Thursday, January 28, 2016

Academies, Aunts, and Inventors REVIEWING: Midnight for Charlie Bone

I have been meaning to read this series for a very long time and just never paused to do it. So finally, after putting it off since I was in elementary school, here is:

Children of the Red King #1: Midnight for Charlie Bone
Author: Jenny Nimmo
Genre: Children's/ Fantasy
Year of Publication: 2002

Charlie Bone seems like your average kid. He lives with his mom. As well as his two grandmothers and uncle. His best friend Benjamin lives across the street with his dog Runner Bean. Charlie's dad was said to have died a long time ago. However, it turns out Charlie is endowed. He is a descendant of the red king and has a strange power. He can hear the voices of people in photographs. His 3 aunts finally get what they want, for Charlie to not be normal. Because he is endowed, he is sent to the prestigious Bloor Academy for kids with certain talents and for the other 11 endowed children. There he runs into friends and he makes enemies.

I enjoyed this book a lot. I thought it was a good story and the plot was done very well. It involves a girl who was traded away and birth by her inventor father. The father left an invention that is supposed to wake her up (she's been hypnotized). As ridiculously complicated as these elements have the potential to get, it didn't happen. The execution of the writing was very straightforward and simple. It was very easy to follow and get into. It's very mysterious and slowly unravels deeper plots along the way.

The characters were all really interesting and distinct. None of the characters bleed and they all stand out as being their own person. I thought for sure that I would never get Charlie's aunts sorted out, but I know which ones are which thanks to their actions, designations and wardrobe choices. The author did a great job of making every character have their own way of existing, especially since there are so many. I'm sure this could be a big challenge to get right and was executed well here. I'd say this is a great book to learn about how diverse you can make such a large cast of characters, even if many of them still have many similarities behind them (the endowed, the family, the talents, the random students, etc.).
I give this book a 4 out of 5. It is a great book for young readers and older ones looking for a quick adventure. The characters are interesting and there is lots of room for future development. I can't wait to read the second book! My own regret is not starting on this series sooner, but maybe if I had I wouldn't have appreciated it as much as I do now.

Thanks for reading this review.

Love always,
           Sam K. 

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