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Weird and wonderful!
on 27 January 2004
Mister Monday, heralding the start of a seven-part series (yes, the 'Monday' in the title is a clue), is the latest addition to the ranks of fantastic 'kid-lit' which should not only enthrall young teens, but also be a guilty pleasure for grown-ups like me who still like to nurture their inner child.
The story tells of Arthur Penhaligon, a boy who, unintentionally pulled back from the brink of death by the nefarious Mister Monday, quickly becomes embroiled in the extremely strange world of The House, a world of surreal secrets and weird wonders which lies at the centre of all creation.
For connoisseurs of surreal fantasy, this is a joy to read. In turns it's funny and sinister, clever and joyfully silly, all glued together with a relentlessly action-packed plot and a charming, almost dream-like quality. At times I thought it was strongly reminiscent of the classic Alice in Wonderland stories, with its endless procession of bizarre characters and locations, and bewildering logical leaps from one scene to the next.
In my opinion, this beats the pants off Harry Potter, thanks to Garth Nix' exuberant, fast-paced writing style and the sheer derangement of his imagination.
I'm so pleased there are 6 more of these to come, and in the mean time I'm off to catch up on his Sabriel/Lirael/Abhorsen series.