Sunday, June 24, 2012

Review: Midnight for Charlie Bone

What's happening to Charlie Bone?

Charlie doesn't want to believe it when he discovers that he can hear the thoughts of people in photographs. But his horrible aunts are delighted – it means that he is one of the chosen and must attend the Bloor's Academy for gifted children. Once there, Charlie realizes that some of his classmates have equally mysterious powers, and soon Charlie is involved in uncovering the mysterious past of one of them.

Genre:  Middle Grade Urban Fantasy
Publisher Type:  Traditional
My Rating:  *  *  *  *  *

My Review:There's an old song (or maybe it's a saying) that goes "You had me at hello."  Well Charlie Bone had me by paragraph two.  I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!  Truly love it!!!!  Jump-up-and-down-with-happiness love it!

The best thing about middle grade fantasy is the sense of balanced whimsy.  It's fun without getting too silly.  And this book totally nails that.  Strange, unique and creative happenings are afoot throughout the book with an intriguing yet age-appropriate mystery.  As with any middle grade fantasy written since Harry Potter, you can certainly draw parallels between the two series.  Both are amazing, but really aren't anymore similar than any 2 books with similar topics (boys with magical gifts going to boarding schools in the UK).

Charlie is such a great protagonist; perfectly written!  He's vulnerable, brave, smart and resourceful.  You hurt for his loses, are frightened with him and take joy in his victories.  And he is surrounded by the most interesting characters!  The Flames and Charlie's uncle are my favorites.  Even the antagonists were interesting and unique.

I've already gotten the next book out on cd from the library and can't wait to hear what book two holds. There's a mystery about Charlie's father and, though I'm pretty sure I've gotten it figured out, I'm still excited to see how that unfolds.

As this is an audio book, I wanted to note what a stellar job Simon Russell Beale does.  He did a perfect job and made an incredible book all the more a joy to experience!

Cover Art:
There's several book covers available for this book.  I like them all, but this one is my favorite.  I like that it's a drawing, it adds to the whimsy.  All the blue adds mystery and the cat and cloaked figure hints at elements within.  What else could a cover junkie ask for?

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