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The Eye of Midnight

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  126 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
On a stormy May day in 1929, William and Maxine arrive on the doorstep of Battersea Manor to spend the summer with a grandfather they barely remember. Whatever the cousins expected, Colonel Battersea isn’t it.
     Soon after they settle in, Grandpa receives a cryptic telegram and promptly whisks the cousins off to New York City so that he can meet an unknown courier and co
Published March 2016 by Penguin Random House/Delacorte
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Brooks Benjamin
Jun 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Andrew Brumbach's THE EYE OF MIDNIGHT is such an incredible read. I'm not sure if there's a more cinematic book out there. Brumbach puts us on a journey packed with mystery, adventure, and action—all set against the backdrop of 1920s New York City. I haven't read much in the historical fiction genre, but if this is what they're all like, then I've seriously been missing out.

William and Maxine, the book's main characters, are ideal h
Richard Denney

I wanted to love this so badly. The cover is stunning, the plot sounded fun and thrilling, and though it was fun at times, it was boring as hell for me. I literally kept knocking out every few pages because things were moving so slow for a 240 paged book. I think a lot of it had to do with the story not being original in its own way. I've read many books like this before with kids lost in a city they don't know with magical things at their heels and you can take this type of plot and wo
Bridget Hodder
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
I got to read an advance copy of this book with an option to honestly review it!

The lowdown: it's jam-packed with Middle Grade goodness. A boy and girl faced with mystery and danger? Check. A beloved eccentric grandparent with a cool shadowy past? Check. Chases, knives, artifacts? Check. And assassins...oh yes, the assassins. I could not believe it when I realized the author had incorporated an element into this book that I waited all my life to see in fiction.

In Marco Polo's account of his adv
Victoria Coe
Jun 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I read an advance copy of the thrilling adventure, The Eye of Midnight, in exchange for an honest review. I found it very hard to put down! From the opening scene, I had chills, my heart was pounding, and I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. And this story certainly did not disappoint! Wild mysteries, family secrets, terrifying villains, gigantic stakes -- they all continued to build all the way to the riveting climax. While I certainly don't want to give anything away, the very ...more
Lee Malone
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a honest review:

Set in 1929, this fast-paced adventure is full of action and old school noir style. The author has a great way with descriptions — lots of forbidding rooms and scary characters — but the wonderful writing never gets in the way of the action, which is heart-pulsingly non-stop. I read this book in one day, and would have read it in one sitting if life hadn’t intervened.

I especially loved the way the characters, especially th
Monica Tesler
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate to read an advance copy of THE EYE OF MIDNIGHT by Andrew Brumbach, a historical adventure filled with twists, turns, and lots of danger. In 1929, when cousins William and Maxine visit their grandfather’s estate for the summer, they have no idea what they’re getting into. A mysterious telegram arrives, calling their grandfather, Colonel Battersea, to New York City. When the three of them arrive, all goes awry, and it’s up to Will and Maxine and a mysterious new friend to save thei ...more
See this review and more on my blog, Lilybloombooks


Why did I pick it up?

Mystery + Historical = YES PLEASE!

Describe the book in 5 words

Exciting. Mysterious. Adventurous. Heartbreaking. Funny.

Who was your favorite character, and why?

I adored all the characters, especially Max. The story is told in 3rd person from William and Maxine’s POV, and both are equally great! While they do have a few things in common, they’re opposites and it was fun seeing Will bring Max out of her shel
Jenn Bishop
Nov 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sent to stay with Colonel Battersea, the grandfather she's never met, for the summer, Maxine is trepidatious. But then she meets her cousin William, who shares her fate, and the two discover their grandfather is far from what they were expecting. The two stumble into a hidden room with exotic trophies, piranhas, a shrunken head, and even a jinn. When a mysterious telegram prompts Colonel Battersea to leave for NYC, he's unwilling to leave the two kids behind. And that quickly, Maxine and William ...more
Lois Sepahban
Jun 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky to read an ARC of The Eye of Midnight. Fair warning--it's difficult to put it down once you start, so make sure you have several free hours. I love historical fiction, and this one is full of fabulous setting details from 1929: mysterious telegrams, an old mansion with secret rooms, and evocative language.

William and Maxine are cousins, invited to visit their grandfather Colonel Battersea for the summer. Their summer adventure begins the moment they arrive at Battersea Manor--to find
Wendy MacKnight
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-reads
I received an advanced copy of this book in return for an honest review, which I am happy to provide.

Cousins Maxine and William are to spend the summer with Grandfather Battersea, expecting a dull summer with a man they barely know. But from the very first chapter the cousins find themselves in a world of adventure, intrigue, and danger, as they navigate 1925 New York City. Toss in a mysterious courier and you have everything you need for an adventure! This is Indiana Jones for middle graders an
Brandy Painter
Aug 17, 2016 marked it as set-aside
I read the Prologue and got a queasy feeling as I saw a word I just KNEW had to be Arabic and the way descriptions surrounding it were written. It felt like appropriation and stereotype to me, but wanted to continue to give the book a fair chance. I flipped to the Author's Note in the back to see if it shed some light on the author's intent and research and found this:
"What if Hashashin were never really stamped out by Mongols in 1275? What if they only slipped away into the shadows, biding thei
Robin Yardi
Oct 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This tale of two cousins who pitch themselves into the middle of a diabolical scheme to take over 1920’s New York is definitely one for intelligent and brave upper-middle grade readers.

