Charlie Bone and the Time Twister

Charlie Bone and the Time Twister

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for its prequel, Midnight for Charlie Bone. You can read my review of this novel [here].

Charlie Bone and the Time Twister is the second book in Jenny Nimmo’s Children of the Red King series. It was first published in 2002 and is also sometimes just titled The Time Twister in early printings. It follows on directly from Midnight for Charlie Bone (2002) and is in turn followed by Charlie Bone and the Blue Boa (or The Blue Boa or Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy – 2004), Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors (or The Castle of Mirrors – 2005), Charlie Bone and the Hidden King (2006), Charlie Bone and the Beast (or Charlie Bone and the Wilderness Wolf – 2007), Charlie Bone and the Shadow (or Charlie Bone and the Shadow of Baddock – 2008) and Charlie Bone and the Red Knight (2010). More recently, there has also been a prequel series titled Chronicles of the Red King, of which three novels have so far been published.

In 1916, young Henry Yewbeam found himself at the end of a rather malicious prank. Angry at Henry for completing his jigsaw, Ezekiel Bloor tricked him into staring into a magical device called the Time Twister which sent him hurtling across time. In present day, he appears before a very surprised Charlie Bone. Charlie recognises his missing Great Uncle from a photograph instantly and promises to help him find a way home.

Yet Henry has arrived at the worst possible time. His arrival is also noticed by sneaky Billy Raven who reports it straight to the now ancient Ezekiel. Still eager to make his cousin suffer, Ezekiel sends all of the students loyal to him on a frantic hunt through the school. Their goal is to find both Henry and the Time Twister and return both of them to him.

Enlisting his friends Olivia, Fidelio and Gabriel, Charlie struggles to keep Henry’s whereabouts a secret. However, his own life is filled with all manner of other complications. His friends Lysander and Tancred have had a falling out and he desperately needs to find a way to patch it up. On top of it all, his aunts have a sinister plan. They want to use Charlie’s powers for their own gain but doing so will put him in grave danger…

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Midnight for Charlie Bone

Midnight for Charlie Bone

I’ve mentioned the Harry Potter Effect several times over the last couple of months. This is observation that when a novel is incredibly popular, it is immediately echoed by a number of hasty knock-offs in an attempt to feed from that best seller’s success. It’s taken me a while to find a really good example of this but I have finally managed to uncover a fantastic one in the form of the adventures of a young magic-user named Charlie Bone.

Midnight for Charlie Bone was written by Jenny Nimmo and first published in 2002. It is the first novel in the Children of the Red King series and is followed by The Time Twister (titled Charlie Bone and the Time Twister for its American release – 2002), The Blue Boa (or Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy – 2004), The Castle of Mirrors (or Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors – 2005), Charlie Bone and the Hidden King (2006), Charlie Bone and the Wilderness Wolf (or Charlie Bone and the Beast – 2007), Charlie Bone and the Shadow of Baddock (or Charlie Bone and the Shadow – 2008) and Charlie Bone and the Red Knight  (2010). There has also been a more recent prequel series titled Chronicles of the Red King, for which three novels have so far been published.

Charlie Bone has always believed himself to be a perfectly ordinary ten-year old boy until he discovers that he can hear people in photographs talking. The revelation comes as a relief to his wicked Grandmother and her two crone sisters as it means that he can be sent to the Bloor Academy – a sinister boarding school that only caters for artistic geniuses and children with magical powers.

Although Charlie at first wants to ignore his power and return to his normal life, he soon changes his mind when his ability causes him to inadvertently stumble across a kidnapping. A decade earlier, a young girl was traded to the Bloor family by her greedy father and was never seen again. Coming into possession of a mysterious sealed box, said to contain the item that was traded for the girl, Charlie decides to attend the school in an attempt to discover what has happened to her.

Yet attending the school seems to be more dangerous than Charlie could ever have imagined. The heir of the Bloor family, Manfred, seems to have it in for him. To make matters worse, Manfred possesses the power of hypnosis and is intent on using it to find where Charlie has hidden the box. What started as an innocent investigation rapidly becomes a frantic hunt to uncover the missing girl before the Bloors manage to find a way to stop him permanently.

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