Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Twelve Minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge

I don't actually know how I stumbled across this book, only that it was in my wishlist in my eNLB account.

Twelve Minutes to Midnight is about Penelope Tredwell, an ultra-talented young author who writes macabre tales under the pseudonym Montgomery Finch. On the day where the actor she hired to be 'Montgomery Finch' debuts in public, she received a letter from Bedlam Madhouse about a strange madness spreading around the patients there, and goes to investigate (dragging along said actor).

As it turns out, there is something strange going on at the asylum. It's no ordinary madness that's infecting the patients. Their ramblings almost seem to make sense...

While this was a really quick read (I finished it in about an hour), I really enjoyed it. At first, I was a little surprised by the ravings of the inmates, because they made perfect sense to me. They'll also make perfect sense to anyone who has looked at a newspaper/watched the news before, so don't worry, I'm not insane.

The ending was pretty unbelievable, but I enjoyed it for the sheer number of authors that appeared in it. Not gonna give any more spoilers.

As for Penelope herself, I thought she was a good protagonist. She's a really precocious kid, and I liked her. She actually reminds me a little of Flavia de Luce, in terms of precociousness, although Flavia's voice is pretty different from her. But the two of them are pretty much trying to navigate the adult world, and they're doing it in their own way.

What I would have liked to see more of would be Penelope's writing process, and how her magazine (The Penny Dreadful), works. But I think this is the start of a series (it feels that way, at least), so I'm willing to wait for more details.

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