Title: The Secret Hour (Midnighters #1)
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publisher: Atom (UK) / Eos (US)
PublicationDate: June 2010 (UK) / 2004 (US)
Paperback: 276 pages
Genre: Science Fiction


RATING: 7/10 – very good


For one secret hour each night, the town belongs to the dark creatures that haunt the shadows. Only a small group of people know about the secret hour — only they are free to move about the midnight time.

These people call themselves Midnighters. Each one has a different power that is strongest at midnight: Seer, Mindcaster, Acrobat, Polymath. For years the Midnighters and the dark creatures have shared the secret hour, uneasily avoiding one another.

All that changes when the new girl with an unmistakable midnight aura appears at Bixby High School.
Jessica Day is not an outsider like the other Midnighters. She acts perfectly normal in every way. But it soon becomes clear that the dark creatures sense a hidden power in Jessica . . . and they’re determined to stop her before she can use it



The Secret Hour is the first book in the ‘Midnighters’ series and I found it to be quite fun and original. The writing style is smooth and easy to read so I sailed through The Secret Hour quite quickly. The plot is an interesting one involving maths and linguistics in a pretty original way.

Jessica Day has just moved to the small town of Bixby, Oklahoma from Chicago and is trying to fit in at school. After only a few days of being in Bixby, she is confronted by a strange light and when she steps outside the rain that had been falling is frozen and looks like diamonds all around her. From that moment every night at midnight, weird and surreal things happen. She then meets a small group of friends who are all quirky in their own way and seem to have strange abilities.

The group call themselves the “Midnighters” and are the only ones that know of and can enter the secret hour. The twenty-fifth hour of the day where everything else freezes and other things begin to come to life; creepy and sinister Darklings who are trying to kill jessica but nobody can figure out why.

The characters are likeable, although not particularly three-dimentional. They lack a certain amount of depth and felt I didn’t really get to know them as much as I would have liked. Other aspects to the story were only touched upon or alluded to and relationships were formed a bit too quickly. But there is some great dry, teenage humour, which I really enjoyed and which had me smiling throughout.


The Secret Hour has a bit of everything; mystery, intrigue, romance and the supernatural and although I can’t say I enjoyed it as much as I did ‘Uglies’, it is definitely an entertaining read.

SOURCE: Thank you to Atom for sending me this book for review.

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Carolyn created Book Chick City in July 2009 due to her love of books. A Brit chick obsessed with zombies, kick-arse chicks and sexy heroes. She's also seriously addicted to chocolate, shopping, and coffee. Her favourite genres are Urban Fantasy, Romance and Zombie Lit... Brrraaaaiiinnnnsss!


Kah Woei June 25, 2010 at 9:08 am

Glad you liked it. I enjoyed it too when I first read it, but couldn't seem to find the next book in the series.


Shy June 25, 2010 at 10:34 am

What a coincidence! I just finished reading this book couple of hours ago and am totally agree with you regarding the originality of the plot. Looking forward for the next chapter in the series =)


Shweta June 25, 2010 at 11:54 am

I have this book with me.Being a Scott Westerfeld fan I snagged a copy but never got to it . Need to read this one soon.

Glad to know u liked it. The concept of extra hour looks fun n different.


Laura Summers June 25, 2010 at 1:07 pm

I too love the idea of a 25th hour, it's captured my imagination.

Haven't come across Scott Westerfield before, always good to find new, good authors :-)


Felicia the Geeky Blogger June 25, 2010 at 2:41 pm

I have never heard of Scott Westerfeld but it sounds like it was a great read :)


Aleksandra June 25, 2010 at 2:41 pm

I still haven't read any of his books, but I'm planning to read Leviathan this summer! This one sounds like my kind of book, so I'll add the series on my reading list! Thanks for the review!


Yellowluva June 25, 2010 at 2:41 pm

The US book cover looks really creepy. Totally wierd!


Blueicegal ♥ June 25, 2010 at 4:22 pm

i read this back when i was 15 i remember being amazed and totally in love with it i don't know how i would feel about it now that im 18 as what i perceive as a god book has changed im looking forward to re reading them and finding out :)


Book Chick City June 25, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Kah Woei – I'm sure if you look on Amazon or the Book Depository you will be able to get a copy :)

Shy – I'm glad you enjoyed it and yes, the plot is quite unique and fresh, which was nice :)

Schweta – It is a fun concept, I did enjoy it. If you've read the 'Uglies' series then I'm sure you would like this one :)

Laura – It's done quite well too, very interesting book. I had a few issues as stated in my review but overall it was a fun read :)

Felicia – I've only read the first book in the 'Uglies' series and I did enjoy it, so I hoped that this one was as good. It's not quite as good in my opinion but it was still an enjoyable read.

Aleskandra – I've heard Leviathan is fab, maybe I should try that one next!

Yellowluva – US is cover is a bit creepy, I much prefer the UK one :)

Blueicegal – I think that someone in their teens would probably view this book differently to me as someone in her 30's. I discover all sorts of different things when I re-read books I read when young. It will be interesting to see if your views have changed, you should re-read it just to see 😉


Jill of The O.W.L. June 26, 2010 at 2:54 am

I loved this series and got several students hooked on it this school year! I think it's a series that needs more exposure.

I love these covers compared to the two different versions I've seen.


Hilde September 24, 2010 at 7:47 am

I just read the first but I enjoyed this serie. I think I'll read next books sooner.


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