A cross between Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia, this new adventure series is likely to be a big hit with 8-12 year olds.
The middle child in a family of five children, ten year old Robyn Silver longs for her life to be more exciting. However, she means exciting like owning a pool with a water slide or winning a life-time supply of pizza. She doesn’t mean seeing freaky things in the middle of the night or discovering a whole creepy world that most people don’t know about. But that is what she gets: the moment she hears the Mortal Clock strike she is able to see the creatures of the Unseen World. Suddenly her life is turned upside down as she begins the secret training of a ‘Chime’.
A cross between Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia, this new adventure series is likely to be a big hit with middle-grade readers. It has everything that children between approximately 8 and 12 are likely to be looking for – a strong and relatable set of characters, a fast-paced plot, and wonderful (if rather scary) magical creatures.
Robyn is a great character and her first person voice immediately grips the reader. It helps that the opening scene is so strong: it’s almost impossible not to warm to the accident prone Robyn as she clumsily battles a vicious creature under the guise of removing a cobweb (it’s invisible to everyone else). From this moment on, we are routing for Robyn and her two friends, Aiden and Nora.
While the story has a strong female lead, it is a book that will appeal to both genders. Who can resist supporting our intrepid team as they creep through dark corridors, battle the creatures of the Unseen World, and fight a Vampire intent on murdering small children (including Robyn’s younger sister)? There’s also a great side angle as our rag-tag threesome try to keep up with the smart and well-equipped trainees of Mr Dray’s Beast Undercover Tracking Taskforce. There’s humour too. For example, it really made me laugh when Aiden points out the acronym this forms – BUTT.
Robyn Silver: The Midnight Chimes is the first in what promises to be a magical adventure series. If you enjoyed this you should definitely try The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol. Or, for a slightly different adventure series, why not try Secret Breakers: The Power of Three by H L Dennis.
Date: September 2016
Author’s Website: Paula Harrison
Review first published on The Bookbag