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Kid Konnection: The Midnight Palace

August 20, 2011

A young lieutenant scramble to save the lives of twin babies in Calcutta in 1916, by giving them to a woman he knows will protect them.  She decides that the twins must be separated in order to save their lives and leaves Ben at an orphanage.  He and six other orphans form the Chowbar Society and vow to help take care of each other.  The orphans are released from state care at 16, and Ben and his twin Sheere are reunited.  Jawahal, the man who threatened the twins as babies, returns and they must figure out a way to survive.

I listened to The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafón and have to say the narration by Jonathan Davis is outstanding!  I can’t imagine anyone doing a better job.  I liked the book, but didn’t love it, but always loved his narration.  This audiobook has sound effects as well, but none were so startling as to take me out of the story.

The book is relatively short – about seven and half hours on 6 CDs – and I think it suffered because of that.  Jawahal was decidedly creepy, but I wanted to know more about the members of the Chowbar Society and what made them tick.  The plot is somewhat convoluted and contrived, but I think it might appeal to the younger YA audience.  I think they’ll find the book deliciously creepy, without being too scary.  It wasn’t until after I listened to The Midnight Palace that I discovered it’s the second book in a trilogy (The Prince of Mist is the first).  I had no trouble understanding the book, but can’t help but wonder if I would have enjoyed it more had I read the first book.

For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week,  leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Review copy provided by Hachette Books. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2011 5:29 am

    Interesting. This sounds really intense and pretty creepy for a “kids” book but it does look interesting enough that I might check out the first book. I’m not usually a big audio book fan but maybe that’s the best way to enjoy this one?

  2. August 20, 2011 8:44 am

    It’s so pleasing when the narration works really well! Glad you enjoyed it.

  3. August 20, 2011 8:47 am

    I have the Prince of MIst, which I haven’t read or listened to yet. Maybe I’ll read these for Jenn’s October event or for the R.I.P. challenge. If they are YA then they are likely not too scary for me.

  4. August 20, 2011 9:00 am

    The narration is key for me in audiobooks — I’ll listen to an okay story with wonderful narration, but not vice versa. If the narration isn’t good, I won’t listen no matter how much i might otherwise like the book.

  5. August 20, 2011 9:35 am

    i have tried to read other books by Carlos Ruiz Zafón but have never really succeeded in getting very far!

  6. August 20, 2011 9:55 am

    Zafon is one of my favorite authors, but I haven’t read any in this series yet. I did love Shadow of the Wind and The Angel’s Game though. Have you read either of those?

  7. August 20, 2011 10:11 am

    I was quite surprised to realise this was a kid’s book – the description sounds like an adult read. So far I’ve never really gotten into audio books so I’m on the look out for ones to add to my list right now to see if it’s a method of enjoying books I should have in my life 🙂

  8. August 20, 2011 11:00 am

    Not sure if you’d have liked it better. I read the first book in the series and didn’t love it either.

  9. August 20, 2011 1:52 pm

    Oh I had totally missed that it was a trilogy! I think it’s cos my library is so stupid and had labelled one book as YA and the other as adult

  10. August 20, 2011 3:43 pm

    You inspire me to take the final step… getting an audio book and discovering the thrills of being read to. The book may have been exciting only due to the reader’s incredible voice and that’s good to hear.

  11. August 20, 2011 8:17 pm

    It’s always so wonderful to find a good narrator – sometimes when I’m in the mood for audio, I’ll pick a book mostly because of the narrator!

  12. August 20, 2011 9:10 pm

    I like the author but am not familiar with this trilogy for kids. I thik if you miss the first book some enjoyment is lost even if it’s well done.

  13. Veens permalink
    August 21, 2011 8:40 am

    Another book set in India. I have to read this now, sounds good.

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