Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell- Review

J. Barton Mitchell
St. Martin's Griffin
Expected Publication:
October 30,2012

Midnight City (Conquered Earth, #1)

In a post-apocalyptic world controlled by alien invaders, two teens and a young girl with mysterious powers embark on a dangerous journey. What they find will change everything...

Earth has been conquered. An extraterrestrial race known as The Assembly has abducted the adult population, leaving the planet’s youth to fend for themselves. In this treacherous landscape, Holt, a bounty hunter, is transporting his prisoner Mira when they discover Zoey, a young girl with powerful abilities who could be the key to stopping The Assembly. As they make their way to the cavernous metropolis of Midnight City, the trio must contend with freedom fighters, mutants, otherworldly artifacts, pirates, feuding alien armies, and perhaps most perilous of all: Holt and Mira’s growing attraction to each other.

I downloaded this book to review through Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for them.


What happens when the Aliens don't come in peace? 8 years ago the Assembly arrived leaving the children of the world to fend for themselves. Nobody knows where the adults went, only that the Tone was to blame and willingly or not the Adults followed it. 8 years later Holt Hawkins is a bounty hunter trying to survive in the ruined American landscape. It is there that he meets the mysterious Zoey an 8 year old girl being hunted by the Assembly and his recently captured prisoner Mira. Will the trio make it to Midnight City before the tone takes Mira? What did Zoey do to anger the Assembly? Well your just going to have to pick up a copy yourself to find out.

Midnight City is one of those books that is truly unputdownable. When I started reading Midnight City I had only intended to sit down and read a chapter or two before bed. An hour and a half later I was already halfway through the book. I had to force myself to put it down so I could sleep. Yeah, it was that good.

Midnight City is the perfect blend of Science Fiction and Dystopian with just a little bit of romance thrown in to shake things up. Love plays a big part in this book. The love between a boy and his dog, the love that builds while protecting a child from harm, the love amongst friends. It is Love that separates the Assembly from the children still left struggling to survive. I know it sounds mushy for lack of a better word but you will understand what I mean when you read it.

As for the characters Holt and Mira have a very slow going blossoming relationship, she is his prisoner after all. I think the reveal of feelings was nicely done without overpowering the other elements of the book. Then there is Zoey, she is an 8 year old girl with amnesia Holt finds inside a crashed Assembly ship. Zoey isn't your average 8 year old and is a bit unnerving with her strange way of speaking. The majority of the book I was on the fence whether she was friend or foe. Last but not least is Max Holts dog. I love watching the relationship between Holt and Max, you can tell that he respects and trusts his dog. In a world devoid of parents and with Holt being heedless (unaffected by the Tone) it is natural that he would seek companionship in someone who could grow old with him.

One of the only downsides in this book I would say was the actually visit to Midnight City. I understand why the characters had to go but felt it spent just a bit to long inside the city itself exploring Mira's past as a Grey Wolf and her unmentionable status. The Factions ruling Midnight City are fascinating and the bartering of points was a clever way to keep control but I just felt after such an intense buildup learning about all these things slowed the pacing down a bit and might have been better served in the next book rather than this one.

Overall Midnight City was a great book with strong character development, fantastic world building and intense action. I am highly recommending this book and will be looking forward to the next in this series. I will be giving Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell ★★★★.

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  1. Great review! It seems like the world building in this book is pretty off the charts. Definitely something for me to look forward to.

    - Ellie @ The Selkie Reads Stories

    1. It was pretty fantastic even with really not learning anything about the Assembly other than they came, they saw and conquered.

  2. I honestly probably would have looked into this book even if you hated it because I'm really into the cover! Although honestly, any story that involves a dog makes me really tense. They seem to always have the dog die, and that always makes me bawl!

    1. Dog does not die in this book, I probably would of mentioned it in the review if it did because those scenes always strike me so hard.


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