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4.0 out of 5 stars
Touching Darkness: Number 2 in series (Midnighters)
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 15 June 2015
You know how it is. Lots of these trilogies start out strong with a volume 1 that grabs you with a great premise and strong characters. Then, volume 2 is a lot of filler and volume 3 ends with a whimper because the set up doesn't really lead anywhere. Not the case with this series.

The premise is great. No vampires, or zombies or magic. The Midnight Hour is a great framing device and the darklings are wonderfully vague evil opponents. The characters are better than average teen protagonists and the teen angst is kept to a minimum, while there's enough to allow for individual personalities and emotions to emerge. But here's the best part. In Volume 2 the midnighters' early history is set out, the character's relationships are better defined, and the darkling threat grows even though the darklings are still allowed to remain a vague and undefined sort of evil force. Everything that was fun or interesting in volume 1 is better developed and more fully explained in volume 2.

It helps that some care has been taken with secondary characters. It also helps that as the action grows, the chapters stay short and punchy. I'm also impressed with how the story is paced - sometimes there is a longer section dedicated to an important plot development involving just one character and sometimes there is a lot of cross-cutting between characters, keeping up momentum and adding urgency to the story.

So, all in all a worthy sequel and a superior contribution to the world of thoughtful YA creepiness.
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VINE VOICEon 21 January 2011
Firstly, breathing a sigh of relief, I was so happy that the amount of snake references were at a minimum enabling me to enjoy the story without shuddering every few minutes.

The story starts right where The Secret Hour ended, throwing the reader directly into the action and making it necessary to read the books in series order to enable full understanding of the plot, the characters and their interactions. I really liked how all of the Midnighters characters were developed alongside one another.

Further elements were added to the plot, giving it additional depth. The action is still fast paced with some very interesting twists and turns, keeping the reader on the edge of their seat, so to speak. The plot is revealed in segments and it is up to the reader to put the pieces together. I love doing that, trying to guess what happens next, so this aspect really kept me turning the pages.

My favourite part of this book would have to be that more of The Midnighters history is revealed piece by piece. The history of the group itself plus individual history, the narrative shows how the both aspects tie together, very clever plot building is involved here.

My concerns with Rex and Melissa carried over from The Secret Hour where dealt with completely with some amazing shocks and surprises. The intricacies of their relationship are revealed showing the codependency they have to its full extent. I still think Melissa is hiding something and has her own agenda. Will I be proved correct, I cant wait to find out so I will be moving onto book three rapidly. Keep your fingers crossed that the snake references are limited in that one too.

In conclusion, a great sequel, showing further character and plot development while leaving the reader jump to their own conclusions. This middle book in the trilogy certainly has me hooked on this series more than the 1st book did but I think that is because of all the snake references in Book One. Really looking forward to Book Three to achieve resolution with the plot.
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on 29 December 2009
Bixby, Oklahoma, is full of secrets - some come out at midnight -
some should stay hidden.As the Midnighters search for the truth about the secret hour, they uncover terrifying mysteries woven into the very fabric of Bixby's history, and a conspiracy that touches the world of daylight. This time Jessica Day is not the only Midnighter in mortal danger, and if the group can't find a way to come together, they could lose one of their own . . . forever.

Wow, wow, wow, wow and wow. I am in love with this book. I am at a loss for words. It's just so amazing. I don't think I can describe its awesomeness, but I'll try. The plot was exciting and suspenseful and extremely twisty, I was constantly on the edge of my seat. Scott Westerfield sure knows how to create good story lines. I love the whole 'midnighter' idea, very original. New ideas where introduced, like halflings and the oil boom, keeping my mind occupied 90% of the time.

New characters were introduced, and I really want to know more about Anathea and all of the other oil boom midnighters. I really hope to learn more about her, even though she is dead. I also felt pretty damn sorry for her, kidnapped by darklings at an early age. Melissa went through some scary changes. Frankly, I find the new chipper Melissa practically terrifying. And Rex...the end- oh my god. I'm trying to avoid spoilers (because spoilers fail), but seriously, it was such a shocker. I will be interested to see how it plays out in the next book.

Jessica just plain irritated me this time round. She was alright in the first book, I even liked her a bit, but then I realised how flat her character is. Realistic, they all are, but flat. And Constantza don't even get me started. I didn't like her in the first place, she is a cliched Daddy's little rich girl. If she was real, she certainly wouldn't be my friend. Dess and Jonathan still remain the only decent character and my favourites. I've noticed that SW is very hard on his characters, I don't have a problem with that, as it adds to the plot.

