Customer Reviews for

Midnight City (Conquered Earth Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2013

    Next

    The next book is called the servered tower. Totally reccomend both.

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  • Posted January 26, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    More "And the Children Shall Lead" than "Lord of

    More "And the Children Shall Lead" than "Lord of the Flies": or was it "Children of the Corn"?  What survives of the  world before and how it has changed was the interesting part of this book, to me: artifacts and the interesting items made from then.  A good addition to the current crop of dystopian literature.  And there's a dog: just maybe not so much candy?

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  • Posted January 19, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell was more than what I had ini

    Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell was more than what I had initially thought it would be.   In a world where the site of anyone over the age of 20 is a rarity, it was reminiscent of The Lord of the Flies with a sci-fi element that I devoured.  Midnight City is a jam packed story full of adventure and a budding romance in a dying world.

    Midnight City follows the path of one Holt Hawkins, a bounty hunter, and his faithful dog, Max, as they  set out to conquer the one hunt that will make his life a little easier to live in a world over ridden by aliens.  His current target, Mia Toombs is not at all what he expected.  She is smart, independent, and a survivor, and she will stop at nothing to get what she needs and above all else, to survive.

    As their paths cross, not only are they battling each other, but they must also face the paths ahead riddled with untrustworthy opponents and alien machines, with minds of their own, that will annihilate anything and everything that comes in their way.  As they make their way to Midnight City, where Holt is determined to get his money for capturing the ever elusive Mia, the learn of other alien beings that are similar to the ones they have feared their whole life.  More machines, decked out in various colours, who have made their presence known.  And it seems that all these beings have one goal in mind, a little girl that Holt and Mia have picked up along the way…Zoey.

    Holt find Zoey tied up and trapped inside a burning shell of one of the machines that have been shot down by one of the other machines.  On the outside, Zoey is your typical innocent 8 year old girl, but there’s something else hidden deep within her that will change the course of all their lives, forever.

    Together, all three make their way towards Midnight City and have formed a bond that can only get stronger when trying to survive.

    Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell is an amazing dystopian sci-fi read.  Although there is the element of a romance in the story, it does not over power this action filled read.  Right from the beginning to the very end, we witness the various scenarios that pop up when trying to survive in an alien filled world.  The action scenes kept coming, one after the other, and was a non-stop thrilling read.  I could easily picture the events unfold before my very eyes, and am really hoping that this stunning read will be a movie.

    I can already picture the different pyrotechnics and the imagery that could be projected on the big screen.  The storyline is gripping and had me on the edge of my seat pretty much throughout the entire read.  The characters themselves are ones that you can’t help but fall in love with.  It was  so exciting to watch Holt, Mia, Max, and Zoey foil their foes time and time again, and at the same time wonder which event will end up being their demise.  I really enjoyed the elements of these special objects found in the Strange Lands that, when put together with other various every day, miniscule objects, can be used as a powerful weapon or an object that can get you out of a pinch.

    What I did have a hard time believing was the age group of the kids found in Midnight City.  Whether it’s out on the paths during their travels, or within the walls of Midnight City.  The way in which they carried on their conversations, or themselves for that matter, were more adult than youth.  I totally understand that due to the situation handed to them, they are forced to grow up fast…well beyond their years, but I have a hard time grasping that an 8 year old can be so cunning and deceitful and carried themselves with the tone and authority of an adult.

    What I did really love was Holt’s character.  Yes, of course I crushed on him.  How could I not?  His survival instincts, his loyalty to his dog, Max, and his memories of his family and his love for his sister Emily.  I loved seeing his vulnerable side, and then seeing how strong and goal oriented he is.  If the world were to end up like this book, I sure as hell wouldn’t mind having a Holt of my very own.  Heck, I even loved Mia!  With her ability to thwart Holt time and time again.  I loved how her mind was constantly working to get ahead.  To get ahead of her enemy so that she can live to see another day.

    With a plot that keeps you guessing, various twists and turns hidden throughout this story, strong characters (both main and plot building), Midnight City is one read that you don’t want to miss out on.

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  • Posted December 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    And a little child shall lead them. I love this book. What can


    And a little child shall lead them.

    I love this book. What can I say to show you why? Perhaps “show” is the operative word because J. Barton Mitchell clearly has a talent for showing as well as telling. In short, he’s a very good storyteller and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to read this, his first novel (of many, I hope).

    I very much appreciated the third person past tense points of view, not being a big fan of first person present tense. Most of the story is told from Holt’s perspective but occasionally seeing other points of view is a good way to add more depth to the story and, since the three main characters have such different issues, it helps the reader understand them better. I’m also eternally grateful that we don’t have to suffer through insta-love. Whether Holt and Mira will eventually become a romantic item is pretty much a given from the moment they meet but their progression towards mutual attraction is a natural one. Slowly growing feelings are what should be expected when these two start out in such adversarial circumstances.

