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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars He Was Never Supposed to Be a Hero!
Arthur Penhaligon dreaded his first day at his new school. His family had just moved to the area and he was starting two weeks later than everyone else because he was in the hospital with a severe asthma attack. His PE teacher thought he was just slacking off when Arthur told him that he couldn't run so Arthur thought it was best to just go with the flow and joined the...
Published on Aug. 19 2003 by Silmarwen

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not terrific, but I'll buy the next one.
Good old Garth, who, in his previous series, The Seventh Tower, took the seven colors of the rainbow and turned it into an enchanting series. Now, he's transformed the days of the week into evil Trustees of a Will, left by the Architect who created everything. These seven Trustees (Mister Monday, Grim Tuesday, Drowned Wednesday, Sir Thursday, Lady Friday, Superior...
Published on Jan. 18 2004 by Jim Warnke


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars He Was Never Supposed to Be a Hero!, Aug. 19 2003
By 
Silmarwen (Huntington Beach, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mister Monday: Keys to the Kingdom Book 1 (Mass Market Paperback)
Arthur Penhaligon dreaded his first day at his new school. His family had just moved to the area and he was starting two weeks later than everyone else because he was in the hospital with a severe asthma attack. His PE teacher thought he was just slacking off when Arthur told him that he couldn't run so Arthur thought it was best to just go with the flow and joined the other kids. Arthur knew it was a mistake when he felt his lungs start to shut down in the middle of the park - far away from help. Not even his inhaler seemed to be giving him oxygen. When he saw a cadaverously thin man with terrible teeth pushing the most beautiful man Arthur had ever seen in an old fashioned wicker wheelchair, Arthur was sure that he was having a weird, oxygen-deprived dream. Then the beautiful man gave Arthur a key and he could breathe again. After Arthur recovered from his asthma attack, he discovered that the key was actually the key to a clock and that it came with a book, the Compleat Atlas of the House and Immediate Environs, which shows pictures of how to use the key to get into a big house on the block that only Arthur can see.
Arthur doesn't know what to do, but he knows that he cannot stay at school when an army of dog-faced Fetchers show up to get the key from him. Even more frightening than the Fetchers is Mr. Noon, who is just as beautiful as the man who gave him the key, and just as deadly. When a deadly virus strikes Arthur's new town, he knows that he has no choice but to go into the House. When he passes through the gateway, Arthur is immediately plunged into a strange world where people collect paper and writing and the children the Pied Piper lured off are trapped. Suzy, one of the trapped children, decides to help Arthur and, together with the Will, a mysterious creature that Arthur is not sure is helping him or not, Arthur and Suzy set out to win the other key from Mr. Monday and take over the world so that Arthur can return home. But it seems that everyone Arthur meets has another plan and he doesn't know who to trust and why was he chosen to have the key anyway?
Mister Monday was a good book and I enjoyed it, but it was pretty confusing and very different than other books that I have read. I was kind of expecting this because Garth Nix writes a lot of really good dark fantasy, but it isn't what you would call easy to understand. I liked Arthur, but he was a little standoffish and the other characters were pretty weird too. The worlds that Arthur explored were the most confusing, but this may be on purpose because the reader only learned and understood things when Arthur learned and understood them. I think it may be too confusing for younger readers, but older readers and those who have enjoyed the Harry Potter series will enjoy having another set of books to read in between waiting for Rowling's next offering. This appears to be the first in what will be a new series for Nix and I am eagerly awaiting the next - Mr. Tuesday, I presume?
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4.0 out of 5 stars If there's a Will ..., June 25 2006
By 
Amanda Richards (Georgetown, Guyana) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: Mister Monday: Keys to the Kingdom Book 1 (Mass Market Paperback)
In the beginning there was The Architect who created everything from nothing. Eons passed, and then there was The Will. The Architect's Will was broken into seven pieces by the treacherous Trustees to prevent it from ever being executed. The first fragment was fused inside a solid crystal and then placed inside an unbreakable glass box which was locked inside an indestructible cage. The cage was anchored on the surface of a dead sun at the end of time, and was guarded by twelve sentinels, who were supervised by inspectors. These security measures may have been nothing to sneeze at, but sneeze the inspector did, and somehow the fragment escaped.

Arthur Penhaligon was an asthmatic child who wasn't enjoying his first Monday at his new school. This was due to a sadistic teacher who forced him to run a cross-country course, resulting in a near death experience, during which he encountered the unlikely duo of Sneezer and Mister Monday. Suddenly he was the holder of a strange key, shaped like the minute hand of a clock, and Mister Monday was impatiently waiting for Arthur's expiry date to come up.

