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Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh

Burning Midnight

Will McIntosh

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Here’s an really interesting premise: the world has been seeded with spheres - perfectly round gems in a variety of colours. Where they come from no-one is sure, but when paired they bestow different special abilities, from ambidexterity, to increased intelligence. No wonder they are in such demand, particularly the rarer colours which change hands for millions. Sully supports himself and his mother through dealing in spheres and with his new partner the gorgeous if intimidatingly tough Hunter, finds the rarest. The discovery puts not only them, but the entire human race in danger as the provenance of the spheres is finally revealed. Fast-moving, with a cast of interesting teen characters, and that clever idea, this is first-rate sci-fi with a cool heist set-up too.

Alien invasion will be big in 2016, readers will enjoy the The 5th Wave too. ~ Andrea Reece

Reader Reviews

Teens love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews here.

  • Lauren Coffman, age 16 - 'a unique and enthralling read...One of the best books I have read in ages, so I would highly recommend.'
  • Jessica Anderson, age 13 - 'A page turning adventure fantasy thriller with a very unexpected twist at the end. A fantastic read!'
  • Josh Curtis, age 13 - 'I really enjoyed reading this book, it is absolutely amazing.'
  • Eloise Mae Clarkson - 'The concept and plot was totally unique and unexpected...Overall I would rate this book five out of five stars.'
  • Izzy Read, age 15 - 'An awesome sci-fi novel that went above and beyond my expectations!'
  • Francesca Hughes, age 13 - 'This epic page-turner deals with some timeless questions - Are some things too good to be true? Can people change? Are power and wealth really worth it?'
  • Natalie Hunter, age 14 - 'I loved this book and really enjoyed reading it. I found the book very gripping and what happened towards the end shocked me completely. I definitely recommend it!'
  • Chloe Shortall, age 19 - 'Packed with action and plot twists, it was a captivating read. I would recommend this novel to young adult readers.'
  • Ofelia Tavares, age 13 - 'I thought the book was phenomenal and I would definitely recommend it. It was addictive and a great page turner...the storyline was new and engaging and a brilliant plot.'
  • Emily Passmore, age 15 - 'An interesting book, with good characters which has a slow start but gets into a good pace soon. I felt involved with the characters, and the storyline was original and different.' 
  • Farah Alam - 'I enjoyed the overall concept of the book and the book was action packed but the ending left me unsatisfied.'


Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh

For fans of The Maze Runner and The 5th Wave, this debut YA novel from Hugo Award-winner Will McIntosh pits four teens against an evil billionaire in the race of a lifetime.

Sully is a sphere dealer at a flea market. It doesn't pay much - Alex Holliday's stores have muscled out most of the independent sellers - but it helps him and his mum make the rent. No one knows where the brilliant-coloured spheres came from. One day they were just there, hidden all over the earth like huge gemstones. Burn a pair and they make you a little better: an inch taller, skilled at maths, better-looking. The rarer the sphere, the greater the improvement - and the more expensive the sphere. When Sully meets Hunter, a girl with a natural talent for finding spheres, the two start searching together. What they find will change more than just their lives ...Because the entire world fights over spheres, but no one knows why they're here or what their powers are ...until now.


Burning Midnight has an inventive plot, unlike any other YA sci-fi you'll have read. The book's best asset is its pace. Once it gets going, it goes hard, and the action sequences are breathlessly cinematic. SFX Magazine

About the Author

Will McIntosh's debut novel, Soft Apocalypse, was a finalist for both a Locus Award and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. He is a frequent contributor to Asimov's, where his story 'Bridesicle' won the 2010 Readers' Award, as well as the 2010 Hugo Award for Best Short Story. His third novel, Love Minus Eighty (based on 'Bridesicle'), published by Orbit books in June 2013, was named best Science Fiction novel of the year by the American Library Association and was optioned for film by Film4. His recently published novel, Defenders, has been optioned by Warner Brothers for a feature film. Will was a psychology professor for two decades before turning to writing full-time. He lives in Williamsburg with his family. You can follow him on Twitter @willmcintoshSF, or on his website,

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Book Info


320 pages


Will McIntosh
More books by Will McIntosh

Author's Website


Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan

Publication date

11th February 2016




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