I’d not read anything other than the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld before I picked up The Secret Hour so I was kinda expecting it to be very similar (authors tend to stick to the same kinda thing) so when I started reading I realised straight away that I was wrong and this book was completely different to Uglies. I would love to delve into the mind of Scott Westerfeld because he has obviously got an AMAZING imagination.
The story is based around Jess, but because of the use of external narration you get stuff from the point of view of a few of the other characters. The first character we even meet is Rex, albeit when he first notices Jess but never mind, and although he gets a bit, well, bossy later in the book, he is my second favourite character. He has depth and focus and I would love to know more about him.
My favourite character has to be Dess though. She is awesome, I love her talents, the way the brain just picks up on calculations and stuff to do with numbers instantly. I’m in awe of Dess. The descriptions of her working things out are incredible, they really jumped out at me. I felt like I could really feel the calculations winding down to the equation and I loved the combinations and relationships that the numbers had with the words, that fascinated me. Dess really had something going on, she was alive as a character and I loved her for it.
The descriptions were really what grabbed me throughout a lot of the book if I’m honest. I love the way Scott Westerfeld writes and the flow his words seem to have. While Jess walks through the raindrops the first night she awakes the way its described is magical. I love the thought of her walking through them and creating a tunnel between them. I want to be able to do that!
The story kept you guessing for a long time, I wasn’t certain what the Midnighters were, how they got their talents or even if they were the “goodies” or “baddies” until near the middle of the book really. That’s not to say it was dragged out though, it really wasn’t, it kept my attention grabbed and my excitement growing all the way through to the end.
The mythology behind The Midnighters was very clearly thought out, there were elements of other supernatural “creatures of the night” types going on but I had never seen it done in this was before. The Midnighters are exactly what their names imply and they don’t come from a long line of “seers,” “mind-casters” or “acrobats,” they were just themselves.
As expected with the first book of a series there were plenty of questions left open – I was going to mention a few of the ones I picked up on but I don’t want to spoil any of the plot for you! – but I guess for the answers I will just have to read on, and I plan to do this as soon as possible! Scott Westerfeld really does grab, and pulls you right into the world he creates, and it is truly magical, beautiful, and quite scary, in The Secret Hour.