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Midnighters #2: Touching Darkness

Review

Midnighters #2: Touching Darkness

Scott Westerfeld continues his Midnighters series in this second volume, TOUCHING DARKNESS, and the adventures are even more daring and complex. The familiar characters of Melissa, the psychic; Dess (Desdamona), the math genius; Rex, the seer and historian; Jonathan, the boy who can fly; and Jessica --- still the new kid in town, but now known among the Midnighters for her strong powers with light --- are all here. In Bixby, Oklahoma, there are still slithers and darklings to fight and these high school heroes are the chosen ones. One of the most complex things happening in Bixby is the weird connection to numbers:

"...Jessica had realized that the secret hour was anything but a dream. Since then she'd seen the signs everywhere: the thirteen-pointed stars in the town seal, on the high school emblem, on the antique plaques that people hung on their houses. Even the words Bixby, Oklahoma, totaled thirteen letters."

It is also known that Midnighters have a clever way of repelling the darklings by using words with thirteen letters, like Demonstration, Rubbernecking, Acariciandote, Categorically Unjustifiable Appropriation (a most powerful weapon magically made from an old hubcap) and Unanticipated Illuminations, among others. There is even a dog named Magnetosphere and a cat that goes by Daguerreotype. These words help handle the evil forces during the magic "blue" hour.

It is Dess, with her mathematical mind and hunger for maps, grids and numbers, who begins to figure out some of the secrets behind the matrix, which makes up Bixby. It is also Dess who discovers that there is another midnighter still living in Bixby who is a mindcaster and is aware of all that has been happening.

As the mysteries of the town's history unfold, the bonds between the midnighters are growing stronger. Melissa and Rex are coming to grips with the possibility of their relationship, and at the same time Jessica and Jonathan find their attraction deepening. Each of these characters is given good development as they unfold throughout the story.

With one more installment remaining in this trilogy, we see that Rex has survived a brutal attack, which could have turned him into the next "Halfling," a guide for the darklings in their quest for power. But the door is open, he has been bitten, he is now half beast. Everyone will love this series --- slimy, creepy, crawly things all over the place!

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Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts on October 18, 2011

Midnighters #2: Touching Darkness
by Scott Westerfeld

  • Publication Date: March 1, 2005
  • Genres: Adventure, Fantasy
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • ISBN-10: 0060519541
  • ISBN-13: 9780060519544