This is the case with Midnighters--the Secret Hour (Book One in the series if you must know). I don't think I could be any happier with it. It was fast and well drawn. It didn't bite off more than it could chew (though certainly with the concepts behind it it certainly could have).
The story is basically this:There is a secret hour between midnight and midnight. It's an hour that only those born at midnight can experience and it can only be experienced in Bixby, OK. For this hour everything else is frozen, except the shadowy creatures that live there. For the four Midnighters in Bixby, everything seems to be going normal. Each of them has a special talent. They don't bother the creatures and the creatures don't bother them. That is until Jessica Day moves to town and the shadowy monsters there suddenly become violent. The question is, why all of a sudden? Why would her presence cause this? And what can they do about it so that midnight is safe to roam again?
To put it simply, this is a fascinating book with wonderful characters. Dess would have to be my favorite character, simply because she is so weird, but the entire cast is rather spellbinding. Westerfeld has created a very interesting mythology for his world. The plot moves smoothly. The characters develop very well and there is even a little romance, which for characters in their mid-teens (that 15-16 age) worked perfectly. It was not your usual romance, but that lovely high school bubbly romance that we have all come to expect from kids these days. Even the change of viewpoint each chapter worked out well, and I am one to be very weary of changes in POV. But for Westerfeld it worked. This is a fascinating book that tells a powerful and intriguing story. As I said, few times do I read a book straight through. This book I did.