Midnight Charter

July 3, 2009

charterA few weeks ago I got a box of ARCs (Advance Readers Copies) of forthcoming children’s books.  I go through the books and order the ones that are appropriate for our collection and then separate the books I want to read out.  I went through my pile of “to reads” this week and thumbed through a few, trying out the first few sentences to see what grabbed me.  Here’s what grabbed me:  “Being dead was colder than Mark had expected.”  I read the first sentence and then a few after it and I was hooked. The whole book went very quickly for me, it was the kind of book I wanted to spend my lunchbreak reading.  It’s set in a dystopian future in the walled city of Agora where everything has a value (including life,) and you barter and trade for the things you need.  Lily and Mark, both property (servants) in the same house, become fast friends but when their circumstancest change, they go in completely different directions.  Mark becomes famous, wealthy and sought-after.  Lily opens an Almhouse and feeds and houses the poor, a radical and possibly illegal endeavor.  But though their paths are different, Mark and Lily’s lives inexplicably linked.

This novel had the possibility of becoming didactic, but I was so wrapped up in the story and the characters, it didn’t phase me.  I would recommend this book to readers who enjoyed City of Ember and The Giver.   Here is a much better review than mine, over at the UK’s Fantasy Book Review.

The Midnight Charter is written by 24 year old David Whitley of England.  It’s being published in the US by Roaring Brook just one month after its British publication.  There MUST be sequel (or sequels,) but I can’t find any information about forthcoming books in the series. If any FVRL employees would like to read this ARC before I send it on to Jacqueline, let me know by the end of next week and I will send it to you!

Note on the cover: I find this US cover a bit creepy.  The ARC cover was very plain.  Not sure I would have picked it up with this cover.  The UK cover isn’t creepy at all.


One Response to “Midnight Charter”

  1. Barbara Jorgenson Says:

    I’d love to read it if it’s still available.

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