Sunday, April 20, 2008

Charlie Bone and the Beast by Jenny Nimmo

So I realized that my plot descriptions were largely redundant because Amazon provides them for everything anyway, so I am just going to provide a link to that page here: Charlie Bone and The Beast (Children Of The Red King, Book 6) and call it good.

What I really want is a chance to respond to what I read, so that is what I will do from now on.

So after reading Charlie Bone And The Hidden King (Children of the Red King Book 5)I was extremely disappointed. My main issue was that I thought that book 5 was to be the last book in the series, and the ending was not at all satisfactory. Very much like the ending in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7). Short, shallow and missing the closure that every reader should be rewarded with after reading a whole series. So I was delighted to run into CB and The Beast while looking for my wife's monthly book club book in Borders about a week ago. I snatched it yesterday and finished it last night.

Nimmo has done a great job of extending the series and the story line. Despite the abrupt ending in the last book, which resulted in a rough plot transition at the beginning of this book, the characters flow nicely into the new conflict. I am also pleased to say that the books no longer feel like a time-constrained rewrite of the Harry Potter series. The first book, Midnight For Charlie Bone (Children of the Red King) was the worst offender, introducing us to a school for magical children, where there were different divisions within the school, represented by different colored cothing. The main character was an 11-year old boy who just discovered he was magical, who immediately picked up two friends (one male and one female) as well as an arch-enemy. In some ways I am surprised that this series even got printed. I am glad it did though, because now that we are into the adventure the similarities are disolving and the concepts in The Children of the Red King series are standing on their own.

I will say that you could still find a LOT in common between Harry Potter and Charlie Bone, but I wouldn't let that keep you from enjoying this story. I should also admit that my rating on this one is biased. I have a strong appreciation for a good series, since you get more into the characters, their world and their problems. This book would not get rated so high if it were standing on its own. Luckily it isn't.

Date Completed: 4/20/08
Rating (1-5): 4.1