Children of the Red King #1: Midnight for Charlie Bone Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-09-06 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings

"I just wrote a long review that Goodreads lost when I tried to save it. I am only going to say that I am grateful that Julianne Seifert recommended this series to me and I look forward to discussing it with her when I am done reading these books.

There is one quote in the book that I have to record as it describes perfectly how I feel about the library I have in my own home. (And this is pretty much an exact description.)

""He found himself in a room not unlike the book shop. All books again, packed tight on shelves or laying in piles on every surface. It was a cozy room, for all that; it smelled of warm, rich woods and very deep thoughts."

If you are an Anglophile that appreciates well written YA fantasy literature, this is a good series to add to your list.
" said.

"I have been encouraging my 10 year old to read this book since someone told me it was like Harry Potter, and she loves Harry Potter. She was dragging her feet, so I decided to read it first.

It's similar to Harry Potter in that there is a boy and he has a magical ability and end up at a boarding school. That's really about it, though. The magic is different and so is the school. The book is also written at a lower reading level than Harry Potter. I think a kid who has read all of HP might find this a little childish, but it is about the right level for 8-10 maybe?

The story itself was interesting and I was able to move past the younger level writing in order to find out what happened next. Things are a bit obvious and just laid out there for the reader, as they usually are in this level of reading, but the plot was solid enough. I'm not sure I'll read the second book unless my kid finally decides to give this one a go.
" said.

"I initially picked up this book after it was suggested to me by one of our local children's librarians. He said it was like Harry Potter, in that Charlie Bone discovers he has powers and is sent to a special school. I loved Harry Potter, so I figured it was worth a try. The book is kind of slow in the beginning, but picks up eventually and you start getting into the story. Charlie Bone lives with his mother and maternal grandmother Maisie, as well as his paternal grandmother Grandma Bone and his Uncle Paton. One day Charlie realizes that he can hear the voices of the people in photographs and Grandma Bone summons her Yewbeam sisters and they decide to send him to Bloor Academy (a school for kids with special powers and talents). So the book is basically Charlie finding out more about his powers and those of the "Children of the Red King", as well as who are his friends and enemies. I thought it was a well-written book and could hold the attention of ages 10 & up, despite the length (which is pretty thick for an introductory book). I would like to see what happens next though..." said.

""And up from the case rose a knight, with the most dazzling sword I had ever seen..." Midnight for Charlie Bone, by Jenny Nimmo, is one of my favorite books of all time. It is about a boy named Charlie Bone, he has an average life, average friends, and goes to an average school; until he starts hearing voices. His aunts have been testing him all of his life, to see if he is one of the "endowed." The endowed are people with special powers, who descended from the "Red King," a ruler who was skilled in the ways of magic and wizardry. Charlie can hear what the people in pictures said when the picture was taken. For that reason, he is sent to a place called "Bloor's Academy." It is a school for talented and endowed people. He meets more students that are endowed. Billy Raven can talk to animals, Manfred Bloor can hypnotize people, Gabriel Silk can tell what happened to people by putting on their clothes. There are more students that are endowed, some are friendly and some are mean. Charlie discovers that one of the girls in his school was taken from her parents and put in a trance at a young age, so he tries to find her and the thing that will "wake her from her trance." If you liked the Harry Potter series, then you will love this book.

ACADEMIC HONESTY--By pasting this statement, I am indicating that I read the book, and the information on this page is accurate.
" said.

"On the long list of British children’s authors is Jenny Nimmo. In 1986, she began The Magician Trilogy, which was completed in 1989. From there she wrote several miscellaneous works before starting The Children of the Red King. This series went on for eight books, beginning in 2002 and ending in 2009, with an extension written in 2011 called The Secret Kingdom.

Story overview:
10-year-old Charlie lives in a house with his mother, two grandmothers, and uncle. His father supposedly died in a car accident when Charlie was still an infant. With his father’s side of the family known for their dark and shady ways, Charlie prefers to be more like his mother.

In fact, Charlie is content with being an average boy. He wants nothing to do with his crazy aunts or their power. But when a magical ability surfaces from within him, he can no longer stay in the background. The label, endowed, is bestowed upon him as his tyrannical grandmother, Grizelda Bone, forces him to attend Bloor’s Academy—a school for the gifted. But not before Charlie learns of a missing baby, now a girl his own age. With determination, Charlie makes it his mission to find her.

At the school, he meets kids who wish to help his cause, while others go out of their way to create obstacles to interrupt his mission. Yet help from unexpected places aids him and his friends as they seek to save the lost girl.

My thoughts:
There are some books where it takes me a few chapters to get interested. Midnight for Charlie Bone wasn’t one of them; I was hooked after the first few pages. The characters are dynamic and believable, the plot development is flawless, and the story itself was an enjoyable read. It’s written in a mixture of third-person omniscient and limited. Where the author does switch character heads during a scene, it happened so smoothly that I didn’t find it jarring like so many other books I’ve read. I look forward to continuing this series down the road, and recommend it [so far] as a great read.

Read full review at:

James D. Maxon
Author of Traphis: A Wizard's Tale
" said.

" Love rereading old childhood memories. " said.

" I got to page 167 and I couldn't finish it. The characters in this story are so mean that it's not even an enjoyable story. Part of the lure of reading a book is enjoying the world that the characters live in - being in a world different from your own. I don't want to be in Charlie Bone's world! His world sucks. There is nothing in this story that makes me want to finish it. I was really looking forward to this book so I'm pretty disappointed with the outcome. " said.

"Another one kind of hard to rate.

I didn't love the book in the beginning. Wait, that's a lie, I did. I loved the prologue. From there on, I didn't love the book in the beginning. Once we started to meet the people in the academy, though, it really got going and I went all in.

There was something about the writing that felt, for lack of a better word, clunky all the way through. Certain things were too obvious and seemed too simple. Those gripes didn't bog me down too much though, because I really loved most of the characters and the plot in general was very good, not to mention I am highly intrigued for things that are sure to come in future books.

A good, solid read. I won't be surprised if the series gets better from here out though. Loads of potential.
" said.

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