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  1 Burning Midnight
Author: McIntosh, Will
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Class: Fiction
Age: 12-19
Language: English
Demand: Average
LC: PZ7.1
Grade: 7-12
ISBN-13: 9780553534108
LCCN: 2014048062
Imprint: Delacorte Press
Pub Date: 02/02/2016
Availability: Out of Print Confirmed
List: $17.99
Physical Description: 312 pages ; 22 cm H 8.63", W 5.81", D 1.13", 0.95 lbs.
LC Series:
Brodart Sources: Brodart's For Youth Interest Titles
Brodart's For Youth Interest: Popular
Brodart's Insight Catalog: Teen
Brodart's TOP Young Adult Titles
Awards: Horn Book Guide Titles, Rated 1 - 4
Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
Starred Reviews:
TIPS Subjects: Science Fiction
Social Issues
BISAC Subjects: YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Science Fiction / General
YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Action & Adventure / General
YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Homelessness & Poverty
LC Subjects: Adventure and adventurers, Fiction
Conduct of life, Fiction
Conduct of life, Juvenile fiction
New York (N.Y.), Fiction
New York (N.Y.), Juvenile fiction
Science fiction
SEARS Subjects: Science fiction
Reading Programs: Accelerated Reader Level: 5 , Points: 11.0
Lexile Level: 670
Brodart's TOP Young Adult Titles | 02/01/2016
The multicolored spheres that fall from the sky are a mystery to the people of New York, and those around the world. Each sphere improves its owner's life, whether through raising one's height, improving one's looks, or increasing one's affinity toward math. When gifted sphere dealer Sully finds a never-before-seen Gold, he teams with three fellow teens to stop a sinister billionaire from hatching a dangerous plot. 320pp.
Journal Reviews
BookPage | 02/01/2016
12 and up. In a universe just slightly different from our own, small spheres in a rainbow of hues are hidden throughout the world, wherever people live. When matched with another sphere of the same color and "burned" by holding them to one's forehead, spheres increase human abilities: A common pair of Army Green spheres promotes resistance to the common cold, while rare Mustards grant high IQ. Sphere hunting has become a global business, where multinational corporations coexist with small-time flea-market sellers. Sully is one of the latter, trying to earn enough in his afterschool sales to help his mother pay the rent on their small apartment. When he meets Hunter, a teen girl in even worse economic straits, they team up to look for spheres, knowing that billionaire Alex Holliday will use any tactic to acquire the most valuable spheres . . . especially the match to the one and only Midnight Blue. The results of Sully and Hunter's searches will change the world in ways that no one could predict. The high-action ending, while unexpected in some ways, is appropriately set up throughout the story, making for a surprising yet satisfying resolution. Hugo Award-winning author Will McIntosh ventures into YA lit for the first time with this combination of urban fantasy, magical realism, science fiction and adventure. In this world, the bizarre seems normal, the fantastical follows its own rules and within these rules, anything can happen. Jill Ratzan. 320p. BOOKPAGE, c2016.
Booklist | 02/01/2016
Grades 7-10. In Hugo Award winner McIntosh's first YA novel, people can improve their lives--grow stronger, smarter, more attractive--by burning colored spheres found hidden all over the Earth. Each of the 43 colors does something different, and the rarer the color, the greater the ability conferred. The spheres' origins are a mystery, but since their appearance, people are obsessed with finding, selling, trading, and collecting them--not to mention using them. When high-schooler Sully, a small-time sphere dealer, and Hunter, a homeless sphere hunter, team up to search out-of-the-way locations, they find their big score submerged in a water tower: a new color. If they can hold onto it long enough to sell it, they will be millionaires, but business mogul Alex Holliday will stop at nothing to steal it. The story makes a turn into B-movie territory that could have been better integrated, but it's entertaining nonetheless, and the ending is hasty but satisfying. Sci-fi stand-alones for teens are rare, and with a fascinating premise and likable, underdog protagonists, this is a winner. Hutley, Krista. 320p. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2016.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books | 02/01/2016
R. Gr. 7-10. Ever since thousands of mysterious colored spheres suddenly appeared around the globe, the world's economy has revolved around the dwindling supply of these seemingly magical marbles. Seventeen-year-old David "Sully" Sullivan trades these marbles at a local Yonkers flea market, and he's intrigued when beautiful seventeen-year-old Hunter appears with a rare trade and a natural talent for finding the most well-hidden spheres. Soon the two strike up a partnership, but even as Sully starts falling for Hunter, their friendship is strained by their discovery of a never-before-seen Gold. Rather than sell the priceless sphere, they hit the road, with friends in tow and a marble-hunting billionaire on their trail. With an inventive premise, this sci-fi adventure offers a scavenger hunt story with layers both political and emotional. The detailed backstory and underlying logic are clearly conveyed without dragging down the pace, and the plot manages to twist and surprise. The real strength of the narrative rests with the relationships, though, as old and new, romantic, familial, and platonic connections face tests and betrayals. Ultimately a winning story of friendship in the face of easy money and power, this novel has much to offer the reader who's up for something new. AM. 320p. THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE UNIV. OF ILLINOIS, c2016.