    I found the four main characters—Holt, Mira, Zoey and Max—to be completely engaging and believable, especially Holt. Here is a young man who has seen the worst life has to offer and, yes, he’s cynical, but a piece of him still wants to believe that things can be better. Growing up fast was a necessity and he has become a teen who could very well be a survivor in such a nightmare future. Mira, on the other hand, is a girl we don’t see often enough in young adult fiction. She’s a bit more than cynical, too, but she’s brave, intelligent and very clever but also has a wistful side that’s very appealing.

    Zoey is that child who often shows up in this type of book, the one who may just be the savior of the world, but Mr. Mitchell manages to keep her from becoming trite. Zoey is a likeable 8-year-old and, most of the time, behaves just as you would expect her to. I really enjoyed her attachment to Max and her mix of vulnerability and calm dependence on her companions, not to mention her touches of humor. Oh, and by the way, I adore the four-footed Max, best companion to have on a perilous journey.

    If anything made the story sometimes drag for me, it’s in the descriptions of the artifacts and how they work. I don’t quite get it any way so less attention on them would have been fine with me. It would be enough to know that certain items have special properties—and at some point, I’ll want to find out why they do—but I don’t really need to have such details as that one coin is turned heads out and another tails out.

    Some reviewers are disconcerted by questions left with no clear answers but, to me, full knowledge of what’s going on works only if the book is a standalone. This is the first in a series (trilogy?) so why would the reader want to know everything by the end of the first book? Mitchell‘s worldbuilding is imaginative and detailed and, yet, there are still many things to find out in upcoming volumes, not only about this frightening future but about the people and the aliens that inhabit it. In some ways, Midnight City reminds me of a Stephen King novel in it’s detailed yet very broad storyline but the difference is that King tells it all in one book of 1,000+ pages.

    Speaking of worldbuilding, this author has the magic touch. I easily saw through the eyes of this small band when they encountered such awful places as Clinton Station with its Fallout Swarms but Midnight City itself is the real gem and Mr. Mitchell‘s meticulous attention to detail made for a strong picture in my imagination. He has a background in comics and screenplays so his ability to create such strong visual images comes as no surprise.

    I’m very glad I hadn’t yet compiled my list of best books read in 2012 before reading this because Midnight City will certainly be on it. Now I just have to cope with the endless wait till next fall for the second book in the series, The Severed Tower.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2012

    Loved it!

    I was unsure due to the negative reviews i read, but i was lured in by the cover. I absolutely loved it. Fast paced and starts right in the action with world building as the story progressed. Not a ton of romance, but hints, and lots of well placed humor.

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  • Posted December 5, 2012

    Midnight City is one of the most engaging fantasy/adventure nove

    Midnight City is one of the most engaging fantasy/adventure novels I have read in a long time. I couldn't put it down, and now I'm waiting on pins and needles for Act Two.

    J. Barton Mitchell is a masterful world-builder. The post-apocalyptic scenario he paints is colorful, multi-layered and complex. It has enough anchors to familiarity to keep the story grounded and relevant to readers (the Hostess CupCakes reference was an especially cute and rather prescient touch). It has a strong but never browbeating undercurrent of social observation, speculating on what it might be like to reconstruct life in a decapitated society - while keeping sight of the fact that this new world's inhabitants are still children with childlike fallibility beneath their streetwise exteriors. And it has quests, fantastical steampunk-y artifacts, sages, aliens, and cool spaceships aplenty - this IS a fantasy novel after all!

    I found Mira and Holt's relationship to be utterly believable. Too often, teen romance devolves rapidly into cringeworthy codependency (I'm looking at you, Twilight). Refreshingly, Mitchell manages to write a love story that feels genuine and sweet while avoiding that trap entirely. Both characters carry some baggage, and the way the relationship evolves feels authentic to their personalities - neither is comfortable throwing caution to the winds, but neither can deny the growing draw they feel towards the other.

    The beginning is admittedly a tad slow, but the pace definitely picks up in the second half - it's worth puzzling through a bit of disorientation in the first few chapters to get to the meaty character development and action. And Zoey is without a doubt the cutest little bad ass this side of the Strange Lands. I can't wait to find out what happens next.

    Bottom line - J. Barton Mitchell's debut novel is a must-read. When you're busy buying them up for all the book lovers on your Christmas list, be sure to grab a copy for yourself too. You can thank me later.

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  • Posted November 15, 2012

    With a lot of our fellow bloggers raving about Midnight City, w


    With a lot of our fellow bloggers raving about Midnight City, we knew we had to try to get a copy. We were curious whether the hype was living up to the actual book, but what did we get? Well, for starters, all that was missing from this book were the fairy tale characters. This book somehow seemed to fall under dystopia, science fiction (you know, the one with lasers, and aliens, and stuff), fantasy (zombies), and apocalyptic fiction.

