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.
Midnight City is the breathtaking first novel in the Conquered Earth series, and a stunning work of imagination from debut author J. Barton Mitchell.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
(Source: I was able to view a digital galley of this book thanks to St. Martin's Griffin, and Netgalley.)
20-year-old Holt lives in a dystopian world, where aliens (known as The Assembly) have taken over, and most adults have succumbed to the ‘Tone’ – a telepathic mind control signal which causes adults eyes to turn black, and then they go walking into the ‘Presidium’ and never come back.
Holt however is heedless – the Tone has no effect on him, and he works as a bounty hunter, catching people wanted by the people of Midnight City, and taking the cash reward.
15-year-old Mira is a ‘Freebooter’ – she sneaks into ‘The Strange Lands’ and brings out ‘artefact’s’ which become charged with magical powers outside of ‘The Strange Lands’. Mira is wanted by the people of Midnight City, and has a bounty on her head.
Holt has tracked and captured Mira, and is making his way to Midnight City when one of the alien aircraft crashes, and Holt decides to look inside for things to scavenge. What he finds instead is an 8-year-old girl – Zoey, who the aliens seem to want back.
Holt, Mira, and Zoey begin to make their way toward Midnight City, but why do the aliens want Zoey? What lurks in the flooded plains that they must cross? And what adventures lie in store for them once they make it to Midnight City?
This was an okay little dystopian/sci-fi/fantasy, with plenty of weird stuff – aliens, zombies, magic etc. It wasn’t too scary, although there was no shortage of enemy encounters in one form or another, and the flashbacks to when the attack originally happened – showing Holt with his parents and younger sister, gave a nice background to the story.
I liked how Holt showed compassion, and real depth of character, and Mira was a sweet girl even if she was a freebooter. I wasn’t really sure what to make of Zoey, other than to be a little wary of her and why the Assembly wanted her so much.
Midnight city itself was not only physically complex (made out of caves with loads of secret passageways) but had a complex hierarchy consisting of opposing factions, and point scoring and wasn’t what I expected at all.
The story really kicked up a notch towards the end, with adventures and twits that I didn’t see coming, and the revelations were also interesting.
I did find this book didn’t grab my attention all that well, although I don’t really understand why. Maybe it is aimed at younger teens? I’m sure that other people will enjoy this though!
Overall; an interesting mix of genres and ideas
6.5 out of 10.
This novel was published October 30th in the US, and will be published November 13th in the UK.