After these exciting and intriguing introductions, Garth Nix launches into the meaty part of the first book of The Keys to the Kingdom series, where one of the most unlikely of heroes struggles reluctantly to fulfill his destiny, while trying to save his own world from a deadly plague. This story contains a great deal of violence, but fortunately while it is perfectly clear that pain is being inflicted with gleeful enjoyment and wanton abandon by Monday's associates, the descriptions are not graphic enough to be overly upsetting to the faint of heart.

Young adult readers may be slightly confused by all the twists and machinations, but will still be thrilled by the adventures of Arthur and his friend Suzy Turquoise Blue as they negotiate the secrets of the House, guided by the Will, and armed with nothing but the Key, a great deal of common sense, and a very strong will to survive.

Amanda Richards
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5.0 out of 5 stars It Rulz, June 25 2004
By 
soccergrl (Bangalore, Karnataka, India) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mister Monday: Keys to the Kingdom Book 1 (Mass Market Paperback)
ok maybe not soo much, but a couple of pages and.. I was hooked!!
Garth Nix is a awesome writer and though the book is a little babyish - its definetly worth a read!
I thought the whole minute - hand - is - a - key part was a real good idea plus the names are so fun!
The only thing I didn't like was that Arthur doesen't take his rightful place as "Monday". He chose to go home which, no offense to anyone, is a little wimpy!

