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Midnight for Charlie Bone

Midnight for Charlie Bone is a middle grade fantasy novel and the first in the Children of the Red King series by Jenny Nimmo.

Having lived with his odd, less-than-pleasant paternal grandmother (along with his mother, fraternal grandmother, and secretive uncle), Charlie has always known that she has thought little of him. That he wasn’t “special”.

What Charlie didn’t realize is just how “special” she expected him to be.

When he discovers a sudden ability to hear the conversations of people in photographs when he looks at them, his grandmother makes it clear this is what she’s been waiting for.

Suddenly he’s being pushed to go to an elite private school for the magically endowed – a place Charlie would rather not go.

But once he’s roped into a mystery involving a dangerously sought after item and a missing girl, Charlie realizes he may find more answers at the school…

A British children’s fantasy? I was VERY ready to give it a shot.

It had a little bit of an eccentric, pleasant tone – but sadly that was all, and even that grew thin, for me.

Midnight for Charlie Bone
lacked any real humor or a strong enough plot to truly snare me. I wasn’t fully uninterested, but by the end I didn’t really feel it went anywhere.

Charlie’s magical talents are never really utilized, I never had a sense of him as a character, and the plot felt very unclear and nonsensical (and not in a fun way).

At times I honestly felt like Nimmo was trying to write another Harry Potter, and I’m sorry to say didn’t even come close.

Midnight for Charlie Bone had some admirable qualities, it wasn’t wholly boring or offensive to me in any way, but I just felt consistently ho-hum.

As I already have the second book Charlie Bone and the Time Twister, I will give it a shot and see if it improves. However, if it is more of the same – I don’t see me continuing this series.

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