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Books 6-8: The Keys to the Kingdom Books 1-3 by Garth Nix

Here are books six, seven, and eight from my Book List 2010. The links lead to more detailed reviews in my journal.

6. Title: The Keys to the Kingdom Book One: Mister Monday
Author: Garth Nix © 2003
Pages: 361
Thoughts: Link
Review in five words or less: Playful wording; creative universe.
Personal Rating: «««¾ out of five.

"On the first day, there was mystery."

On the day twelve-year-old Arthur Penhaligon was suppose to die, his life is saved by a strange key shaped like the minute hand of a clock. He is momentarily safe, but the world around him is in chaos dealing with a deadly plague. Desperate to find answers to his questions and save his family and friends from sickness, Arthur enters a mysterious house and must deal with a nemesis named Mister Monday.

I've seen this series reviewed in 50bookchallenge many times and I finally decided to read the books. I read Garth Nix's wonderfully crafted Abhorsen trilogy, so I was looking forward to The Keys of the Kingdom—it did not disappoint.

Aside from the adventure and fantasy aspect, the thing I liked most about Mister Monday was the playful language. It reminded me of The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (the play on words, not the storyline). Nix creates strong and vibrant images with his words and it continues on in the other books in this series.

The only thing I didn't like was it was a bit confusing and muddled in places. With all the action going on, it was hard to keep track of the names of the creatures and the different realms of the worlds. Once I became accustomed to the terms, it flowed more smoothly.

Definitely recommended to those who like YA fantasy.

7. Title: The Keys to the Kingdom Book Two: Grim Tuesday
Author: Garth Nix © 2004
Pages: 321
Thoughts: Link
Review in five words or less: Darker and more intense.
Personal Rating: «««« out of five.

"On the second day, there was darkness."

Arthur's adventures continue on in Grim Tuesday's domain, the Far Reaches. It's a dark, dank place where Tuesday exploits all of his workers to satisfy his immense greed. Arthur must navigate through the unforgiving terrain as an ordinary worker and somehow find the second key and the way back out. Meanwhile, in Arthur's own world, everyone is dealing with a financial crisis.

This was a great addition to the series. I found it to be way more intense than the first—most definitely due to the raised stakes. I continue to like the way Nix phrases his descriptions and I loved exploring a new part of the House.

8. Title: The Keys to the Kingdom Book Three: Drowned Wednesday
Author: Garth Nix © 2005
Pages: 389
Thoughts: Link
Review in five words or less: Great new characters; seafaring adventures.
Personal Rating: «««« out of five.

"On the third day, there were pirates."

Today is Wednesday and Arthur finds himself invited to tea by Lady Wednesday in her domain, the Border Sea. Something goes dreadfully wrong with his transportation and Arthur finds himself alone and stranded. He will once again have to navigate through unfamiliar terrain to survive and find the items he needs to fulfill his quest.

I've already read the first five of the books in this series and Drowned Wednesday is my favorite so far. I was impressed with all the amazing new characters with the memorable names. Arthur's adventures in this domain seemed to be lighthearted, but so much more creative and involved. The seafaring adventure works well with the series and I hope to see the memorable characters back in the remaining two I haven't read yet (Saturday and Sunday).


8 / 50 books. 16% done!


2704 / 15,000 pages. 18% done!
Tags: adventure, fantasy, kidlit, young adult
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