Book Review: The Longest Night of Charlie Noon
The Longest Night of Charlie Noon
Written by Christopher Edge
Published by Nosy Crow
Publication date: 6th June 2019
Summary (from Goodreads):
“If you go into the woods, Old Crony will get you.”
Secrets, spies or maybe even a monster… What lies in the heart of the wood? Charlie, Dizzy and Johnny are determined to discover the truth, but when night falls without warning they find themselves trapped in a nightmare. Lost in the woods, strange dangers and impossible puzzles lurk in the shadows. As time plays tricks, can Charlie solve this mystery and find a way out of the woods? But what if this night never ends…?
A timeless novel for anyone who’s ever felt lost. From the award-winning author of The Many Worlds of Albie Bright and The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day
Once upon a time, three kids got lost in the woods.
Sounds like a fairy story, doesn’t it?
But what exactly is a time?
Is it a second, a minute, an hour or a day? Or are we talking about a week, a month, a year, maybe even a lifetime?
A blink of an eye lasts for a tenth of a second, while scientists reckon that the universe is 13.8 billion years old.
Can I tell you a secret?
Once upon a time doesn’t exist.
This story starts once upon a now.
First impressions: I have loved everything else that I have read by Christopher Edge and the blurb had me hooked straightaway!
Ooh, this is a tricky book to review. It is superficially quite a simple story about some children who get lost in the woods, but then it expands and becomes much, MUCH, more than that. The various storylines are woven together so cleverly that it really did take my breath away, but it makes it tricky to review this book without spoiling some of what makes this so unique and enjoyable.
This book is mind-bending in the absolute best way and represents yet another triumph from Christopher Edge.
The story starts with three children going into the woods behind their school to look at what appears to be a message in code. Then strange things start happening, the path is lost and it gets dark. Can they find their way home, when even the moon and stars seem to have changed above them?
Each chapter builds suspense and I found myself reading faster and faster as it hurtled towards a conclusion.
The blend of science, philosophy and history, paired with characters who you instantly care about, makes this a winner, particularly for any readers (young or old!) who have enjoyed Christopher’s previous books. The author’s notes at the end give more information about the inspiration behind the book and made me want to read it all over again!
You people chase time, you waste time, you borrow time and you lose time.
You say time flies, time heals and time will tell.
You are in time, you are on time, you have all the time in the world and then you’re out of time, but you never really understand what time is.
You are blinded by the moment in which you live, but fail to realise that each passing moment contains both its future and its past.
What I liked: Everything! This book is so clever and gripping, as it questions what exactly time is. I loved how realistic each character is and the complexity with which each storyline is woven into the next.
Even better if: I now need to read everything Christopher Edge has ever written. I also need to read this book again because
How you could use it in your classroom: This would be a great recommendation for any 8+ readers and would also make an absolutely fascinating class reader, particularly if you have read lots of fairytales together with your class previously or are studying any periods of history linked to this book.
(Thank you to Nosy Crow Books for my advance reader’s copy!)
What did other people think?
Nicki @MissClevelandisReading said:
“With plot twists I just didn’t see coming, Christopher Edge has created a compelling, conundrum of a read packed with codes, cries for help & calls for friendship. The spellbinding story is packed with suspense, surprises and shocks which meant I lost all track of time as the pages seemed to turn themselves.”
Anne @ALibraryLady said:
“I read this in one sitting, utterly captivated, and as I read the final sentence I wanted to go back to the beginning and start again. It asks questions about the human understanding of the concept of time, questions about our natural world and about our influence on events.”
Thanks for reading!