On Athur Phenaligon's first day at his new school, things don't go quite as he had expected. His gym teacher forces him to run a cross country race even though he explains that he had just recovered from a serious bout of Asthama.
Arthur runs the race and (Big Surprise) suffers an asthama attack. He was about to die when he was handed a minute shaped key from Mister Monday. Er hello? where did THAT come in?
Assuming it to be a hallucination Arthur tries to forget about it as he is rushed into the hospital. When he recovers, the "key" and " A Compleat Atlas of The House" are still there.
Thats when Arthur awakens to the reality of his dream.
Along with the key comes these.. creatures who bring a plague scientist simply can't find a cure for. Arthur is desperate and so ventures into "The House" where the answers seems to lie. Did I mention he was the only one who could see it?
Within the house Arthur meets the "Piper's Children" (You heard me!)Actually one of them in particular - Suzy Turquoise Blue and along with her they face many.. um "perils" as well as the complications of the house and it's creator, The Architect
Anyway read this book, its way cool.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The beginning, Monday, May 24 2004
This review is from: Mister Monday: Keys to the Kingdom Book 1 (Mass Market Paperback)
Its Arthur Penhaglion's first day at school and things aren't going so well. Arthur has really bad asthma, but since the new gym teacher doesn't know it, Arthur is forced to run. He doesn't want to appear stupid on the first day of school, so he decides to run even though he knows it could be really devasting to his health. And lone behold, Arthur has a severe asthma attack. However, just as he is about to die, he is handed a key shaped like a minute hand from a mysterious person called Mr. Monday who definitely doesn't belong in our world. Arthur survives, but soon his whole world is turned upside down. Mysterious dog faced animals are chasing after Arthur trying to get back the key, and they've brought a mysterious Sleeping Plague with them that could kill thousands, if not millions, since the doctors seem to have no cure at all. Soon Arthur realizes, that he, himself will have to venture into "The House", a house that only he can see, to save his world from utter destruction. It is in "The House" that Arthur makes friends with Suzy Turquoise Blue, and learns from "The Will" of his true destiny and has his final showdown with Mr. Monday.
I had high expectations for Garth Nix's new series since I was an absolute fanatic over his Sabriel Trilogy and The Seventh Towers Series. After reading the first chapter of this book, I knew that I wouldn't be disappointed as it just sucks you in. I found this book to be more darker than Garth Nix's past stories, but you can definitely tell his unique writing style. His story structure carries over and you can pinpoint many similarties with this book and his other works. Arthur is a great protagonist, though he lacks the charm of Sabriel and Tal from Garth Nix's previous books. I definitely recommend reading this book, though I feel it is a touch lower than Garth Nix's Sabriel and Seventh Tower.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Story, but intrusive narrative at times, March 13 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Mister Monday: Keys to the Kingdom Book 1 (Mass Market Paperback)
Already a huge fan of Garth Nix, via Sabriel & co., I admit I came into Mister Monday with rather high expectations. As far as story goes, Mr. Nix certainly did not disappoint. It is captivating from beginning to end with an extraordinary imaginative quality that is his trademark. However, 2 qualms I have with the book prevent me from giving it full marks. First, the overuse of what seems to be the main character's (Arthur) only fault: his asthma. The first asthma attack successfully helps readers to sympathize with Arthur. However, by the end of the first 100 pages, you feel like screaming, "GET AN INHALER AND SHUT UP!" So much so, I jokingly told my friend that Mister Monday's real title is The Amazing Adventures of Asthmatic Arthur. The belaboring of this point is very distracting, though humorous. Secondly, the narrative isn't up to par with Mr. Nix's previous work. It's often choppy or unclear and I would imagine that its targetted age group would have difficulty following his train of thought. But, overall, Mister Monday is a page turner that's so creative and captivating, its shortcomings are largely made up for.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An overall excellent book!!!!!!!!!, Feb. 16 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Mister Monday: Keys to the Kingdom Book 1 (Mass Market Paperback)
In this first book in the series, Keys to the Kingdom, we find Aurther Penhaligon, a seventh grader who recently moved to a new and strange home. Of, course, it doesn't seem strange to him- at first. Aurther has heavy asthma, which places him in the hospital quite often. One Monday morining, Aurther is in Gym in his new shcool, and has an asthma attck on the run they were on. During this attack, A strange man named Mister Monday comes, and is tricked into giving Aurther a minute hand shaped "key"- which is what they called it. As soon as Aurther holds this key, he finds that he can breathe, and he doesn't die the death that he was meant to die.
But with this key comes strange creatures from another dimension who pursue the key, and though he doesn't know why, Aurther knows that he shouldn't give it to them{they work for Mister Monday- who wants the key back}. These creatures, called Fetchers bring a terrible disease called the "Sleepy Pluage", which after afew symtoms like having a cold, puts the infected people to sleep- literally- they fall asleep, and can't be woken up! Aurther is particually sensitive to this outbreak beacuse he is adopted{his birth parents died in a flu outbreak when he was a baby}. He couldn't bear to have more loved ones lost to a disease outbreak.
Then, Aurther notices a strange house that only he can see. He has a feeling that the answer to curing the sick people is to go in there. But what he finds when he does is a another world, calle the House, which was created by the Great Architect- the creator of all things.
This aerchitect left long ago, but left a will to be followed through- BUT IT WAS NOT!!! The will was broken in seven fragments, and scattered through time and space. Now the first and least fragment of the Will has escaped, and it is helping Aurther. It says that he is the rightfull heir to the kingdom{the House} but all Aurther wants is a cure to the Sleepy Plauge. The Will tells Aurther that to find this cure, he has to defeat Mister Monday, using the Minute Hand key, and claim Mondays half of the key {the Hour Hand}which will then bind with the Minute Hand to become the first and least Key to the Kingdom. Aurther, Suzy Blue{a friend he makes on the way} and the Will now will go through many treacherous tasks to defeat Monday- the Will so that Aurther can claim the key, therefore the first part of the Will is done, Aurther to find a cure to thing strange plauge, and Suzy to help them all.
I thought that this book was amazing, had great detail, and was imaginative in every way. Garth Nix did a great job, and I can't wait to read Grim Tuesday, the next book in the Keys to the Kingdom series!
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5.0 out of 5 stars An overall excellent book!!!!!!!!!, Feb. 16 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Mister Monday: Keys to the Kingdom Book 1 (Mass Market Paperback)
