on 7 April 2005
While I was waiting for the next Harry Potter book to be published and having devoured Philip Pullman's Northern Lights Trilogy - my friend recommended I read a Garth Nix's book.
I started with Mister Monday and found I was unable to put the book down until I had finished it. It was the most imaginative book I read in quite some time. This is one of the most imaginative I have read in quite a while and even though it was written for Children - anyone of any age will enjoy this story. It is based on a young, sickly and slightly apprehensive boy - called Arthur Penhaligion. He gets caught up a whirlwind adventure that tests his courage and makes him show his true strength in character. The book it well written and you will not bored at any point in the story! If you love HP, Northern Lights & Lord of the Rings type books - this is one for you!
Dark fantasy writer Garth Nix expanded his readership with his excellent "Seventh Tower" series, an original and much-publicized fantasy work. 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. But Nix doesn't downplay his brand of horrific fantasy either; stuff that would seem silly for most other authors, like dog-faced monsters, is magic in his hands. The writing is detailed, evocative, and never lags for a minute.
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 for fantasy heroes (namely, asthma). Like most of Nix's heroes, the poor kid is desperately running and searching, and learning from those ahead of him. Quirky Suzy is reminiscent of a Lloyd Alexander heroine, strong and brave and just a little strange.
"Mister Monday" is another great book from Garth Nix, combining darkness and fantasy and leaving the ending open for the second book of the series. An intriguing, enthralling book.
on 14 December 2006
I love the way Garth Nix tells a story. He has an amazing talent for captivating the reader and welcoming them into a magical world. The Abhorsen trilogy was amazing and this, although aimed at a younger audience, is at the same level of excellence.
Whether you are young or old, you will surely enjoy this book. One can only marvel at the imagination of a great storyteller in this highly enjoyable read about a young boy named Arthur who must embark on a quest in a mysterious house, discovering the secrets within, meeting strange and magical creatures and realising his importance to the fate of mankind. The book is essentially a kids book, yet the world that Nix creates is so deep and inventive that it greatly appeals to mature readers also.
As the beginning of a series of novels, this book creates a strong foundation for upcoming events. Most importantly, it was great fun to read and I never found myself bored or frustrated. Garth Nix is clearly establishing himself as the best childrens author currently writing and this book is an example of just how great an author he is.
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.
on 5 October 2005
Garth Nix has done it again, he has again come up with a new and creative plot in a magical world even more real than that of his Old Kingdom. The book follows the adventures of a young, asthmatic boy, who inherits a strange clockhand. It is not long after that things start going amuk, and strange forces threaten his world.
The boy, Arthur Penhaligon, drawn into complete despair, ventures into a house only he can see, and into a world he where he should not be.
This book is a sort of cross between Harry Potter and the Matrix, but with clear invention and an all together fun story. Hold on tight to the lesser key of the lower house as you journey through the improbable world that is Garth Nix's Mister Monday, and don't be left behind!
on 3 February 2004
I've bought it just yesterday, and I've alredy read it!!! Oh, I really love Garth Nix, he's brilliant!!! Even better that Rowling, I like H.P. stories, but it's always smth. missing, but with Nix I so content of reading, can't tear my eyes of the book!!! And really wish it would be at least the size of HP5:) I loved Sabriel, Lirael, and can't wait for Abhorsen, and of course it's nice to know that I still have 6 books to go in this case:) VIVA LA NIX!!!!
on 23 May 2004
A very well plotted book that offers a refreshing change from the seriousness of most fantasies. It isn't like your other fantasies of terry pratchett and tolkien to name a few of the more well known ones but it does lend itsef towards a child's story tale. Despite all this it makes for a very interesting read.
The story centers around Arthur who as he is about to die is given a gift which helps and later transports him into another realm. Like I said it is reminiscent of a child's bedtime story but manages to captivate you and take you along.
Gart nix is an intelligent writer and manages to make a child's bedtime story a captivating and interesting novel. I loved it and was sorry to actually get to the end.
on 30 June 2004
This is the first of what promises to be an enthralling new series,the "keys to the kingdom."
The story revolves around an asthmatic 7th grader named Arthur Penhaligon. Arthur has just moved school and when he is forced to do a gruling cross-country run by his new gym teacher, Mr. Weightman, he has a serious asthma attack. On the very verge on death, Arthur is visited by the sinister Mister Monday and is given the "lesser key to the lower house."
this is no ordinary key either. It is a magical key and is saves him from dying from the asthma attack.
Arthurs adventures with the key take him through the misterious Lower House, and on to a final battle for the rest of the key and mastery of the lower house with the evil Mister Monday himself.
This is a fantastic book that really grips the reader from the very first page. the writing is entirley believable, with vivid descriptions and characterization; readers will really sympathize with the asthmatic teenager.
This truly is an amazing book and a fantastic achivment in literature. All my congratulations to Garth Nix.
on 20 December 2004
Garth Nix has done it again, a great fantasy for all ages! Chapter one absorbs the reader immediately with interesting, characters and strange occurences. The main character,Arthur is a very unlikely hero, until he recieves the Key and begins his journey in another realm to free 'The Will' and save his world from disaster.
I think children will find this much easier to get into than the old kingdom series, which was more complex in it's use of descriptive language. Of course this also depends on your childs enjoyment & reading abilty. My daughter (mid teens) loved 'the old kingdom' books but some of her friends found it hard work as they aren't avid readers. She hasn't read this one yet as it is a xmas present that I read very gently (so as not to disturb the pages)& sneakily because I was out of books!
on 26 June 2007
i got this book as a freebee 1 month ago and i thought my son would like to read it. just out of interest and something to do, i started to read this book. i was so captivated that i bought the whole series and only just finished lady friday. i have never read childrens books and i am so impressed with garth nix that i am about to but the rest of his books.
my son had just started to read mister monday and he is as hooked on the book as i was. i can recommend this series to all.