Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mister Monday by Garth Nix

The Keys to the Kingdom

Arthur Penhaligon is not supposed to be a hero. He is, in fact, supposed to die an early death. But then he is saved by a key shaped like the minute hand of a clock.

Arthur is safe - but his world is not. Along with the key comes a plague brought by bizarre creatures from another realm. A stranger named Mister Monday, his avenging messengers with blood-stained wings, and an army of dog-faced Fetchers will stop at nothing to get the key back - even if it means destroying Arthur and everything around him.

Desperate, Arthur ventures into a mysterious house - a house that only he can see. It is in this house that Arthur must unravel the secrets of the key - and discover his true fate.

Mister Monday is the first book in the breathtaking Keys to the Kingdom series.

This author is a new author to me, but he is one that I have heard some quite good things about. Usually the good things are in relation to his Old Kingdom series, but I decided to have a look at audio books when I was at the library one day, and this one caught my eyes. I really went into this book not knowing what to expect, and was pleasantly surprised by the book.

Arthur Penhaligon is having a terrible Monday. It's his first day at his new school. His gym teacher is making him run cross country in his school clothes, and then he has a terrible asthma attack and collapses, not knowing that he is perilously close to death. Whilst lying on the ground Arthur sees two strange people coming towards him, one of whom we eventually find out is Mister Monday. They offer him a mysterious book and what appears to be the minute hand of an old fashioned clock. Little does he know, the reason that they are making this offer is that they believe that Arthur is about to die, and that they will then be able to recover the items. Unfortunately Mister Monday's plan doesn't quite go to plan, as Arthur starts to feel much better, but as some of Arthur's classmates approach him the mysterious people disappear.

Whilst Arthur is confused by his encounter with Mister Monday, it isn't until he returns to school that he realises that all hell is about to break out in his world. Mister Monday is desperate to get back the little book and the minute hand, and he is sending all of his resources to get them - including the very scary dog faced fetchers. The problem is that whilst the fetchers are after Arthur, they are also infecting the world with a horrible sleeping plague.

Arthur finds himself drawn into a very strange world, where Mister Monday is the sinister master who is letting the world become somewhat chaotic, and where it appears as though Arthur is the one destined to save the many strange characters in the world. Of course, if he makes it through Monday in this world, he still has to try and figure out how to stop the plague before it kills everyone that Arthur loves.

The world that Arthur is drawn into is complex, and full of fantastical adventures and trials, some more gruesome than others. This is definitely not a book for really young kids, although my son enjoyed listening along with me.

At the beginning of the book, Arthur is the very opposite of a hero, yet as time draws to an end he finds himself having to make decisions on which the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of people are reliant.

A fun read! I will definitely be seeing what happens to Arthur in the next book in the series, which is called Grim Tuesday.

Rating: 4/5

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  1. I really enjoyed his Old Kingdom series and keep meaning to read these ones. Looks like you enjoyed them which is a good incentive to give these a go soonish.

  2. One of my favourites! I just finished Lady Friday and can't wait for the next one to be published. My all time favourite Garth Nix though, is the Seventh Tower series.

  3. I have this one to read, but have never felt drawn to pick it up. But after reading your review Marg, I want to read it now!

  4. I'm so glad you liked it! It's one of my favorite children's series. LOVE Garth Nix!!!!

  5. Hi, I found your blog through the Rocking Girl Blogger links on other people's blogs. I'm probably going to be lurking here. Garth Nix is one of my favorites. I love his Abhorsen series, especially book 2 - Lirael (because it takes place in a library). I've been waiting for Keys of the Kingdom to be complete before reading it all at once! My book blog is over at / .. :)

  6. Hi Janice. Thanks for dropping by!

  7. I haven't read his Key to the Kingdom series yet, I should look into them soon. I did enjoy his Abhorsen trilogy very much.