In this first book in the series, Keys to the Kingdom, we find Aurther Penhaligon, a seventh grader who recently moved to a new and strange home. Of, course, it doesn't seem strange to him- at first. Aurther has heavy asthma, which places him in the hospital quite often. One Monday morining, Aurther is in Gym in his new shcool, and has an asthma attck on the run they were on. During this attack, A strangfe man named Mister Monday comes, and is tricked into giving Aurther a minute hand shaped "key"- which is what they called it. As soon as Aurther holds this key, he finds that he can breathe, and he doesn't die the death that he was meant to die.
But with this key comes strange creatures from another dimension who pursue the key, and though he doesn't know why, Aurther knows that he shouldn't give it to them{they work for Mister Monday- who wants the key back}. These creatures, called Fetchers bring a terrible disease called the "Sleepy Pluage", which after afew symtoms like having a cold, puts the infected people to sleep- literally- they fall asleep, and can't be woken up! Aurther is particually sensitive to this outbreak beacuse he is adopted{his birth parents died in a flu outbreak when he was a baby}. He couldn't bear to have more loved ones lost to a disease outbreak.
Then, Aurther notices a strange house that only he can see. He has a feeling that the answer to curing the sick people is to go in there. But what he finds when he does is a another world, calle the House, which was created by the Great Architect- the creator of all things.
This aerchitect left long ago, but left a will to be followed through- BUT IT WAS NOT!!! The will was broken in seven fragments, and scattered through time and space. Now the first and least fragment of the Will has escaped, and it is helping Aurther. It says that he is the rightfull heir to the kingdom{the House} but all Aurther wants is a cure to the Sleepy Plauge. The Will tells Aurther that to find this cure, he has to defeat Mister Monday, using the Minute Hand key, and claim Mondays half of the key {the Hour Hand}which will then bind with the Minute Hand to become the first and leat Key to the Kingdom. Aurther, Suzy Blue{a friend he makes on the way} and the Will now will go through many treacherous tasks to defeat Monday- the Will so that Aurther can claim the key, therefore the first part of the Will is done, Aurther to find a cure to thing strange plauge, and Suzy to help them all.
I thought that this book was amazing, had great detail, and was imaginative in every way. Garth Nix did a great job, and I can't wait to read Grim Tuesday, the next book in the Keys to the Kingdom series!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not terrific, but I'll buy the next one., Jan. 18 2004
By 
Jim Warnke (West Palm Beach, FL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mister Monday: Keys to the Kingdom Book 1 (Mass Market Paperback)
Good old Garth, who, in his previous series, The Seventh Tower, took the seven colors of the rainbow and turned it into an enchanting series. Now, he's transformed the days of the week into evil Trustees of a Will, left by the Architect who created everything. These seven Trustees (Mister Monday, Grim Tuesday, Drowned Wednesday, Sir Thursday, Lady Friday, Superior Saturday, and Lord Sunday) whom each have one of the seven Deadly Sins (Monday's is sloth) and have broken the Will into seven pieces, thus allowing them to take control of their mythical realm (which, mysteriously, is run like a magical law firm.)
Enter Arthur Penhaligon, a 12-year-old asthmatic whom is supposed to die an early death. Instead, he is given a magical key which controls his asthma along with several other powers. Arthur must now enter the aforementioned law firm (called the House) and retrieve the second Key from Mister Monday and restore order to the Lower House. Along the way, he'll have to deal with dog-faced fetchers, Monday's Noon, and several other obstacles. But he'll have help from New Yorkish Suzy Turquoise-Blue, a Denizen that knows her way around the House.
Whew. Now, on with the review.
Although it is a smart idea and Garth controls the narrative and pacing very well, I'm sorry to say it was a little disappointing, and especially confusing. The prologue is extremely puzzling and vague, moreso than most prologues should be. It is also way too long and could've been completely erased from the book. The rest of the story starts out fine, however, character development is at a minimum. The ending was very nicely done and was probably the best part of a book, since it ends with an obvious cliffhanger.
As I've said with the title, not his best, but I'll definitely buy the next one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Fantasy for Young Readers, Nov. 14 2003
By 
Phillip B. Spotts "cintibookworm" (Cincinnati, OH) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mister Monday: Keys to the Kingdom Book 1 (Mass Market Paperback)
MISTER MONDAY is the first in a new series by Garth Nix, author of THE SEVENTH TOWER. Well paces and written for it's intended audience, younger readers, it weaves a spell binding story of reluctant heroes and less than evil villains. The young protagonist; Arthur Penhaligon, is chosen by the Will (the last instructions from the Great Architect, read God, before she takes off to places unknown,) to be the heir of the Keys to the Kingdom, to be the master of the House and the known universe. Problem is he's in the seventh grade and doesn't want to rule the world, all he wants to do is save his family and friends from a plague let lose by the same forces who don't want him to succeed, principally Mr. Monday, one of the seven trusties entrusted with the Will while GA is off gallivanting about.
Although a lot of the characters, ok most of the characters, are rather bizarre the one that stands out in this sea of strangeness is Arthur. Throughout the story Arthur, even though given one of the keys to the universe, remains little more than a boy, a seventh grade boy. No superhero, no genius, just a boy who's forced to do something he really doesn't want to do.
Written slightly below the level of the Harry Potter books this series should still capture the attention and imagination of young readers attracted to these types of stories. I found it to be a fun and enchanting read, maybe a little tame, but then I'm somewhat older than the target audience.
I would certainly RECOMMEND this book to all the young readers out there, and even a few of the older ones.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GARTH NIX HAS DONE IT AGAIN!, Nov. 5 2003
By 
Gail Cooke (TX, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
While Garth Nix's fictional characters often have magical powers he, too, has a power - the power to create fantasy tales that have earned him a host of young fans. And, screen actor Allan Corduner has the power to imbue his reading of the latest by this talented author with the requisite amounts of menace and suspense.
Young Arthur Penhaligon is an asthmatic. His future doesn't appear bright; it becomes even darker when he has an otherworldly encounter with a strange man who leaves him with a key shaped like a clock's minute hand.
What could be more innocuous than a small key? But, wait, the key seems to have a terrifying effect on the world as it brings with it a plague. Soon Arthur is besieged by a Mister Monday and a band of vengeance seekers with blood-stained wings. As if that were not enough, dog-faced Fetchers pursue him.
Arthur seeks safety within the walls of a house that only he can see. There are a myriad of secrets within these walls and uncounted mysteries attached to the key. Can he save himself and keep the key from the sinister Mr. Monday?
Garth Nix has done it again with this sure to top the lists yarn.
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Mister Monday: Keys to the Kingdom Book 1
Mister Monday: Keys to the Kingdom Book 1 by Garth Nix (Mass Market Paperback - July 1 2003)
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