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The Secret Hour: Number 1 in series (Midnighters) [Paperback]

Scott Westerfeld
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 6 April 2006 --  

Book Description

6 April 2006 Midnighters (Book 1)

Strange things happen at midnight in the town of Bixby, Oklahoma. Time freezes. Nobody moves. 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.

Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Atom (6 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904233821
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904233824
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 620,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Scott Westerfeld's teen novels include the Uglies series, the Midnighters trilogy, The Last Days, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and the sequel to Peeps. Scott was born in Texas, and alternates summers between Sydney, Australia, and New York City.

Product Description


Kept me reading way past midnight! (Garth Nix)

Fast-paced and spooky - a good read for the dark hours (Ursula K. Le Guin)

Intriguing and provocative. The sequels will be worth waiting for. (Locus)

Book Description

Meet the Midnighters. By day, they're teenage outsiders, dressed in black coats and bad attitudes. By night, they just might be our last hope. . .

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Secret Hour start of a gripping series. 12 Mar 2007
I work in a library and a girl came in asking for this book, after searching for a while on the shelf, and her telling me she really wanted it to read because she had been told it was amazing, we found it, but it made me curious to find out what all the fuss was about and i wasn't disappointed.

The story has a really good plot line and keeps you hooked throughout, the idea of a secret hour in the day when time freezes and only those born at midnight can see it is an excellent idea and works really well, you can really connect with the characters and feel your heart racing for them at points in the story where things get a bit hairy!

Scott Westerfeld has created a terrific series and after reading this one, you will be begging for more, which you can get from teh other two in the series, 'Touching Darkness' and 'Blue Noon'.

I highly recommend these books, they are truly grippping reads that will grab you and maintain the magic no matter how many times you read them.

so go on, try it!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too 14 Oct 2006
By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER
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 ability to see the "blue time", the twenty-fifth hour of the day where time stands still for everyone else. Each of the group has a special power, both in and out of the blue time--Rex is a Seer, Dess is a Polymath, Melissa is a Mindcaster, and Jonathan is an Acrobat.

Jess is, of course, skeptical at first that time is actually standing still, and that her new rag-tag group of friends has special powers. But soon unmistakeable proof arises that the arrival of Jessica Day in Bixby is causing change--the creatures of the blue time are becoming dangerous and seem to want her dead.

Jess needs to find out her own special power before something bad happens to the town and it's midnight inhabitants. As the group struggle to keep the night creatures away, it's up to Jess to discover which power she possesses that's making everyone so nervous.

I LOVED this book! A totally original concept, Scott Westerfeld has created a series with truly interesting characters and crystal-clear visualization. I can't wait to read the next book in the series, to see where the Midnighters go from here.

Definitely a recommended read!

Reviewed by: Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling story even if it has a lot of snakes 17 Nov 2010
By Book Angel Emma VINE VOICE
Written in 3rd person narrative but mainly focalized from Jessica's point of view. She is 15/16 and just moved to a new town due to her mums job. This isn't just any town. Jessica starts having strange dreams as soon as she gets there.

The other Midnighters recognize that she has the aura of a Midnighter before she does. The story actually reminded me a lot of The Power of Five by Anthony Horowitz which also features teenagers with special abilities fighting an ancient evil.

The only way you can become a Midnighter is if you are born at exactly Midnight (The Midnighters), the evil can only exist in a single hour starting at midnight but compressed down to a single moment in real time. Only The Midnighters are able to access this Secret Hour.

The story follows Jess as she comes to terms with being a Midnighter and discovering her special power. All the while being hunted by the Darklings (the ancient evil that used to rule the world). Throw in a budding romance with fellow Midnighter Jonathan, and you have a very compelling story.

For someone like myself that has a phobia of snakes, there are a lot of very detailed descriptions of snakes/slithers *shudders*. So that did actually dampen the story for me as I was trying very hard not to picture them within my imagination. It is certainly the stuff my nightmares are made of.

As to the other Midnighters the only 2 I actually liked were Dess and Jonathan. Dess seemed almost savant with here mathematical abilities. Melissa and Rex were not developed in depth but I have the feeling that they are pivotal to the ongoing plot. Something about their personalities and strange relationship really put me on edge. I have the feeling that there is a lot more to them than has been shown so far.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and gripping! 25 Aug 2007
I discovered this book by accident, but I fell in love imediatly and wanted more! And thank God there were 2 more books!
I love the first one, this one, grips you from the beginning and never let's you go... If you lose concentration, you may not make it alive (which is more about heroes, not reader:))
Girl moves to small town where she is drown to strange crowd of goth looking teenagers, but not all as it seems, they are the good ones and trying to survive in the midnight blue hour when ancient things go bump and no technology works is a harsh reality of this odd group of outsiders, because they are the only ones moving in blue hour...

This book is amazing, just like the rest of trilogy!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars a good reas
An interesting ideas well told. Worth a read. The secret midnight hour may not be a place I would want to go I am going to start book right now
Published 3 months ago by bookie
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good read
Having read & loved another series of books by Scott Westerfeld (Uglies Series, check it out if you haven't read it!), I decided to see what else he had written. Read more
Published on 8 April 2012 by Stephy
3.0 out of 5 stars Im not sure what to make of this book
I like the whole premise of the 25th hour, I wouldn't have thought of it and I kinda wish I had, so there. Scott Westerfeld wins right there. Now. Read more
Published on 26 Sep 2010 by Rebecca
4.0 out of 5 stars fab start to a series
I really enjoyed this book.

The whole story was set up around a group of midnighters - people born at the stroke of midnight who get to experience the 25th hour of the... Read more
Published on 2 Aug 2010 by Kirsty at the Overflowing Library
4.0 out of 5 stars Cracking Young Adult Series
Whilst this offering has been about for a bit, Atom have repacked this classic Young Adult offering and not only done a bang up job of it but made sure that the next generation of... Read more
Published on 9 July 2010 by Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog
5.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner
Moving to Bixby, Oklahoma makes Jessica feel like an outsider. Then, after a series of what she assumes to be bad dreams, she finds out just how unusual she really is. Read more
Published on 7 Mar 2010 by Tasha
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome.
Strange things happen at midnight in the town of Bixby, Oklahoma. Time freezes. Nobody moves. For one secret hour each night, the town belongs to the dark creatures that haunt the... Read more
Published on 18 Dec 2009 by The Book Bug
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