to give props to Westerfeld, this was definitely an original idea. A hidden hour that lies directly at midnight that only a few can see. Can you just imagine? The clock strikes midnight and the world around you freezes, but you can still move among it. Really cool.

Meet the Midnighters, a group of teens who were born exactly as the clock struck midnight thus allowing them to see the 'blue time' - the space in-between. But it's not all fun and games. Other things lurk in the 'blue time' -
Camden Johnson
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
DNF at around 20%. I really tried to like this book because the plot was very interesting to me. The plot follows around this new girl who discovers that at midnight, the world seems to freeze for an hour. Unbeknownst to the new girl, there are a group of kids that are just like her called the "midnighters." This book was very very dated and you could tell which is what made it so hard to enjoy. The characters were just cliches and had no substance to them. I really hoped to like this one better ...more
Jan 09, 2009 rated it it was ok
Some of the kids here, especially girls, having been reading this Midnighters series. Not bad for kiddie fantasy, but not much meat. A bit Twilight-ish. Good for me to know what the kids are reading and be able to talk about it, but not something I'd recommend to adults unless you're looking for some reluctant reader material or another fantasy series for those who have gone through everything else you can think of. ...more
This book was a bit odd to me, different for sure. I would say what teenager wouldn't love this concept: for an hour every day teenagers can move around in secret. While they get "an extra hour" of time, the rest of the town is frozen in the moment just like a photo.

It is fun to ponder what you might do if you were one of the chosen ones to have an extra hour in the day to roam about. But I think one of the things I liked most about this book were the descriptive details and also the humor writ
Nov 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 2004 Aurealis Award winner ya novel
Guys, this is now just $.99 for the Kindle version, and it's really good. ...more
Veronica Morfi
May 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jessica is a typical 16-year-old girl, who happens to be born at midnight. This doesn’t mean anything to her until the day she moves with her family to Bixby. Soon she discovers that she and a few others, the Midnighters, are able to live one extra hour every midnight, while everyone else is frozen. This is all fun until she learns that they are not the only ones moving through midnight. Darklings and Slithers are coming after her and she has to be protected.

The first book is introducing us to t
Sep 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, youngadult
This first book in the Midnighters series was a fun ride. The mythology/world of the midnighters was very different and fascinating. Also, the main character is a redhead named Jessica Day- how could he go wrong?
ℂᖺαᖇᒪἷ℮ ⊰1017 &Tardis⊱
Feb 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Westerfeld fans
Here's the review I wrote for my school newspaper!

When Jessica Day moves from Chicago to the small town of Bixby, Oklahoma, she’s expecting a change. But she never could’ve imagine a world like the one she finds herself in. because, in Bixby, there are 25 hours in the day. But normal humans don’t know of the secret hour- they simply freeze for one hour at midnight. Every night. They cannot tell that an hour has passed for the special few who can live in the extra hour. There people were born exa
Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have had this book for a long time and was excited to finally get to read it. This is the first book in the Midnighters series by Westerfeld and is one of the few Westerfeld series I haven’t read yet. It ended up being an entertaining and creepy story that was well written and easy to read. I liked it better than his Uglies series but not as much as his Leviathan series.

Strange things happen in Bixby, Oklahoma when the clock strikes midnight. That is when the 13th hour starts; an hour in which
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Me for

Jessica Day has just moved to Bixby, Oklahoma from Chicago with her family. Still trying to find her niche in the local highschool, she's noticed by a group of students who are very different from your average teens. Not to mention that her dreams at night are becoming very, very vivid--such as the fact that for one hour at midnight, time seems to literally stand still.

Such is the life of the Midnighters, a group of teens who were born at midnight and have the
Wart Hill
I was kind of afraid that, upon rereading, I would find I did not love this as much as I did the first time I read it, however long ago that was. Instead, it is just as wonderful as I remember.

First of all, the characters. All of them are so unique and I love it. I love their different personalities and how they meld and clash - especially Jonathan and Rex. And Melissa. Oh, Melissa. She's so terrifying and tragic. And Dess wins the awesome award. And I love Jessica working hard to figure out wtf
Jul 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of YA
On her first night in Bixby, Oklahoma, fifteen year old Jessica Day learns that for her, time stops for on hour every night at midnight. In what she calls "the secret hour", rain, people, smoke, everything stops as the world is bathed in a blue light and a different moon arcs across the sky. She soon learns that she's not alone in the midnight hour, but shares it with four other teenagers from town as well as shadowy creatures called "darklings." Apparently docile before her arrival, the darklin ...more
Sep 07, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This book made me really glad that I was born at 8 am!

I'm not really sure what to say about this book.