    We found that there seemed to be a latent disconnection between the characters and the readers. Holt and his lot of random misfits were uninteresting and flat at most. The characters were just that-characters from a book that stayed in a book. We didn't feel anything towards the characters, and it is suspect that this is where it goes wrong. Give the readers characters they could relate to, and they'll be sold. Give them confused characters who don't know who they are as persons, and you'll confuse the readers too.

    The pacing was remarkably slow in the first half of the book, then the latter half attempted to jam in new characters, new turn of events, and new possibilities, which made a confusing book all the more baffling.

    This book was hard to finish for the both of us, and it was equally hard to swallow down Mitchell's attempts at romance. Contrary to what the blurb promised, we didn't detect any immediate romantic attraction Holt had for Mira, and their romance seemed a tad forced. In fact, it seemed as if the author had a checklist to what could possibly elude to a romantic tension. Of the proper age? Check. Emerald eyes that Holt hates one moment and adores the next stuck on infinite loop throughout the book? Yes. Mint-scented hair every few chapters? Ditto. Cheesy dancing under the stars? Aye aye! So they're stuck together for quite a long time? Uh-huh. Holt turn into a cheeseball, no more "Survival dictates it." stuff? Of course. Mira rid of her tough girl exterior and behaves like a total girl? Positive.

    The action scenes in this book were frankly, lacking. We couldn't feel anything for the characters as they ventured into new territory and, as said in the blurb, encountered aliens, pirates and freedom fighters. We couldn't feel the tension, the danger and the thrill of their expedition. The very confusing world building didn't help either, while we could see similarities with War of the Worlds mainly due to the tripod-like aliens, it wasn't easy to imagine the different settings that Mitchell describes in the book. The Strange Lands, the Drowning Plains and Midnight City itself. The artifact combinations, while interesting, could have been fleshed out more.

    At the end of the book, questions are still left unsolved: Why was Holt a Heedless? And does being Heedless really mean you're immune to the Tone? (if you've read the latter part of the book, I think you'll understand why we asked this question)

    Midnight City, I guess we are not your intended audience at all.

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  • Posted November 10, 2012

    It was pure bliss and it¿s hard to put down. Like Whoa! It¿s a

    It was pure bliss and it’s hard to put down.

    Like Whoa! It’s all action till the end. I love how dystopian, post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, adventure and romance merges together in one book. It was pure bliss and it’s hard to put down.

    The story started where the aliens had taken over the earth. The population was almost wiped out. All the adults have succumbed, leaving children and teens on their own. Holt is a bounty hunter and a heedless. Somehow, he’s immune to the tone. He was told to capture Mira, a freebooter from Midnight City. He needs her in order for him to get out of the group (Menagerie). But capturing Mira is as hard as winning the war. The story took a great turn when the met Zoey, a 9 year old kid who keeps a secret that could save them all. What can Zoey do? Can Holt be able to turn Mira in, despite his growing affection? You have to read this awesome book to find out.

    I love books with superb world-building. Midnight City did not disappoint me at all. It has everything that I want from a book. As for the genre, I have an itch when it comes to sci-fi, dystopian and post-apocalyptic. I love how all those genres are in one book. It’s brilliant!

    The survival and adventure always captures my interest. I think its how one character can endure the hardships. Their strength and strong wills fascinates me. The story is written in a fast-paced manner, where you have to brace yourself from aliens, mutants and pirates. The element of surprise! You don’t know where the story can lead to. I also enjoyed how the author described the scenes in a detailed manner. The vultures, raptors and fall out swarms gave me goose bumps and heaps of excitement. Again, I like how it was written perfectly like it could be turn into a comic or manga rather than a book. It certainly dragged me out of reality.

    The characters are interesting and easy to like. The book was written in third person. You get to see the whole story from Mira to Holt. Two characters that I came to love. Holt had caught my attention instantly. He’s strong, brave and cold. Yep, cold because of what happened to his past. Somehow Mira and Zoey made him a bit softer. Mira reminds me of Katniss from Hunger Games. I love how brave and brilliant she is. She’s a butt kicking and innovative. Zoey’s gave character gave spice to the story. The aliens want her badly! –Can’t really tell why- She’s innocent and funny. Her remarks made me laugh several times. A nine year old match maker!

    The romance angle is good. It was not insta love. I enjoyed Holt and Mira’s blossoming relationship; it felt real. The “Ohhhhh! Can you guys kiss already?” moments made this book more appealing.

    Overall, Midnight City is a fun read. I recommend this book to sci-fi, dystopian and post-apocalyptic lovers. It has a hint of romance that you don’t want to miss. I can’t wait to read another book from this author.

    I give this 4.5 whales.

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  • Posted November 3, 2012

    Enthralling!

    Could not put it down! I randomly picked it up at B&N, and immediately had to buy it after reading the first few pages. It was hardback and therefore more expensive but totally worth every penny! Can't wait for the sequel, but I am sad it doesn't come out until fall 2013 :(

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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