Title: Midnight City (Conquered Earth #1)
Author: J. Barton Mitchell
Release Date: October 30th 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 384 (hardcover)
In a post-apocalyptic world controlled by alien invaders, two teens and a young girl with mysterious powers embark on a dangerous journey. What they find will change everything...
Earth has been conquered. An extraterrestrial race known as The Assembly has abducted the adult population, leaving the planet’s youth to fend for themselves. In this treacherous landscape, Holt, a bounty hunter, is transporting his prisoner Mira when they discover Zoey, a young girl with powerful abilities who could be the key to stopping The Assembly. As they make their way to the cavernous metropolis of Midnight City, the trio must contend with freedom fighters, mutants, otherworldly artifacts, pirates, feuding alien armies, and perhaps most perilous of all: Holt and Mira’s growing attraction to each other.
As with alien-invasion movies, I expected Midnight City to be either of two things when I started reading it: a hit or a miss. And the beginning made me think it was the latter of the two, until it started hitting me in all the right places.
The best part about this book was the pace. I'd only planned to read a hundred more pages today, but I kept reading because I had to know what would happen next.
I also loved the group of misfits who were the main characters. Holt, a survivor, if nothing else; Mira, ever so resolute about her plan; Zoey, innocent but courageous and smart for her age; and the Max, adorable... although I believe Mira when she said that he stinks. Their group was formed out of necessity, and their hostility not just towards their pursuers but also towards each other made them very real.
The world-building was outstanding. Mitchell described everything in a way that made it easy for me to see the scenes in my mind, and also made me thankful that I do not live in his futuristic world. A world without adults might seem fun to some, but not to me, especially if aliens would take over the minds of nineteen-or-so-year-olds and kids had to mature quickly if they wanted to make the most out of their lives before the Tone gets to them. It's just awful.
The idea of the artifacts also intrigued me. I'm sure it would be cool, although dangerous, to mix and match seemingly worthless items that produced magical effects such as controlling gravity and opening any locked door.
The ending was fulfilling, but it still left many questions unanswered. What was it with Holt's and Mira's pasts and what will happen to their future? What did the Assembly do with the adults? - because I don't think they just beckoned them with the Tone and then killed them off. And just how many Assemblies are there? But I am certain of two things. First, this is one story I would not want to live in, unless I want to die of exhaustion or have running as the last thing I'll do. Second, if you want a constant surge of action, you'll want to get Midnight City.
MY FAVORITE PART was learning just how much Zoey could do, and I'm sure there'll be more.
(photo and summary from Goodreads.com)