Book Review: “Burning Midnight” by Will McIntosh

Sully sells spheres – the mysterious colored marbles that appeared on earth nine years ago and offer enhanced special abilities to humans who use them – but knows he’ll never be able to afford any to use himself. That dream was taken from him long ago, when billionaire Alex Holliday cheated him out of the money he should have earned from discovering a new type of sphere. Sully’s world is turned upside down when he meets Hunter, a girl who’s had an even rougher start in life than he has. Together, they hope to hunt enough spheres to keep both of them fed and housed for the foreseeable future. Instead, they discover a sphere no one has ever seen before – a Gold. It could be the key to great riches…but Alex Holliday will stop at nothing to get it for himself.

Such is the opening premise of Burning Midnight, but this book takes so many twists and turns, you’ll barely recognize it by the end! I’m not usually one for thrillers, but Sully’s work at the flea market (one of my favorite haunts) and the risky business of collecting (um, have you seen my stash of action figures?) drew me to it, and I’m not sorry. This novel is brisk and intriguing, an easy afternoon’s read for those who like fast-paced thrillers, and prefer them in print to on screen.

McIntosh’s cast of characters, which is rounded out by Dom, Sully’s best friend, and Mandy, another anti-Holliday protester who soon bonds with the group, aren’t deeply drawn, which is natural for a pulpy novel like this one. They do, however, come from varied backgrounds and are likable and interesting, and in a genre of stand-alone where any characters are bound to be a bit more one-dimensional than I’m used to…I’ll take it.

The jacket copy isn’t exaggerating when it boasts of the novel’s climax – the plot takes at least two turns that I wasn’t expecting at all. As pure entertainment, Burning Midnight is excellent, combining all those elements you want for a rainy afternoon indoors: fancy cars, scavenger hunting, a touch of romance, danger, daring – and a mystery, of course. I have a feeling that fans of Divergent will want to give this one a try!

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.