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Westerfeld, Scott. The secret hour.

(Midnighters #1). HarperCollins. 296p. c2004. 0-06-051951-7 $15.99. JS

As the new girl in Bixby, Oklahoma, Jessica Day is more concerned with adjusting to her new surroundings than making friends, but Dess, a Goth girl hiding behind dark glasses, strikes up a strange conversation with her, hinting that something in Bixby might give her bad dreams. That night, Jessica thinks she must he dreaming when she wakes up to blue diamonds glittering in the air outside her window, only to realize that the gems are rain suspended mid-fall. The next night, "dreaming" again, she ventures out of the house to explore a time-frozen world that seems to be hers alone. On the other side of town, however, Dess along with Melissa and Re senses Jessica's presence. They find her just as she is about to be attacked by a shadowy panther and tell her this is no dream. Jessica learns that they all share a special commonality. Each one was born at midnight and as a result experiences a 25th hour in the day when real time stops, blue time starts, and the darklings come out. Since Jessica's arrival, though, the darklings have gotten aggressive, and the Midnighters have to find out why. They each have special powers, but until they discover what Jessica's talent is, and why she has become the darkling's target, their midnight hour is in jeopardy.

In Westerfeld's first Midnighters tale, he concocts a unique and fresh fantasy setting just beyond the edge of our consciousness. Readers will certainly be pulled into the blue time and eagerly await the next volume. Michele Winship, Asst. Prof., Capital Univ., Columbus, OH
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Author:Winship, Michele
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 1, 2004
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