Midnight Train: Enchanter's Child, Book 2
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Midnight Train is the second and final book in the Enchanter's Child series by Angie Sage, author of the popular Septimus Heap series. Just like Septimus Heap, this series has magic, quirky characters, and a milder feel than the Harry Potter series. Still, this finale is a bit more violent than the first book, Twilight Hauntings. While the first book introduced the scary creatures that come out at night and attack anyone with magical abilities, there's an all-out chase here to capture Alex and her friend Benn which results in kidnappings of kids, a near-drowning after a fall from a cliff, and attacks with venom. People fight, animal guards die off one by one with the help of poison, attacking crows, and a fall off a cliff, and a human falls off a cliff and dies. All the rest of the content is mild. Readers will learn a bit about how to run an old steam engine train and root for the kid characters, many of whom are looking for a place to belong and call home.
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What's the Story?
In MIDNIGHT TRAIN: ENCHANTER'S CHILD, BOOK 2, Alex and Benn are hiding in a cave to avoid the king's frightening Jackal guards and know it's only a matter of time before they're caught. Meanwhile Alex's enchanter father, Hagos, uses some of his magic to release him from the dungeons and makes a pact with the king to keep rooms in a tower instead. This is where Alex finds Hagos when she's captured by the Jackal and escapes by turning her and Benn invisible. Alex immediately senses she's home and wishes she could stay, but there's work to be done. She tries to convince her father to find the last book of three magic books – together they can rid the land of the Twilight Hauntings the king forced him to create – but Hagos believes the last book is gone. That doesn't stop Alex from hoping, especially since she feels the last book calling to her.
Is It Any Good?
Quirky, sweet-natured characters and lots of adventure make this story chug along in a fun way, even if some of the magical elements get off track. Here's one of those rare series that surprises readers with an early wrap-up -- just two books. Author Angie Sage wrote seven hefty books in her popular Septimus Heap series. But the magical characters in Midnight Train are given a simple task by the end to save the land -- a bit too simple, even for such a compact read. Still, there are other surprises along the way, and lots of kidnappings and escapes, and Sage's usual emphasis on characters that are always curious and never too cruel. Even if you're not a fan of Zerra, Alex's foster sister, she's full of mischief in a really funny way and makes some discoveries about herself that keep her from ever seeming too terrible. Even the king is a silly character and is only mean because he's a fraidy-cat.
The title of the book will have readers waiting for the train to arrive. It's an exciting element in the story, but could have been weaved in more, earlier to make its appearance more of a show-stopper. Still, overall, this series is a delightful, brief ride for fans of magical fantasy.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the silly king in Midnight Train. What does he fear? Why is his cowardice so dangerous? How did he manage to turn his whole country upside-down with the help of his fears?
How does Zerra, Alex's foster sister, change during the course of the book? Is she a better person by the end? Are the characters in this book easily split into heroes and villains? Or is there something to like and dislike about each one? What other books do you read have harder-to-like characters like Zerra? Do you prefer books that make it easier to tell the good folks from the bad folks?
Would you read more about the characters in this series? Were you surpised when the series wrapped up in only two books? Could the author have made this a trilogy? How?
- Author: Angie Sage
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Trains
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
- Publication date: February 2, 2021
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 352
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: May 15, 2021
Our Editors Recommend
Harry Potter author's fairy tale is darker than expected.
Gripping historical adventure aboard a gigantic train.
Septimus Heap Series
Charming series for kids not ready for big, dark fantasies.
For kids who love fantasy
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