The premise is that there used to be 25 hours in the day and the 25th hour was removed from normal life by the creatures that make up our nightmares when we started to fight back. Now the creatures are only "alive" during that one lost hour, when everyone else is frozen. But people who were born at midnight are still alive/awake in the hour and can move about. They also have some cool power dur
Joey Woolfardis
Feb 21, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, bloody-cack
Unusual names, weird eyes, super powers, teenagers, boring. Too many chapters with differing POV. They're pretty much just Vampires with another name, working on the whole stereotypical idea that all (modern) Vampires wear black, listen to metal, like the dark, etc. The writing wasn't terrible, which is new for a YA book, but still very much generic YA twaddle. ...more
musa b-n
Jul 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I remember loving this book Extremely in my youth, and I'm glad that hasn't changed. I still related to each character so vividly, and this was definitely the first book that had a relationship in it where I was like, "Okay, so *this* is romance!" I love love love the worldbuilding, and the magic of it, and the powers of it. I love the interplay of the characters, and I love reading it now and knowing that they become friends. It's a cool book! I'm excited to reread the rest! ...more
Apr 10, 2017 marked it as did-not-finish
DNF page 123, the story just wasn't grabbing me. ...more
Becca Jane
Jan 03, 2008 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
An early Westerfeld. And a bit lame. Good to know that he got better. This one made Zeroes seem virtually plagiaristic, but that one is better executed. In this one the characters feel kind of lifeless and the world arbitrary. The ideas are interesting but not detailed enough. But otherwise its basically a superhero book but just not labeled as such. Details would have been better - of the individuals, of the lore. I'll still read the sequel, but I was hoping for more. 2.5 of 5. ...more
I have to admit, lately my forays into the YA world have not really panned out, so I started this book with no small amount of trepidation. Now that I have finished, I truly regret not buying the whole trilogy at once! While the main plot definitely tied up nicely, there is enough of a cliffhanger that I can't wait to start the sequel!

I loved the premise of a secret 25th hour in the day - I know there are definitely days when I have wished for just a little more time in the day (or even just an
Jan 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
Jessica Day recently just moved into a new town, Bixby in Oklahoma. Jessica struggles to fit into her new school, however, as she continues to adapt and get use to her school enviroment, she comes across other kids who are "different" from the rest. Moreover, While trying to fit into her new school, she encounters several others who're different from the rest of the students. Jessica later learns that she's different too when she experiences the "25th hour". After waking up at midnight, she foun ...more
Krista (Miura Haruma-san, I will always miss you)
There are good and bad things about this book (and the other 2). I'll start with the positives:
The different perspectives are interesting and helpful with character development. Like those.
The plot is intriguing and suspenseful...and overall pretty good.
I dislike most of the characters- they can be very annoying at times, especially Jessica- though she does get better as the series continues. The only character I ACTUALLY liked (WARNING: SPOLIERS) gets twisted by the darklings...hmmm...
Corinne Edwards
Nov 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
What if, for one hour a day, the entire world was frozen in motion - except for you? Oh, and a whole slew of terrifying creatures?? This is what Jessica Day finds out soon after moving to Bixby, Oklahoma. What she thought were terrifyingly real "dreams" make her suddenly very eager to become friends with the other kids at her new school that seem a

It's a slap-bang premise, I have to admit. To have this space in time where all bets are off, where an ancient and frea-kay set of rules
Nov 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Synopsis: Jessica Day moves to Bixby, Oklahoma where time freezes at midnight for those who were born during the "Midnight hour". Only Midnighters can see the secret hour. Each of the Midnighters has certain powers; Rex is a Seer, Melissa is a Mindcaster aka psychic, Jonathan is an Acrobat and can fly, and Dess is a Polymath who is a wizard with math and equations. Jess has no idea what her powers are but the darklings that hunt the secret hour want her dead because of it. She is also not like t ...more
Jul 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
There are 25 hours in a day. We just can't see the secret hour. But in the town of Bixby Oklahoma, all those who were born at midnight can. It's, huge dark moon, and only the midnighters can actually move at all.
But there are other creatures that exist in the secret hour as well. Darklings, and slithers. They usually don't attack, but when Jessica Day shows up and realizes that she's a midnighter, the darklings and slithers come for her the minute they sense her presence.
Rex, Dess,
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Scott Westerfeld is a New York Times bestselling author of YA. He is best known for the Uglies and Leviathan series. His current series, IMPOSTORS, returns to the world of Uglies.

The next book in that series, MIRROR'S EDGE, comes out April 6, 2021.

Other books in the series

Midnighters (3 books)
  • Touching Darkness (Midnighters, #2)
  • Blue Noon (Midnighters, #3)

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