The Secret Hour

Scott Westerfeld
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Feb 21, 2020

     The Secret Hour has a very imaginative paranormal premise, and it was enjoyable to read; I finished this book for reluctant readers in two sittings.  I love the idea of a hidden hour after midnight where only a select few can visit, and the continuing threads of mystery and “what’s going on?” kept me reading this urban fantasy.  The characters are not all best buddies, but are unique individuals with their own motivations which are shown in the fast pace.

     The premise is original and interesting with a compelling writing style.  It is definitely written with a young adult audience in mind (the protagonist is not yet 16), but it is engaging when talking about hidden heritages. All the women protagonists could count as women of steel, and they sucked me in from the beginning.

     This was a great action-packed book.  It definitely is a good read and has an interesting plot and suspenseful tone through the book that kept me reading for hours.  If you like fantasy, mystery, or science fiction, especially ones that takes place in a recognizable Midwest state like Oklahoma, then you will like this one.

     I really enjoyed the book about fifteen-year-old girls, and the entire series.  Westerfeld does a great job of crafting multifaceted characters that evolve and change while they are fighting for good and evil, for better and for worse.  I like that he is willing to have his heroes be wrong and make mistakes, and shows the consequences of their decisions even when they are fighting monsters.  The paranormal phenomena is purely delicious wish-fulfillment of a secret hour with secret powers.​  The pure freedom of movement when everyone else is frozen by the supernatural.  Showing teenage girls with the buoyancy of midnight gravity and the cool surety of midnight math.  Even the monsters are delicious, though hideous and hairy, sparking blue at the touch of thirteen-letter words the teenage misfits fling at them.  There is no fluff here; this is about the darkest enemy humans have known in time, the struggle to discover what you're good for, and the bone-deep connection between friends who share thoughts but can never touch.

Reviewed by Anne G
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