Midnighters: YA horror trilogy mixes Lovecraft with adventure

The concluding volume of a new young-adult horror trilogy — Midnighters — from Scott Westerfeld has been published, concluding a wonderful, spooky romp that brings together the best of HP Lovecraft with Westerfeld's great talent for telling adventure tales that capture teen problems perfectly.

I've written about Scott's YA novels here before:
So Yesterday (a YA Douglas-Coupland-esque book about a cool-hunter), Peeps (a vampire novel built on hard-science parasitology) and Uglies/Pretties (the first two books in a trilogy about a future where teens are forced into cosmetic surgery at 16) — he's a consistently sharp writer whose well-turned books zip along at speed.

The Midnighters trilogy is about a small group of misfit teens in a conservative town who all share the ability to inhabit the secret hour between 12 midnight and 12:01 AM, a secret hour when time stands still for everyone but them, when the light turns blue, when they gain special powers — the power to run tirelessly and leap buildings, even to fly.

This is pure wish-fulfillment for the kids, who are picked-on losers in their straight-laced school, harassed by the law and stuck in bad home situations. But it turns out that the secret hour is also inhabited by Cthuluesque Old Ones — ancient monsters trapped forever in the darkness of the secret hour. And these ancient ones must escape.

The trilogy tells the story of the kids' defense of the town that rejects them, and of the ancient, wicked secrets there. If Lovecraft had a sense of plot and character, he could have written these.

Now the final volume, Blue Moon, has come into print, and it ties the story up nicely. If you're looking for three books to give to a kid in your life (or looking for a romp of your own), these would be a great choice.

Midighters 1: The Secret Hour, Midighters 2: Touching Darkness, Midnighters 3: Blue Noon