- Hardcover: 330 pages
- Publisher: Harperteen (1 March 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 006051955X
- ISBN-13: 978-0060519551
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.8 x 21 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 522 g
- Customer Reviews: 55 customer ratings
Touching Darkness Hardcover – 1 March 2005
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From the Back Cover
The Midnighters of Bixby, Oklahoma, know that their town is full of secrets. These five teenagers are the only ones who know about the mysterious hour at midnight when the world freezes, except for them and the creatures that inhabit the darkness.
But they do not know why earlier generations of Midnighters all disappeared, or why they are now the only Midnighters in town. As they learn more about the secret hour's twists and turns, they uncover terrifying mysteries woven into the very fabric of Bixby's history, and a conspiracy that touches both the midnight hour and the world of daylight.
At the same time, the Midnighters' own secrets start to emerge, including some that were never meant to come to light, changing the fragile dynamics among the five.
This time Jessica Day is not the only Midnighter in mortal danger, and if the group can't find a way to come together, they could lose one of their own -- forever.
A tale of betrayal, horrifying revelations, and powerful alliances, touching darkness is the second volume of the riveting Midnighters trilogy by acclaimed author Scott Westerfeld.
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Top international reviews
This particular second book may confuse some trying to keep up with thr story because it involves the explanations of quite a bit of math, physics and geography.
The author had an ongoing discussion (debate) between characters Jonathan and Jessica about tossing a coin up into the air, it's upward momentum and then gravity pulling it down again. I disagree on the way it was explained.
From the book: Jessica: "Well, there is a point right at the top where the coin's vector is zero. When gravity cancels out its upward momentum.
Jonathan: "Nope. The coin is going up, then the next instant it's going back down. Zero time passes when it's not moving, so it's always moving."
That's actually a paradox; one cancelling the other out. It was shown in the book that the coin never stops once while being flipped up into the air and then falling down again.
This is why readers will roll their eyes, skip paragraphs and think the book explanations are baffling. I liked the process of the polymath and the different midnighter talents, but yeah, confusing for the typical fiction reader.
Would not give it low ratings because of that though but I did see some lower ratings because readers were a bit overwhelmed. Not me. I thought it was great.
Again, good story and original idea.
The premise is great. No vampires, or zombies or magic. The Midnight Hour is a great framing device and the darklings are wonderfully vague evil opponents. The characters are better than average teen protagonists and the teen angst is kept to a minimum, while there's enough to allow for individual personalities and emotions to emerge. But here's the best part. In Volume 2 the midnighters' early history is set out, the character's relationships are better defined, and the darkling threat grows even though the darklings are still allowed to remain a vague and undefined sort of evil force. Everything that was fun or interesting in volume 1 is better developed and more fully explained in volume 2.
It helps that some care has been taken with secondary characters. It also helps that as the action grows, the chapters stay short and punchy. I'm also impressed with how the story is paced - sometimes there is a longer section dedicated to an important plot development involving just one character and sometimes there is a lot of cross-cutting between characters, keeping up momentum and adding urgency to the story.
So, all in all a worthy sequel and a superior contribution to the world of thoughtful ya creepiness.
I am really looking forward to reading the third and final book in the series, Midnighters #3: Blue Noon. Though the book does contain some holes in the logic - it is a YA fantasy novel after all, so I wouldn't let things like latitude and longitude ruin the pleasure of reading this exciting trilogy.
Touching Darkness adds some wrinkles to Jessica Day's newly discovered world - both in the secret hour and out. The backstory and history of the town of Bixby, previous midnighters, and the whole midnighter lore is more fully revealed to us. The history ties in with the current crisis and helps to drive the fast pace of the story.
Overall, this was another very fast read that keep me up reading well into the night - how appropriate!