Horn Book | 01/01/2016
Middle School, High School. In this fast-paced sci-fi thriller, brightly colored gemstone-like spheres have begun to appear on Earth; when paired with a sphere of the same color and "burned," they give humans enhanced abilities. Some colors are rarer and more valuable than others. High schooler Sully has been selling spheres at the local flea market regularly since he was cheated out of a valuable Cherry Red by cold-hearted businessman Alex Holliday. Since then Sully has been down on his luck, until he joins forces with a tough, impoverished sphere-hunter (aptly named Hunter) looking to pull herself out of poverty. They combine their skills with those of Sully's friends Dom and Mandy, and the quartet embarks on a road trip to track down the rarest of the rare: Golds and Midnight Blues. The plot speeds along quickly from here, after Hunter's actions mistakenly lead to an unimaginable horror being unleashed. Despite being a bit uneven, with a plot that is three parts heist and one part alien invasion, and with a troupe of remarkably non-tech-savvy protagonists, adult sci-fi author McIntosh's YA debut is an exciting, fast-paced adventure from start to finish. kazia berkley-cramer. 313pg. THE HORN BOOK, c2016.
Horn Book Guide | 11/01/2016
2. Brightly colored spheres have begun to appear on Earth; when "burned," they give humans enhanced abilities. After high schooler Sully is cheated out of a valuable Cherry Red by businessman Alex Holliday, he joins forces with tough sphere-hunter Hunter. Hunter's actions mistakenly lead to an unimaginable horror being unleashed. Three parts heist and one part alien invasion, this is an exciting, fast-paced sci-fi thriller. kbc. 313pg. THE HORN BOOK, c2016.
Kirkus Reviews | 11/01/2015
A 17-year-old boy and his friends just want enough to survive on in a world where the rich and powerful greedily take everything. Sully was once "a millionaire for ten minutes, until Alex Holliday's lawyers stopped payment on the check." Sully, a white, working-poor boy from Yonkers, had been conned when only 13 by billionaire exec Holliday for his prize find: a Cherry Red. In the nine years since the brightly colored spheres blanketed the Earth, Cherry Red is still the rarest ever found. Anyone can use up a matched pair of spheres to gain skills--from Slate Gray's singing ability to Mustard's high IQ--so the rich pay millions for marbles that will enhance them in some way. McIntosh's world is almost exactly like ours, stuffed with pop-culture familiarity (folks read BuzzFeed and watch The Late Show with Stephen Colbert), but the rich enjoy even more privilege. When Sully meets Hunter, a sometimes-homeless Puerto Rican black girl with a tragic back story, she invites him to join her hunt for a fat prize: another rare marble, one valuable enough to give them both security. But when they're on the verge of success, Holliday pops up like a contemporary robber baron. Hunter, Sully, and their friends (a white Italian-American boy and a queer Korean-American girl) road-trip across the country in a race for gold that takes an unexpected but pleasing shift to a film-ready action climax. This fast-paced urban quest wears its agenda on its sleeve, but it's conveyed with verve and an endearing sense of justice. (Science fiction. 12-14). 320pg. KIRKUS MEDIA LLC, c2015.
Publishers Weekly | 01/18/2016
Ages 12-up. The spheres are mysterious artifacts that appeared one day; often hidden just out of plain sight, they are coveted for their ability to convey various effects--Copper for ambidexterity, Cranberry for better looks, Cream for athleticism, and so forth. While the more common spheres are relatively cheap, rarer finds can fetch massive sums, turning sphere-hunting and speculation into a lucrative business. Sully is one such reseller, trying to make ends meet at a flea market. When he teams up with Hunter, a resourceful girl with a knack for finding spheres, it seems like they might get lucky. However, their discovery of a never-before-seen Gold opens up new questions about the nature of the spheres and attracts the attention of a ruthless billionaire. In an impressive YA debut, adult SF author McIntosh (Defenders) spins an action-packed adventure that makes a statement about the relative value of commodities and self-improvements that can be bought, not earned. An engaging cast and thought-provoking premise help fuel this thriller, though the slightly off-the-rails ending doesn't quite live up to the story's other strengths. Agent: Seth Fishman, Gernert Company. (Feb.). 320p. Web-Exclusive Review. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2016.
School Library Journal | 01/01/2016
Gr 8 Up. In the near future, different colored spheres appear all over the world, out in the open as well as in nooks and crannies in parks and creeks and water towers. No one knows where the spheres came from, but people soon realize that each color represents a human attribute or skill--like perfect teeth or perfect pitch--and one must find a matching pair and absorb them to become prettier or smarter or run faster. Of course, a market for both sphere collectors and burners, those who choose to absorb the skills the spheres offer, emerges, which is how Sully meets Hunter. There's good money in the sphere market, and Sully and Hunter quickly bond over their mutual investment. Together with Sully's best friend, Dom, and a kindred spirit, Mandy, Sully and Hunter compete against powerful corporations for depleting sphere resources. But when new, bigger spheres with unknown powers appear on the scene, the teens find themselves entrenched in a dangerous fight against both the evil corporations that seek to exploit them and the aliens preying on burners. A quick read with likable characters, the story is well paced with a quirky view of the future. VERDICT A great addition to YA sci-fi shelves. Jennifer Miskec, Longwood University, Farmville, VA. 320p. SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2016.