The rich 1920’s setting is dripping with romantic grime and gangsters. The thrilling plot will pull young readers in with mysterious ancient artifacts, hidden rooms, secret societies, abduction, murder, guns and cutlasses galore. But the humor, wit, and heart of the young protagonists in The Eye of Midnight keep t
Casey Lyall
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Which was awesome because it means I can tell you how much I loved it!

The Eye of Midnight is a fast-paced, thrilling middle grade adventure. Vivid and detailed settings provide the perfect backdrop to an intriguing mystery. I greatly enjoyed all of the amazing historical details and the fun, engaging characters. I read it in one sitting and I can't wait for the next book!
Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I had the good fortune of reading an Advanced Reader Copy of this, and wow! Super suspenseful. Full of mystery, a fun historical NYC setting, and kids being braver than they believe they can be. I enjoyed the characters who were all unique and interesting. It was a little scary at times (what good mystery isn't?), so maybe be careful about younger readers, but it was well-done and solidly in the MG camp. My only complaint is that now I have to wait forever for the sequel!
Erin Petti
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Andrew Brumbach beautifully paints 1929 New York City with evocative, lush language. It was a real pleasure getting lost in this story! Maxine and William are excellent protagonists with lots of gumption and bravery. To say that it's action-packed is an understatement! THE EYE OF MIDNIGHT is bursting with unforgettable characters and amazing adventure. Highly recommended!!
Corabel Shofner
Nov 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC to review this book for another source. I can honestly say I am spreading the word about this book here and elsewhere because it is a wonderful adventure set in 1920s New York City. The roller coaster never stops.
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
A must read ~ fabulous story filled with adventure and intrigue!
Bill Ebel
Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved it! it was a great adventure filled with danger and mystery. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.... PLEASE write one! :-)
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book has so many components to assure a thrilling ride for the reader, and I don't think The Eye of Midnight is only going to be on middle grade bookshelves as it's appeal is much broader. The author's ability to make every single word pack a punch is a real treat. The story is clever, fast paced, cliffhanging and fun. The setting is interesting and not run-of-the-mill (and hey, anytime a writer can spark some kid curiosity in a world other than their own, they get bonus points). I'm feelin ...more
Wade White
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate enough to get my hands on an ARC of this book.

This is one of those stories that grabs you from page one and never looks back. The three young main characters—Maxine, William, and Nura—are intelligent, spirited, and daring, and when circumstances thrust them into the middle of a struggle for their lives, they prove they're more than up for the challenge. Equal parts nail-biting, heartwarming, and humorous, it's a sure win for any middle grade reader who loves a fast-paced story th
Amy Allgeyer
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is absolutely everything a middle-grade adventure should be! It's exciting, funny, quirky, scary, clever and just serious enough to tug at your heart from time to time. The main characters are perfectly drawn--their strengths offset each other's weaknesses and their flaws keep them both deeply real. Brumbach writes the best adventure scenes I've ever read...enough description to paint the picture, but fast enough action to keep readers turning pages at a breakneck pace. Perfect for mid ...more
Julie Leung
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A tale of adventure and intrigue steeped in classic tropes but with a fresh page-turning writing style. I spent one afternoon on this and was simply hooked beginning to end. Everything that was wonderful, spooky, and magical about watching The Mummy as a middle schooler is present here.
Mar 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
From the very first chapter of this book, I was hooked. I just couldn't put it down. What a great fast paced adventure that is written for ages 9 to 12, but that doesn't mean that adults won't enjoy this book as well.
Christian McKay
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Gushes over with adventure and character! I thought the kids fell into traditional gender roles at the beginning, but they quickly subvert that. Super fun, nicely done, Andrew Brumbach.
Katie Chamberlain
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book and am hoping for a sequel!
Becky B
Cousins William and Maxine have been sent to stay with their grandfather, Colonel Battersea, for the summer of 1929. Neither of them is sure what to expect, but they definitely didn't foresee Grandfather getting kidnapped by a secret society upon their arrival in New York City. Or meeting a strange courier from oversees with an artifact that secret society obviously wants very badly. They'll go places and see things they wouldn't have dreamed happened outside of books, and they'll learn more abo ...more
Ms. Yingling
Mar 24, 2017 rated it liked it
William and Maxine are set, for various reasons, to spend time with their Grandpa Battersea in New York City in 1929. When they arrive at the big, creepy house, no one is home, so they go exploring and find all sorts of foreign relics in a hidden basement. Grandpa shows up, but then goes missing, and the children get drawn into a seedy underworld group. There, they meet Nura, who has carried The Eye of Midnight all the way to New York from her home in the middle east. Complications ensue, evil m ...more
May 18, 2017 rated it liked it

It's 1929, and 13-year-old cousins William and Maxine are sent to stay with their grandfather, a retired British colonel, at the mysterious Battersea Manor for the summer. When a cryptic telegram arrives for the colonel, he whisks the children away to New York City to pick up a package. Then the colonel is abducted, and William and Maxine decide the best way to help him is to meet the courier and get the package. They meet another cousin from a long lost family member. What follows is nonstop ad
May 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
I had trouble finishing this book, because the writing seemed to drag, even though it was an excellent story line. It was a little derivative, but that is okay, as somewhere I read there are only about 7 original stories and everything else is derivative.

However, this plot moved very slowly with a few pages of fast action interspersed with several pages of descriptions of things that needed to happen.

I did love the djinni, the sword wielding grandfather, and the mix of various ethnic groups. I w
Grace Achord
I don't consider this book literature so much as a screenplay. Not that the latter does not take talent - screenplays are art - but that literature and screenplays are different forms of art. This is another "flash-bang" book that makes for an exciting read, but is not in its element as a book.

I appreciate the classical and Christian references, but it is not the sort of literature I wish to give to my children.
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