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5.0 out of 5 stars Holds a "Key"
Dark fantasy writer Garth Nix expanded his readership with his excellent "Seventh Tower" series. Now he expands further, in a darker, grittier, more realistic fantasy set in our world, where a confused young boy has to escape dark forces that want to use him for their own ends -- or kill him.
Arthur Penhaligon has asthma. As a result, he ends up in the...
Published on July 3 2003 by E. A Solinas

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Amazing childrensbook
It got me hooked on the first pages, but toward the end it seemed to leave most of it's speciality behind. Don't get me wrong, the book had storyline like no other, it's characters ( or bad guys ) were discribed in a way you just couldn't miss em and ...
Somehow I was just left wanting to hear more about Leaf and Ed ( two classmates, who could have been good friends...
Published on July 2 2004 by Mordkan


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5.0 out of 5 stars Holds a "Key", July 3 2003
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: Mister Monday: Keys to the Kingdom Book 1 (Mass Market Paperback)
Dark fantasy writer Garth Nix expanded his readership with his excellent "Seventh Tower" series. Now he expands further, in a darker, grittier, more realistic fantasy set in our world, where a confused young boy has to escape dark forces that want to use him for their own ends -- or kill him.
Arthur Penhaligon has asthma. As a result, he ends up in the hospital regularly. But one day he encounters a strange man called Mr. Monday and his creepy butler, who leave him with a Key shaped like a minute hand and a little book with dancing letters. When he returns home after another stay in the hospital, Arthur finds that the Key seems to be attracting unwanted attention -- a statue of a Komodo dragon comes alive, and a winged man-dog tries to come into his house. What's more, a House has appeared -- one that is also inside the little book.
Soon Arthur is being pursued by more dog-faced Fetchers, and a strange plague is sweeping his town -- and somehow the Key is keeping him alive, even though he was supposed to die of an asthma attack. His answers lie inside the House. But what lies beyond it is like nothing in our world, where ghastly nithlings roam and the Piper's children run wild in the streets. And the sinister Mr. Monday wants the Key back.
Garth Nix takes his focus from high fantasy (such as the Abhorsen trilogy or the Seventh Tower series) to a more modern fantasy that takes place in our world. Though Arthur skips to another world, he's clearly from our own world. But Nix doesn't downplay his brand of horrific fantasy either; stuff that would seem silly for most other authors is magic in his hands.
As in his other books, he melds an exceptional, original fantasy world with elements of horror. The handling of the parallel world, the Will, Sneezer, and the Key and Atlas are all wonderfully woven together (not to mention the characters of Dawn, Dusk, Noon for each day, and so on). At the same time, we have the bloodwinged, silver-tongued Noon and the ugly Fetchers, not to mention the hideous nithlings. This is dark fantasy at its best.
Arthur is a likable kid, with an unusual problem (asthma). Like most of Nix's heroes, he's desperately running and searching, and learning from those ahead of him. Quirky Suzy is reminiscent of a Lloyd Alexander heroine. The writing is detailed, evocative, and never lags for a minute.
"Mister Monday" is another great book from Garth Nix, combining darkness and fantasy and leaving me eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. Brilliant.
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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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3.0 out of 5 stars Amazing childrensbook, July 2 2004
By 
This review is from: Mister Monday: Keys to the Kingdom Book 1 (Mass Market Paperback)
It got me hooked on the first pages, but toward the end it seemed to leave most of it's speciality behind. Don't get me wrong, the book had storyline like no other, it's characters ( or bad guys ) were discribed in a way you just couldn't miss em and ...
Somehow I was just left wanting to hear more about Leaf and Ed ( two classmates, who could have been good friends to Arthur ). Why couldn't they have helped Arthur more? Maybe that happens in next, coming books.
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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 Surprisingly Good, May 23 2004
By 
Jenny (Orlando, FL) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mister Monday: Keys to the Kingdom Book 1 (Mass Market Paperback)
I picked up Mister Monday with many preconceived notions. It seemed a little young for me, but since I like Garth Nix so much, I decided to give it a try. I'm very glad I did, because this book turned out to be much more than I expected. It was full of action and twists and turns, very satisfying. I gave it 4 stars only because it doesn't top my favorite Garth Nix book, "Shade's Children." I recommend this and "Shade's Children" to everyone who likes an action packed book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars What a book, May 13 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Mister Monday: Keys to the Kingdom Book 1 (Mass Market Paperback)
I will be perfectly honest, Mister Monday is amazing. I have read many fantasy books in my life, but this one really wowed me. Garth Nix creates a vast array of imaginative creatures with incredible talents. Take the Fetchers for instance. They are man like creatures with a dog's face and teeth. I would not want to run into a fetcher in a dark alley. Nix also uses a fantasy theme that we have all seen in the movies: interdimensional travel. Though I enjoyed fantasy theme, I do think that Nix went slightly overboard. Even fantasy books have to be a little bit realistic. All and all, the book was great, and I recommend it to fantasy readers everywhere.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Garth Nix really did it this time., May 3 2004
By 
Alex (Yakima, Wa Usa) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mister Monday: Keys to the Kingdom Book 1 (Mass Market Paperback)
This book is about a boy named, Arthur, who recieves a key and an atlas from a mysterious man named Mister Monday. Later that week a plague hits the town, Arthur has to unravel the mysteries of the key to save his family and friends. This is a great book, I can't wait to read the second book in this series, Grim Tuesday.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Book!!!, May 2 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Mister Monday: Keys to the Kingdom Book 1 (Mass Market Paperback)
this is one of the best books i have ever read! garth nix is amazing at making Arthur, Suzy, Monday, the Will, Dawn, Noon, and Dusk all come to life. it is the best horror/action/adventure book i haver ever read. Arthur is saved by a key, that chages his fate entirely. he has Asmatha and the minute hand looking key saves him. but the key made a strange house appear. and at school, some dog faced men come in to kill him along with Noon for the key, so Arthur couldn't be master of the Lower House if he could get the hour hand key from Monday inside the strange house.
this book is EXTREAMLY good, but very confusing at times. Garth Nix rules!
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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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