Jonathan and Jessica's relationship...just...Arrrgh. It's not working out for me, most of the time. There were point that even warmed my cold stone heart, but other where Jessica was being such a prat. Rex and Melissa: well that took a while. That's all I'm going to say. I'm really glad that the romance in these books don't try to be forbidden, as I have come across to many pathetic excuses for 'forbidden' lately.

The ending was neat and funny, and even though it's not a cliffhanger, I NEED THE SEQUEL NOW. I'm quite glad that it worked out for Rex in the end. So, overall, go read the Midnighter Trilogy right now. It will blow your socks off. This is my favourite book I have read this year (maybe second favourite, next to The Mortal Instruments).
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on 30 October 2010
I became a fan of the Midnighters series after reading and reviewing book1(here) not so long ago so I was eager to start book 2 but it wasn't what I expected. I felt a little let down but at the same time satisfied.

Touching Darkness is a great 2nd in the series but for me it wasn't enough and yet and the same time it was, there where times when I felt I couldn't put it down and then suddenly I was in a state of I couldn't allow myself to read anymore, its action packed and gives us more history to The Secret Hour and maybe the history is what made my interest float a little but when that was done with and we was down tot he nit and grit I really enjoyed reading Touching Darkness.

Although this isn't a fave book of mine I would still highly recommend reading it as I feel that it is certainly an element of the novels and I'm looking forward to starting book 3 Blue Noon to see where it leads me I still have high hopes yet!!!
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VINE VOICEon 4 August 2010
I really enjoyed this book, an awesome follow up to the first book in the series. It picks up pretty much where the first book left off. What I enjoyed about it most is the book is finally giving the story a bit of backgroun looking in more depth to the whole notion of midnighters. You are introduced to a new character who opens an awful lot of the story up and the main plot is superfast, gripping and suspenseful.

The thing that I still don;t fully like about this series is some of the main characters. It's not that I don't like them its more than I don't know them as well as I'd like to care enough about them. This book did go someway to remedy this but still not far enough for my liking.

Looking forward to reading the final book in the series.
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on 12 March 2007
This book had me gripped till the end, had some really suspensful moments in it where i couldn't stop reading because i was desperate to find out what happens and how they get round everything. When Rex - the Seer and leader of the Midnighters, gets kidnapped to be turned into a half-darkling, it made my breath catch and i couldn't put it down, i had to find out how they would save him or if they (the other midnighters) could save him, i won't spoil it by telling you the outcome, but i do strongly recommend this book, it isn't really scary but does have some heart stopping moments, one of my favourite books now! try it!
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on 25 August 2007
Book 2 about our midnighters and the fight is getting more and more dangerous!
There are real dangers that kids are facing, and this time it's not only slithers and darklings, it's humans too, the ones that have no business in blue hour. Now every night is real possibilities that one of them will not be back.
And there may be someone from way before their time still surviving on the town..
Another amazing book from Westerfeld!
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on 11 October 2008
this book was ok I really enjoyed The Secrete Hour and really wanted this book and bought it as soon as I could but I found the ending really disappointing as it did not leave me wanting to read the next book. However the main 'chunk' of the book is good just wish it had a more of a gipping cliff hanger at the end. It's a good trilogy for young readers but may be a bit scary for really young.
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on 9 July 2007
All the midnighters books really did have me griped, once i finished the first volume i went straight to the second one and then the third one!
Its a great book because you dont only get to see everything from one of the protagonist point of view or propspetive but from all of them which i thought was really good, and very well written! i highly recommend that people should read it! it really will get you reading until you finish it! lol
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VINE VOICEon 11 March 2010
The second book of the Midnighters series picks up right after the first one. I actually read this one straight after number one so it was pretty much just like reading a long book. It says a lot for the book that I didn't want to take a break between them and didn't get bored at any point. The action throughout is nicely spaced out, just the right amount to keep things moving without being so fast paced you can't keep up.

Descriptions throughout the book are excellent. In some places the maths Dess is working on may be given in a little too much detail but that was just because I got distracted trying to work it out lol.

I love the characters in this series, not because I especially like their personalities - Melissa's a bitch, Rex is bossy, Dess is whiney - but because they're well developed and they all have reason to be how they are. This book is largely about the five Midnighters putting these differences behind them (they don't even all like each other - which to me is great because it'd be a bit lame if they were all bff's just based on them having their talent and knowledge of the secret hour). They have to work together to ensure they all survive. They start to become closer as a group and realise that their differences compliment each other.

I can't wait to read the next book! I'd love to be able to read straight on throguh the series but unfortunately I don't have the third one yet.
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