I came, I read, and I was conquered: A Review of MIDNIGHT CITY by J. Barton Mitchell

Midnight City (Conquered Earth, #1) 
Midnight City
J. Barton Mitchell
384 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: October 30th 2012
Source: Hardcover from Publisher

Earth has been conquered by an alien race known as the Assembly. The human adult population is gone, having succumbed to the Tone—a powerful, telepathic super-signal broadcast across the planet that reduces them to a state of complete subservience. But the Tone has one critical flaw. It only affects the population once they reach their early twenties, which means that there is one group left to resist: Children.

Holt Hawkins is a bounty hunter, and his current target is Mira Toombs, an infamous treasure seeker with a price on her head. It’s not long before Holt bags his prey, but their instant connection isn’t something he bargained for. Neither is the Assembly ship that crash-lands near them shortly after. Venturing inside, Holt finds a young girl who remembers nothing except her name: Zoey.

As the three make their way to the cavernous metropolis of Midnight City, they encounter young freedom fighters, mutants, otherworldly artifacts, pirates, feuding alien armies, and the amazing powers that Zoey is beginning to exhibit. Powers that suggest she, as impossible as it seems, may just be the key to stopping the Assembly once and for all.

Midnight City is the breathtaking first book of the Conquered Earth series.

  I came, I read, and I was conquered. This book was freaking amazing for a debut novel. Even though it had a ton of up-sides, there was a slight bit of a downside to it too. But we’ll get to the bad stuff a little later, first let me praise this book. And trust me it isn’t hard to find stuff to praise Midnight City. Almost every page you turn, there is something that piques your interest and keeps you well within it’s grasp. From the moment I read this book’s synopsis I wanted to read it, there aren’t many books that deal with aliens taking over the world. The ones that do are little kiddy ones, the type that deal with little green men. But in this story everything was different, nobody has seen these aliens before, all they knew about them was that they stay in their machines watching Earth, and that they’re called the Assembly. When I read that no one has seen these aliens, I was kind of disappointed, because machines aren’t nearly as scary as the aliens you see in District 9. But the book still kept me hooked, with numerous action filled parts.

  Another thing I really liked was the amazing depth J. Barton Mitchell gives all his characters, except for one. Even the secondary characters that he creates have so much depth, you can tell that he put a lot of time and effort into making and perfecting them. The plot is another thing that I liked, but it wasn’t without it’s flaws. Although it did have enough action and excitement to please any number of critics.

  But as many things I liked about Midnight City, there are also things that I didn’t like. The fact that he gives his characters a wonderful amount of depth except for the most important one. The main character. Even though I really liked Holt, I think that J. Barton Mitchell could have done a much better job than the one he did. I know a lot of stories start off for the first few chapters with you knowing nothing about the main characters, but in this story not only did it start off with you knowing nothing much about the character it also ended the same way. The plot, too, kind of started off in the middle of nowhere with you knowing nothing about what was going on. And in some moments where it wasn’t all excitement, it got really boring and it drifts off. But other than that it was a great read and it definitely deserves the 4.5 stars I give it.

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This review was written by my 14 year old brother, Calidude


Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.



  1. Reply

    Ula (Blog of Erised)

    December 8, 2012

    I can't wait to start reading this one for the Dystopia Challenge I'm hosting!
    I love the cover and the story synopsis sounds great.
    Nice review :)

  2. Reply

    Soma Rostam

    December 8, 2012

    Well, I have read a lot of good things about Midnight City. I love the cover and the synopsis, by the way. you are absolutely right, there are not many books about alien invasion which is a very interesting topic.
    I am glad you liked this
    GREAT review
    Your constant reader,

  3. Reply


    December 8, 2012

    I JUST READ THIS ONE! My review is going up tomorrow (hopefully… maybe Monday) and I LOVED it. I can't believe I haven't heard more hype about this one, it was SO good. I disagree, I think we learned a lot about Holt. He didn't really have an “aha” moment and bear his soul, but I think that is important to the kind of person he is. He has a tough guard up, he has to. Since it is a third person narrative (If I remember correctly), it is going to take a little bit longer to see what is going on inside. I think it was perfect set up for the next novels.

  4. Reply


    December 8, 2012

    This seems to have mixed reviews. I've read both and then some similar to yours. I'll still give this a shot. Maybe I'll be able to overlook the flaws.

  5. Reply


    December 9, 2012

    I have mixed feelings about reading this one, maybe I'll pick it up next year. (but props to your brother!)
    I actually never heard of thus book before your review.

    Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

  6. Reply


    December 10, 2012

    I loved Midnight City! It was SO brilliant! I wish you loved Holt's character more. He was probably my favorite.

    Check out my review and our exclusive interview with J. Barton Mitchell w/ spoilers for the rest of the series…

    http://thesisterstale.blogspot.com/2012/11/review-midnight-city-by-j-barton.html -review

    http://thesisterstale.blogspot.com/2012/11/author-interview-j-barton-mitchell-on.html#comment-form -interview+giveaway of signed copy

  7. Reply

    Jesse Burgoyne

    December 10, 2012

    I have read about half of this book. And I feel really bad about it because I've heard such awesome things about it. Even from my own sister! But after I hit the midway point I put it down and got distracted by other things. I really did enjoy the parts I read so I'm going to have to pick this one up again soon. Great review!

    Jesse @ Pretty in Fiction