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Twelve Minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge
Published by Nosy Crow
Expected Publication Date: 2nd February 2012
Pages: 256
Ages: 10 and up
Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository
Publishers Summary:

Penelope Tredwell is the feisty thirteen-year-old orphan heiress of the bestselling magazine, The Penny Dreadful. Her masterly tales of the macabre are gripping Victorian Britain, even if no one knows she’s the real author. One day a letter she receives from the governor of the notorious Bedlam madhouse plunges her into an adventure more terrifying than anything she ever imagined…

A thriller with a fast-paced cinematic style, Twelve Minutes to Midnight is an electrifying story from an exciting new author.

After inheriting a newspaper empire, thirteen year old Penelope Tredwell does what any inquisitive thirteen year old would do…she goes into the family business, incognito. Writing under the name Montgomery Flinch, no one in the greater London area has any idea that their recent reading obsession comes by way of Penelope herself. Her tales of terror and mystery have a larger audience than almost any publication and it grows daily. When Montgomery Flinch’s presence is requested at a local insane asylum, Bedlam, Penny sees this as her next big story. Little does Penny know but within the walls of Bedlam she may discover more than she bargained for and it may leave her as mad as the residents she finds herself intrigued with.

Twelve Minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge was my first completed read of 2012 and I’m having a hard time finding anything that holds a candle to it’s brilliance. For a middle grade fiction novel from a debut author this was completely unexpected. Twelve Minutes to Midnight was the first middle grade novel since reading Juniper Berry by MP Kozlowsky that I felt truly tackled the more inquisitive and thrill seeking minds of young readers. This will be the perfect read for young readers who may be looking to young adult books, but are not quite ready for the “relationship” aspects found in that genre. Not only that, but I’m positive they won’t be able to put Twelve Minutes to Midnight down until they discover what’s behind the creepy occurrences at Bedlam.

Not only is Twelve Minutes to Midnight perfect for young readers, but truly anyone who is looking for an extremely well written thrilling mystery. Initially I was drawn to the story because of the setting. Yes, I’m completely enthralled with stories that involve Victorian Britain coupled with a bit of mystery. Because of that I think steampunk fans will thoroughly enjoy this story. Obviously the setting, including the incorporation of an insane asylum, lends itself to the creepiness factor and I will fully admit to be terrified a few times during my nighttime readings. It was fantastic!

Each of the characters in the story were wonderful, especially the leading lady. Penny was the perfect inquisitive thirteen year old. The time in which she was growing up wasn’t one in which many female authors were looked kindly upon and women in general certainly didn’t have much business being involved in the affairs of typically male roles. So to have Penny assert herself as the editor in chief, writer and many other positions at the Penny Dreadful was something of a stretch for her, but it was handled perfectly. Penny was obstinate at times, but also knew when to step back. Of course she still managed to get herself as well as her good friend, Alfie, into quite a bit of trouble while snooping around for her stories. It also must be said that the actor Penny hires to “play the part” of Montgomery Flinch is perfect! His cowardice and neediness is so contrary to the role he’s playing that you can’t help but be annoyed and laugh all at the same time. It also creates the perfect conflict when they Penny and Monty make an appearance at Bedlam. All of these characters as well as the occasional appearance of a famous author here and there (Sir Conan Doyle for one) make for a marvelous cast that have you flipping the pages until the very end.

Twelve Minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge is my first “must-read” of 2012 and will continue to be one that other middle grade novels will be held up against. Christopher Edge has proven that he not only knows how to enthrall young and old readers alike, but that he also has an incredible ability to capture a time period so perfectly that readers will become lost within it’s pages. Penelope Tredwell is a character to be reckoned with. Her courage and determination often lead her into sticky situations but her inquisitive nature always leads her to the answers she’s searching for. Twelve Minutes to Midnight is a mystery that has readers guessing all the way to the last page and is filled with just enough creepiness to make the story one that’s best read during the day…or night depending on which you prefer. I’ll be eagerly anticipating and hoping for another installment in Penny’s story, but until then Twelve Minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge may just need another read through!

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 10 and up. Perfectly thrilling, mysterious and creepy. A marvelous debut that inquisitive young and old readers alike will thoroughly enjoy!

Find Twelve Minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge at the following spots:
Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

Today’s post is part of our month long celebration of all things Nosy Crow. Make sure to stop by the Nosy Crow site for more information about this title and more. For more information about our Book Publishers 101 feature take a look at this month’s opening post.

Also be sure to enter our Nosy Crow Giveaway for a chance to win a copy of this book as well as many other fantastic titles by Nosy Crow!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Nosy Crow, for coordinating many of this month’s features and reviews! Connect with them on Twitter and on Facebook!
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10 Responses to Book Review: Twelve Minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge

  1. Book Review: Twelve Minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge: Twelve Minutes to Midnight by Christopher E… http://t.co/FruI0lnN #kidlit

  2. Ooooooooooooooooooo it sounds so good. And how can you not love that cover?
    FAB review. I’m off to add it to my TBR.

  3. PS I think I entered the Nosy Crow giveaway. Is there a way to check?

  4. Katie says:

    The publisher’s summary didn’t grab me at all… but your review was fantastic! I think they need to hire you. Seriously, I can’t wait to read 12 Minutes to Midnight Now! Plus, the cover illustration is awesome.

  5. RT @the1stdaughter: A new review! The marvelous, Twelve Minutes to Midnight by @edgechristopher (@nosycrow) http://t.co/iBkfN9ny #mglit #review #kidlit

  6. Love a mystery w/a bit of a creepy edge to it? Twelve Minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge is a must read! http://t.co/iBkfN9ny #mglit

  7. Kristen M. says:

    This looks awesome, especially since you compared it to Juniper Berry, which I loved! I hope this book comes into my library sooner than later.

  8. Love a mystery w/a bit of a creepy edge to it? Twelve Minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge is a must read! http://t.co/iBkfN9ny #mglit

  9. […] Edge. Last week I had the opportunity to share my review for the first book in this series, Twelve Minutes to Midnight. It was an incredible read and one I cannot wait to read more of. Christopher Edge is new to the […]

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