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Shop  >>  Books  >>  Young Adult

J. Barton Mitchell

Midnight City

J. Barton Mitchell Midnight City Reprint
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Series:

The Conquered Earth Series

Biographical note:

J. BARTON MITCHELL is a screenwriter, comic book writer, and author. He studied creative writing at the University of Houston before going on to receive a B.S. in Film Studies from the University of Texas. After selling screenplays to Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox, he created and wrote the comic book series Poe, published by Boom! Studios in 2009. Mitchell lives and writes in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles.

Excerpt from book:

1. VULTURES
 
 
RIGHT ABOUT THEN, it became official: Holt Hawkins was having a bad day.
“Hey, you’re right,” one of the kids shouted, reaching for him underneath the crumpled old truck. “There is someone under here!”
The kids yanked him out from under the ruined vehicle and slammed him hard against its rusted door.
They were younger than Holt, but not by much. Seventeen or eighteen he guessed, looking at the black veinlike growths crawling through their eyes, the telltale sign of the Tone. It had a firm hold on them now; it meant their time was running out.
Holt sized them up quickly. They were shorter and thinner, weaker, less quick probably, but those things mattered a lot less when you had guns or knives, and these kids had both. Holt had left his with Max, near the tree line, not wanting to risk the weight on the precarious bridge. A decision he was quickly coming to regret.
The six kids holding him had small tattoos on their right wrists. The one with his forearm pinning Holt to the door sported a Scorpion. Two more, knives at the ready, had a Coiled Snake and a Heart respectively.
The wrist tattoos were bad news. It meant these kids were in the Menagerie, and the situation had just gotten a whole lot worse. Then again, Holt thought … maybe they wouldn’t recognize him. He glanced at the single, fingerless glove he always wore on his right hand.
“Hey, this guy’s a Heedless, look at his eyes!” one of them pointed out bitterly. They were right—Holt was Heedless. One of the rare few on the planet the Tone didn’t affect. His eyes were perfectly clear; there were no signs of the crawling black tendrils. It was the only reason Holt had made it to twenty years of age. “Isn’t Tiberius looking for a Heedless out here somewhere? Tall guy like this one?”
Holt grimaced. So much for not being recognized.
He peered upward, looking for any sign of the ship. There were no clouds, the sun was high, and in the blue sky it would blend in perfectly. He had no way of knowing if it was even still there. Which was unfortunate, because it was probably his only shot at getting out of this.
“One way to be sure,” another said, younger still, fifteen maybe, with two tattoos: a Yellow Skull on his right wrist and an eight-pointed star on his left. The star had only two of its points filled in; the rest were just outlines. It was a sign of promotion—it meant he was an Adjutant, a lower-level commander in the Menagerie. As he rose in rank, more star points would be filled in.
“The glove,” the yellow skull said. “Pull it down.”
Holt’s heart sank. He struggled when they went for the glove, but a couple more punches brought him in line. It was a leather one, and he wore it for only one reason, to hide what was under it: a black tattoo just like these kids’ … only his was half-finished.
It was hard to make out what it would have been, but there were hints of a birdlike shape, wings, claws. Whatever it was, it was enough for the Menagerie thugs who had him by the throat.
“Yes, indeed!” said the yellow skull. “This is Holt Hawkins—Tiberius is paying big money for his head, no wonder he’s hiding und

"Mitchell’s prose debut, the first in a dystopian sci-fantasy series, is an imaginative mix of danger and humor...The action will keep readers turning the pages."
Kirkus Reviews

“Comic-book author Barton’s first prose novel offers a bold narrative style, strong characters, and fast-paced action that will appeal to genre fans. Readers may feel disoriented at being dropped into a larger story already in progress, but the cinematic experience is enjoyable enough to convince them to just hold on during the wild ride.”
Booklist

"Midnight City hooked me right from the moment Holt first tries to capture Mira and takes her prisoner only to realize he's dealing with a girl who's got some serious survival skills. The two characters are complete equals, more than any other fictional co-star team I've read and yet they're enemies. I knew exactly what would happen with Mira and Holt's instant chemistry and yet, I had to read on just to watch this amazing, action packed journey, both emotional and physical, unfold."
—Julie Cross, international bestselling author of Tempest

“I have succumbed to Midnight City!  Just like Holt, who fights to liberate a conquered Earth, I now see that great things can happen.  After all, J. Barton Mitchell wrote this novel.  I have hope of another.  As soon as possible.”
—Nancy Holder, New York Times bestselling author of the Wicked Saga

“When the adults mysteriously disappear, who will save the day after earth is conquered by aliens? In J. Barton Mitchell’s riveting post apocalyptic tale, the kids are the last line of defense. Centered around engaging (and conflicted) characters, Midnight City hurtles you into a story teeming with frightening monsters, bizarre techno-magic and edge-of-your-seat action. “
—Jana Oliver, award-winning author of The Demon Trapper’s Daughter

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