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Burning Midnight by Will Mcintosh

Burning Midnight

by Will Mcintosh

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I have to say, this book started off with an interesting concept. Earth has been littered with colored spheres which when paired can be burned to give the user "upgrades". Enhanced hearing, strength, charm ect. Sully, our protagonist is famous for finding the Cherry red which was to be bought by wealthy sphere collector and seller, Alex Holliday. Only when he realized that all the pair of spheres did was repopulate the earth with more spheres he puts a stop to the million dollar check that would have solved many of Sully and his mom's financial problems.
Sully then teams up with Hunter a "sphere hunter" as she calls herself to scope out new territories for overlooked spheres. When they find a never before seen sphere its a race to see who can find its match and what they will do to keep it out of Alex Holliday's hands.
This book was really good up until the last quarter of the book. It seemed to wrap up way too fast and left me asking questions which do not appear will be answered as this feels like a stand alone book. It was a little disappointing. ( )
  Verkruissen | Aug 12, 2017 |
I really loved this book! ( )
  adamwolf | Oct 2, 2016 |
I admit it…I’ve been hunting Pokemon with my boys. It may be silly and it may turn people into the walking dead. But for us, it’s been loads of fun. My boys are already very active and are outside riding bikes, playing basketball, or playing soccer until after dark. So I wasn’t concerned about them being more active. Rather, it has given us a lot of together time walking, talking, and laughing. Lots of laughing. This laughing has mainly been at my expense. I am not well-versed in Pokemon lore and my gaming skills are pitiful. The boys find this hilarious, but I am a good sport. Honestly, I am.

Our town is touristy and includes a National Park. For a smaller town, we have a large concentration of Poke Stops downtown, mainly in the National Park area. We have spent hours walking around downtown and up and down the mountain. We have laughed, talked, sampled local goodies, and ran into friends. We’ve even taken the show on the road to Kansas City (lots of Poke Stops around the Sporting KC Arena) and Springfield, MO.

When this Pokemon Go craze started, it slightly reminded me of the underlying premise of Burning Midnight. In the book, shiny and colorful spheres have appeared around the world, and people have become obsessed with hunting them. But that is where the similarities end, for hunting spheres is no game. When a person “burns” the spheres, they gain special characteristics or powers, such as the ability to sing or enhanced sense of smell. The “common” spheres have benefits like resistance to the common cold and the “rare” spheres have bigger benefits like enhanced strength or intelligence.

High school student David Sullivan (“Sully”) hunts, buys, and sells spheres on eBay and at a local flea market. David rose to fame when he found the only cherry red sphere. He sold it to business tycoon Alex Holliday for a large sum of money. However, when Holliday didn’t receive any special enhancement after burning it, he cancelled the check. In addition, his sphere dealerships are rapidly putting independent sellers, like Sully, out of business.

Sully soon meets a mysterious fellow sphere hunter ironically named Hunter. Together they develop a plan to collect and sell spheres. One night they find a gold sphere. No one has ever found one before, and suddenly they are thrust into a high stakes game of cat and mouse with Alex Holliday.

This book is straight up YA. And I have a love/hate relationship with YA. There are some YA books that I absolutely LOVE, Harry Potter and Hunger Games come to mind. And others that I don’t like (I’m not going to name any names). Anything with a whiny or entitled protagonist will drive me insane. I’m not asking for unrealistic characters, just ones that are not overtly annoying.

This was a YA book that I thoroughly enjoyed. The characters are not perfect. They have flaws and insecurities, and they make mistakes. But they are feelings we all remember having as teenagers. And the key here is that they learn from their mistakes. Hunter is a strong female character, and Sully treats her with respect. He also treats his mom with respect.

The action is fast-paced, the story-building is strong. I read this book quickly because I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen. This was the first book I’ve read by Will McIntosh, but I am definitely going to check out his other books. It was smart and fun, and treats adolescents like intelligent individuals. Love it.

Will my mom like it?? Probably not. She is not into science fiction or fantasy. Also, there are a lot of pop culture references that I am not sure she would get.

Favorite Passages:
“It’s weird, how strangers can become like family.”

“Exhausted from sixteen hours of driving, they checked into a Fairfield Inn with an indoor pool outside Springfield, Missouri.” (Hey, I grew up near Springfield…..any mentions of it make me laugh.”)

ARC: Burning Midnight
Author: Will McIntosh
Date Published: February 2, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press, Random House Children
Source: Net Galley ( )
  asoutherngirlreads | Jul 30, 2016 |
Award winning author, Will McIntosh, has written his first YA novel, and it's pretty darn good. This story centers around David Sullivan, a seventeen year old who has had a string of bad luck. Ever since the spheres arrived, it seemed his luck was running out even more, until he meets Hunter. A girl with secrets and probably even worse luck than him. Together they hunt the mystical spheres, looking for the one that could turn their luck around. They're not the only ones looking, and their nemesis, Alex Holiday, is always one step behind them.

