Midnighters: The Secret Hour, by Scott Westerfeld
This is the first book of a trilogy. However, despite the use of the subtitle and the "1" on the spine, I didn't realize this until it was over. This is me; subtle sticks out like a sore thumb, but I frequently miss the obvious. Anyway, it's a good thing there are more books, because there's a lot happening.
I won this at WisCon because there are thirteen letters in "David Schwartz." I'm not sure that would keep me safe in the midnight, though. You see, in certain spots on the globe--Bixby, Oklahoma is one--there are twenty-five hours in the day. The twenty-fifth is set aside for monsters like slithers and darklings, and for humans born at midnight exactly. Everyone and everything else is frozen in time for that hour, which is probably for the best, because midnight isn't safe. The Midnighters--the kids who walk freely in the midnight--have special talents that keep them alive.
Like I said, there's a lot happening. And there are some great characters, too. There's Jessica, the new girl in town, who doesn't know what she's walking into. There's Rex, the one who thinks he knows everything, or at least, more than anyone else. There's Melissa, who knows what you're thinking, and there's Dess, who's got the numbers on her side. And there's Jonathan, the mysteriously attractive one. They don't all get along, and they aren't all to be trusted. I'd say I trust about forty percent of them.
Westerfeld's prose is economical and fast-moving, and the story is engrossing. I'm damned curious to find out what happens from here on in. When does Book Two come out?