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Mister Monday

Garth Nix

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Collins

Published : 2004

Copyright : Garth Nix 2003

ISBN-10 : PB 0-00-717501-9
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-00-717501-7

Publisher's Write-Up

Seven days. Seven keys. Seven virtues. Seven sins. One mysterious house is the doorway to a very mysterious world – where one boy is about to venture and unlock a number of fantastical secrets.

Arthur Penhaligon is not supposed to be a hero. He is supposed to die an early death. But then his life 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 bloodstained 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 escapes to the mysterious house that has appeared in town – a house that only he can see. Maybe there he can unravel the secrets of the key – and discover his true fate.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (260204) Rating (8/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 8/10
This is another children’s book that makes adult fiction seem somewhat lacking. Mister Monday is the start of the new series by Garth Nix and is about Arthur, a sickly child who should have died from an asthma attack, but whose life is saved by his being given a magical key in the form of a small hand from a clock. The present guardian of the key, the sinister Mister Monday, planned this, because according to the terms of a will, Monday was not supposed to keep the key but by giving it to Arthur, who was supposed to die when it would have reverted back to him for all time.

Anyway, due to the power of the key Arthur lives, but finds that things are rather different than before. Set against a backdrop of a mysterious plague affecting large numbers of people, Arthur finds himself inside a house that reminded me somewhat of the huge rambling edifice that is Ghormenghast but which seems to be invisible to other people. Arthur is able to see this great house and when he gets in, meets Susie, a child working as an inkfiller who has been in the house for so long she cannot remember. This is normal for the children in the house because all of the children have between their ears washed out on a regular basis - that is right, between their ears, not behind them.

I was not sure what I was expecting when I received this book, would it be like Pullman’s Dark Materials? or maybe like the eponymous Harry Potter? It is fantastical in a different way, the imagery is vivid and yet I think is aimed at a slightly younger audience, perhaps about ten or so, younger I think than the Pullman series. I can't tell you why it strikes me that it is written for slightly younger readers, other than it reminds me of the book The Phantom Tollbooth, which I must have read when I was about nine. The story is a mixture of the imagery of Clive Barker and Neil Gaiman, with a little bit of the greek fables thrown in just to make things more interesting.

I understand that the second book is to be called Grim Tuesday, which kind of makes me think that there might be seven books in the series, although like this one, I would imagine that it would be released first in America. But I might just have to have an American edition, if I found that I didn’t want to wait!
Chrissi (26th February 2004)

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