Benjamin Read – Laura Trinder: The Midnight Hour (Chicken House 2019)
Benjamin Read – Laura Trinder: The Midnight Howl (Chicken House 2020)
Benjamin Read – Laura Trinder: The Midnight Hunt (Chicken House 2021)
Laura Trinder and Benjamin Read first met during the making of an independent film. After realizing that they were both in love with comic books and novels, they co-founded an indie comics studio. Benjamin has had such an experience before, as one of his comics has been nominated for various awards several times. Their debut work in their studio, Improper Books, was the Night Post where a Postman must deliver weird items in his night shift to even weirder recipients. The comic is also special because it consists only of pictures, there are no texts. The couple loved the subject so much that they envisioned background stories and other characters as well, until a whole world came out of it. This became the world of the Midnight Hour.
In the first volume of the trilogy, Emily’s peaceful father and strange artist mother both disappear. The girl thinks this may have something to do with her father’s mysterious night work, so she sets off to find them. She finds herself in another world, the Midnight Hour, which is a frozen version of London in a Victorian time. However, in a city teeming with strange people, Emily faces a threat not only to her parents but to the whole world. To save them, she can only rely on a friend, a hedgehog, and her single super ability: to be incredibly annoying…
When I read the first book (in Hungarian), I was immediately captivated by this dark, yet homely world, and I couldn’t put this twisting book down. It’s a bit like Jessica Townsend’s Nevermoor, it’s also a portal fantasy, but much more Halloween-like. The story balances very well on a border: scary parts alternate with pleasant and humorous scenes. The personalities of the characters are captivating, we all want to get to know them and to be part of their adventures. Even if this is not possible, the books can be read over and over again.
The final part of the trilogy was published in English this September and will probably (hopefully) be available in Hungarian soon. The Midnight Hunt is the perfect finale to the series: exciting, scary, but also full of humorous and touching moments. I can’t wait to read it in Hungarian, because the translation has been very successful with the books so far, which is… work. So, let’s get ready with the right amount of biscuits and pick up our biggest boots because we haven’t had an adventure like this before.
Other interesting things about the books and beautiful drawings by Laura Trinder can be found on the website: https://www.trindlesandread.com/.