Monday, December 21, 2015

Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo, 2002

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A magical fantasy that is fast-paced and easy-to-read. Charlie Bone has a special gift- he can hear people in photographs talking!
The fabulous powers of the Red King were passed down through his descendants, after turning up quite unexpectedly, in someone who had no idea where they came from. This is what happened to Charlie Bone, and to some of the children he met behind the grim, gray walls of Bloor's Academy.
His scheming aunts decide to send him to Bloor Academy, a school for geniuses where he uses his gifts to discover the truth despite all the dangers that lie ahead.

(416 pages)

I picked this up at a book swap because, um, it was free so there wasn't exactly a lot of risk tied up in getting it. I kind of figured it would be a little too creepy for me (I mean, come on - that cover is strange!), but I figured I'd just give it a try anyway.

And I'm glad I did. I really loved Midnight for Charlie Bone, which was full of adventure and mystery and magical cats and, actually, not too much creepiness. Now was it cheesy in parts? Why, yes - Let's hear it for crazy, evil aunts! And evil headmasters! And mean bullies with terrible powers! But it's a good kind of cheesy, the kind that makes you not really mind the cliches and even manages to disguise them so well you don't realize you've seen them before.

I actually really loved this book, from Charlie's newfound talent for hearing pictures (just think about how cool that would be!) to his uncle's penchant for exploding light bulbs, to the dead-father-who's-probably-not-really-dead storyline (to be continued, of course), to Charlie's lonely best friend Benjamin and his dog Runner Bean, to the main storyline which I can't really discuss for fear of spoilers. There are a lot of little threads tied together to form the central narrative, and I really like each story individually as well as the unified story they come together to tell.

I already got the first sequel from the library, Charlie Bone and the Time Twister, which I liked okay but not as much as this one. It seemed a little bit less focused, like there wasn't really a point to it at all - and like if you pulled it out of the series, the narrative wouldn't really be changed that much. I'll probably get the third and fourth books from the library, and if they're better again I'll continue the series but otherwise I'll just drop it. I really enjoyed Midnight for Charlie Bone, but that doesn't mean I'll necessarily read all seven of its sequels. If you're interested to hear what I think of the entire series, comment below and I'll let you know once I've tried a few more books; otherwise, I probably won't wind up posting any more full-length reviews of the Charlie Bone books.


  1. I read these books several years ago and I remember really enjoying it! Glad to see you liked this as well.

    1. Yeah, I'm enjoying the Charlie Bone books! You've read the series, then, and like it? My one fear with them is that the books will deteriorate in quality as they go on.


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