Midnight City - J. Barton Mitchell
This is the first book in his Conquered Earth series, and I have to say I can’t wait for the next book. The way the author combined so many different fantasy and science fiction attributes was amazing. I would have to say this is an excellent combination of War of the Worlds meets Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.
Holt Hawkins is a bounty hunter, a lone and a rare human on a future Earth that has been taken over by an alien invasion. 10 years ago, the Assembly invaded earth. Their ships drove into the earth like giant spikes. After a short series of battles, Earth’s defenses were quickly conquered. Most of the adults of the world were subject to the Tone, a signal broadcast to the matured minds of the world that slowly caused their eyes to turn solid black and drove the infected to immediately drop whatever they were in the middle of, abandon their lives and walk to the closest Assembly ship never to be seen from again.
Holt is a Heedless; a human that is for some unknown reason, immune to the Tone. This also means he was forced to watch everyone he ever cared about abandon him and walk into the horizon. Since losing his sister, Holts only friend has been his constant companion, Max the dog. Holt is sent out to capture Mira Toombs, a Freebooter from Midnight City. After catching up to Mira, they are caught in the middle of an Assembly civil battle between the common variety of Assembly and a new faction, never seen before.
During this battle, a new type of ship appears and is quickly destroyed. It crashes into Holt and Mira’s campsite and after a quick investigation Holt finds Zoey, a young girl, not more than eight or nine years old, inside the destroyed craft. Zoey seems to have a sixth sense and can tell where the Assembly units are and also what Mira and Holt are thinking, but she remembers nothing of who she is or where she came from.
After a long, grueling chase the three make their way back to Midnight City, each with a different reason for being there. Mira goes willingly to save an old friend. Holt goes to turn in Mira and claim his bounty to buy his own freedom. Zoey is drawn there but doesn’t know exactly why. Upon arrival at Midnight City nothing turns out as expected.
Within the city walls our three travelers find deceit, truths, lies and love. Will Mira save Ben, the man she has risked her life for? Will Holt get his reward and gain his freedom to live his life out in peace? What of Zoey; who is she; where did she come from; what is in her future?
This action packed book tells the tales of the beginning and if the author can keep the rest of the series as engrossing and nail biting as this first book is, then it will surely make literary history.