Tuesday, 9 June 2009

David Whitley - The Midnight Charter Book Review

Mr Ripley's Book Review

It's great to see another promising debut author. I was told great things about this book, by an enthusiastic person at the publishing company. I had no preconception of what I was going to read. It started off quite slowly and it took some time for me to find my 'reading legs' but when I did, the book just clicked with me. It delivered a Dickensian feel with a great story concept and interesting plot development. I really liked the way he used his imagination to create a world, building up the key features developing the roles of the characters. Every page read impacts on the reader, the story leaves them guessing throughout.
Mark has been sold by his father. Lily an orphan from birth,has bartered for the her life and both characters are being watched mysteriously by the ruler of the city. Through out the book they are many questions asked will they all be answered by the end of the book.
This is a new voice and it will be interesting to see what other readers think of this book. I will give this book four out of five, due to the slow start and the lack of dialogue between various characters in the first few chapters.

Book synopsis

In the city of Agora, anything can be bought and sold. Even children are possessions until their twelfth birthday. Mark has been sold by his father, and Lily, an orphan from birth, has bartered for her life. Thrown together by chance, in the ancient tower of Count Stelli, they face an existence of poverty and servitude, unless they can find a way to break free. But, unbeknown to Mark and Lily, they are being watched by the ruler of the city. Can they survive the traps and treachery that await them and discover the dark secret that binds them together? Their lives depend on this question: what is the Midnight Charter?

Book Published by Puffin 6 Aug 2009

About the Author

David Whitley was born in 1984 and at the age of twenty he won the Cheshire Prize for Literature. He later graduated from the University of Oxford with a double first in English Literature. TV quiz fans will have spotted David on BBC2’s University Challenge, when he was a member of Oxford’s Corpus Christi team who became Series Champions in 2005.


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed it, too. It reminded me a little of 'Endymonian Spring', Garth Nix's books and 'The Dream Merchant'. We get proofs through people connected with a teenage bookgroup I go to, only normally they are books about overt 'issues' that people want us to comment on. Although this did have some, implications of the real world were much subtler due to Agora.

The opening chapters seem similar to other good modern children's books, although it does soon 'click' to give a developed plot and something more. The ending is particularly enticing. It's also interesting how time passes within the book- it reminded me of 'The Black Riders'. It makes a change to have a protagonist who doean't feel obliged to do good and yet still has 'morals'!

I wonder if there will be a sequel: it seems the kind of book that could have one, and yet could remain without.

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books said...

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

I will look into the sequel thing for you,as I would also like to know.

If you ever fancy doing the odd review for the blog just drop me an email.

All the best.


Anonymous said...

It's the first of a trilogy. :) Can't wait til this comes out in the UK.