I've got my hands on the first two installment of the series around 2007 together with Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban;and these books were: Midnight for Charlie Bone and The Time Twister
BOOK-BUFF MANOMETER: 3/10
The Red King is a very powerful African wizard who sent himself to nowhere when his ten children have gone deranged of all the endowment (powers) they have which led them to fighting with each other. Even though he disappeared out of the blue during his children's battle, his shadows lurked generation to generation as his powers manifested on some of his heirs and heiresses. And, the most famous of them all would be the picture traveller- Charlie Bone.
Midnight for Charlie Bone:
Charlie Bone was just a normal eight year-old boy; until when he realized he can hear people speak right from their photographs. He always knew that his father, who died on driving himself into a quarry when Charlie was only two; his Grandmother Bone; his aunts Lucretia, Venetia and Eustacia Yewbeam; and his Uncle Paton were slightly peculiar, but he didn't know he was one of them. Being a Yewbeam, he was one of the endowed children of his generation- a heir of the Red King.
When his grandmother learned about his grandson's endowment, he send Charlie on the most prestigious school of the talented people- the Bloor's Academy. In there, he met other oddly-talented children which can hypnotize and transform into a beast during dusk.
He then found himself in the journey of waking up a long lost children of the inventor Dr.Tolly who had been hypnotized and was vaguely lurching their academy, without knowing who she really is.
The Time Twister:
Charlie Bone had already adjusted himself on his preposterous school and have mustered both endowed and unendowed friends. He also learned about his uncle, Henry Yewbeam, who disappeared on Bloor's Academy when he was eleven years old while playing ring thaw. However, Charlie had saw him appear right before his eyes during his first day as a sophomore and realized that his uncle Henry was send dangling in time by his jealous cousin, Ezekiel Bloor, the father of the Bloor's Academy's headmaster.
THE WOW's and BOO's:
J.K Rowling's influence on Jenny Nimmo was very very evident to the point that I am somehow cynical about it (since I am a loyal Potterhead). There were names that were obviously taken from the Harry Potter Series, Pettigrew (yes, the great traitor) was the most conspicuous one. The casting had also remind me of the people of the DA (Dumbledore's Army). There was this Olivia Vertigo, a drama-class student, who seems to be carried out from Luna Lovegood (freak! they messed up with Looney!); Gabriel Silk who sounds so much of Neville Longbottom; Benjamin Brown seems to be from Ron Weasley; and of course, the Harry Potter of the story, Charlie Bone himself. There was also Uncle Paton who seems to be summoning from Hagrid and Dolores Umbridge came on three people: Grizelda, Eustacia, Lucretia and Ventia Yewbeam.
Another peeve of the story was that it can't be easily imagined. I have this weird habit of vividly picturing out the scene from the story as if I'm directing the movie, but I had a hard time doing so in these two books. Maybe it just because Nimmo had no time pointing out small details because there were lots of things going on in the story. Needless to say, it was as if it made me fly to a paradise only to see that the scenery was hidden in the clouds.
What I solely liked about the story is that... it didn't mock Sirius Black, which would be unbearable if ever. And also, there was this Fidelio Gunn who was a music student who seemed to be very witty and cool, and I loved the thought that he came from a family of musical geniuses as well (just imagine how they'll house would turn out!).
"It was a cosy room (bookshop), for all that; it smelled of warm, rich words and very deep thoughts."
"She is the nearest thing a woman can get to a dragon." - Fidelio Gunn
"Try again, only this time, use a different kind of voice. You sound like someone pretending to be a wizard. A bit false. And too bossy. I bet a real wizard treats his wand like a friend. Try to sound more friendly, and more polite." - Fidelio Gunn
"Waiting and hoping is a hard thing to do when you've already been waiting and hoping for almost as long as you can bear it."