What are these spheres, you ask? Well no one really knows exactly what they are or where they come from. What they do know is that there are a variety of colors, and each color can give a person an enhanced ability. Having trouble sleeping? Burn a blue-green sphere. Want to sing like a pro? Burn a slate gray sphere. There are many more colors. And you burn them by holding the sphere to your temple. Based on a supply and demand concept, some spheres are very expensive while others are cheap.

This is a fast-paced book with an exciting plot. Once I really got into it, it was hard to put down. And by the end of the book, I had felt like I had been on the same adventure with David and Hunter. The unexpected ending that really had me hooked. Burning Midnight is a must read. I really hope McIntosh can be persuaded to write a few more of these.

Read more at http://www.toreadornottoread.net/2016/04/review-burning-midnight.html#QbZb0RRWXW... ( )
  mt256 | Apr 20, 2016 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Spheres that provide enhanced abilities but are they too good to be true?

Opening Sentence: Sully pulled the thin wad of bills from his pocket and counted.

The Review:

Burning Midnight completely surpassed my expectations. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did! The storyline was fascinating and the writing was addictive.

There wasn’t any one character that stood out more than another. To me, Sully, Hunter and Dom came as a package and they were all fun enough but it was the unusual storyline that kept me intrigued. This is a world with hidden coloured spheres that, when burned, give enhanced abilities. Some spheres are rarer than others, providing uncommon abilities and the cost of these spheres reflects this.

“So, Hunter, what did you ask Santa to bring you for Christmas?” Mike asked, sidling up to her.
She thought for a moment. “I asked him for strength.”
“Strength? I think you got the wrong guy; you’re supposed to ask Jesus for strength. Santa brings the swag.”

Hunter was a bit of a pain at times, too distrustful for her own good. Learning more about her past helped me sympathise with her attitude but she was still annoying at times. I felt sorry for Sully, having to prove himself again and again just to keep on her good side! I wondered why he made the effort?

“Whatever you say, Bronx,” he shot back.
Hunter turned. “That’s the Bronx. It’s the only place important enough that they had to put a the in front of it. You don’t say the Manhattan, or the California, only the Bronx.”
Sully cleared his throat. “Excuse me. I have to go to the bathroom and use the toilet.”

My favourite relationship was Sully and Dom’s bro-mance, their friendship was incredibly sweet even though the business with the spheres began to strain it. It was their friendship and banter that added the humour to Burning Midnight.

Dom gave him a look. “You’re not paying me interest. You’re like my brother.” He squinted, shook his head, “Come to think of it, my brother’s an asshole. I wouldn’t loan him my used gum.” He laughed, clapped Sully on the shoulder.

I loved the action and search for spheres. The entire hunting rare spheres and hiding from powerful people kept me wanting more. Alex Holliday was a scary villain that I underestimated many a time.

Overall, a surprisingly good read with an unexpected ending.

Notable Scene:

“But there’s no such thing as a free lunch. People used to think smoking cigarettes was good for you, and look how that turned out. When Internet ads say something is absolutely free with no obligation, it never is.”

Dom leaned toward her, elbows straddling his lunch. “You think burning spheres is gonna give everyone cancer?”

Mandy sighed heavily. “I don’t know what it’s going to do. I just know there’s always a price, and I don’t buy anything that doesn’t have the price clearly displayed.”

FTC Advisory: Delacorte Press/Random House provided me with a copy of Burning Midnight. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Apr 15, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553534106, Hardcover)

For fans of The Maze Runner and The Fifth Wave, this debut YA novel from Hugo Award winner Will McIntosh pits four underprivileged teens against an evil billionaire in the race of a lifetime.
Sully is a sphere dealer at a flea market. It doesn’t pay much—Alex Holliday’s stores have muscled out most of the independent sellers—but it helps him and his mom make the rent.
No one knows where the brilliant-colored spheres came from. One day they were just there, hidden all over the earth like huge gemstones. Burn a pair and they make you a little better: an inch taller, skilled at math, better-looking. The rarer the sphere, the greater the improvement—and the more expensive the sphere.

When Sully meets Hunter, a girl with a natural talent for finding spheres, the two start searching together. One day they find a Gold—a color no one has ever seen. And when Alex Holliday learns what they have, he will go to any lengths, will use all of his wealth and power, to take it from them.
There’s no question the Gold is priceless, but what does it actually do? None of them is aware of it yet, but the fate of the world rests on this little golden orb. Because all the world fights over the spheres, but no one knows where they come from, what their powers are, or why they’re here.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 07 Jul 2015 16:38:07 -0400)

Teens Sully, Hunter, Dom, and Mandy team up in a race against unscrupulous billionaire CEO Alex Holliday to locate a collectible sphere, which may have a very steep price.

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