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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Grim Tuesday (The Keys to the Kingdom, Book 2)
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on 27 August 2017
Great book
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VINE VOICEon 29 June 2004
After being bowled over by the incredible imagination and relentless pacing of Mr Monday, I awaited the 2nd in this series with eager anticipation.
Once again, the writing is a joy and the pacing brisk. Garth Nix has an amazing imagination (the story contains a gigantic creature mutated from someone's lost eyebrow), and he has created an impossible yet believable world peopled with vibrant three-dimensional characters. Arthur, the central character, continues to charm - ably assisted by the delightful Suzy, and not so ably assisted by the 'Will.'
So why, when I gobbled my way through 'Mr Monday' in less than a day, did I find myself plodding through 'Grim Tuesday' over an entire week? The answer: I found it rather formulaic and episodic. Oh yes, there's a great cliff-hanger at the end of every chapter - but the protagonist usually overcomes the obstacle within the first couple of pages of the next chapter, then marks time until the next chapter-ending cliff hanger. Lots of little story arcs - but not really any decent or challenging big ones.
The resolutions were just too darn convenient and required little thinking or effort on the part of the characters - and as such they did little to grow or develop throughout the narrative. For example: at one point they're stuck on a sort of glass pyramid whilst under a hail of fiery missiles. However, the creature they just happen to have with them just happens to have a glass-cutting diamond hidden in its mouth. Aarghhh!!! This kind of convenient resolution occurred with such regularity, that I no longer cared about the plight of the protagonist - certain that whatever tight corner he found himself in, he'd overcome it a page or two later with the minimal of mental effort.
That being said, it's still a jolly good book. If, like me, you've read the first part and intend to keep on reading until Sunday's book - then it's a must read. Really sorry I couldn't give it 5 stars! I liked it - but it just didn't have the class of 'Mr Monday'. Here's hoping 'Drowned Wednesday' will be a return to top form!
P.S. Why do people bother writing a 3 or 4 line review after reading only 6 chapters of the book? For future ref: please finish the book first and then give me your INFORMED opinion.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 January 2006
Things go from bad to worse for Arthur Penhaligon in the second book of this series, "Grim Tuesday." Garth Nix's second Keys to the Kingdom book is a bit more plodding and hard to decipher than the first, but still has his deliciously dark sense of humor and knack for ghastly beasties.

It's less than a day after the near-catastrophic events of "Mister Monday." And poor Arthur thought he was going to go back to a normal life. But he's suddenly called and told that Grim Tuesday has somehow called in debts of Mister Monday's -- including Arthur's entire world, among others. Houses are being mysteriously sold, creatures are swarming through his city, and the stock market is going wonky. So Arthur has to get back to the House and somehow get everything right again.

He narrowly escapes being attacked by one of Tuesday's minions, and ends up being dumped in the Far Reaches. There, he becomes an indentured servant to Tuesday, in an enormous Pit that mines Nothing, and is undermining the very foundations of the House. With the help of his friend Suzy Blue and a nautical captain (and Tuesday's discarded soot-eating eyebrow), he must somehow get the second key and second part of the Will -- or be destroyed by Tuesday.

Nix widens the scope of the world he introduced in "Mister Monday." Now that we're acquainted with concepts like the House, the Will, and the different Days, he goes full-speed into the storyline. There are plenty of interesting hints about the future -- especially a communique from Lady Wednesday. What will Nix do next? Only time will tell.

This book is a little off-kilter -- the bureaucratic terms can make your head spin sometimes. What's more, Nix spends too much time focusing on zipping up with the Ascending Wings and clinging to the top. However, his descriptions of the mine are excellent, full of despair and misery. You can almost smell the soot and grime. Not to mention the hideous Nithlings, as creepy and sinister as anything out of Nix's classic dark fantasy "Sabriel."

Grim Tuesday is an interesting villain in himself -- the ultimate plagiarizer, a guy who can't actually make things himself. So he copies other people's art and machines, and sells them. Arthur is still trying to fight against his destiny (just accept it, kid), and such memorable characters as Japheth the Thesaurus and the quirky Suzy appear to back him up.

While it drags at times, "Grim Tuesday" is still an intriguing, imaginative read with plenty of darkness and humor. It's not as good as "Mr. Monday," but it is a solid continuation and ends with hints for the third book.
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VINE VOICEon 4 July 2006
If you're going to read this book, I strongly recommend that you make sure that you've read "Mister Monday" first. That way you see, I don't have to explain all about the Architect and the Will, and the seven hidden fragments and the treacherous trustees and all that. Just call me lazy if you like.

Our young and most unlikely hero has barely returned from Mister Monday's domain, when the telephone hotline starts ringing again. Arthur quickly learns that Grim Tuesday has found a convenient loophole in the Trustee agreement, and that all Mister Monday's substantial debts have been passed on to him as the new Master of the Lower House. Grim T. means to collect one way or the other, and as the world's economy gets turned on its end, Arthur realizes that he has no choice but to go back and sort it all out, and of course get the second key and some added responsibility that he can well do without.

Greedy Grim Tuesday runs a huge "nothing" mine using slave labor, and makes all the gadgets and widgets and doodads needed by the Days and anybody with the right currency. Lots of new and deadly creatures await Arthur, some of whom are allergic to salt and some to silver, but all have the common goal of inflicting upon him as much pain as possible. With the help of his friend Leaf (from book one) he finally finds the entrance to Tuesday's mineshafts, and begins his new quest, going deep, deep undercover as one of Tuesday's slaves.

Fortunately for him, he gets a little help from Suzy Turquoise Blue, Japeth the walking Thesaurus, Captain Shelvocke the sea-faring brother of the Pied Piper, and to a lesser extent a hairy, materialistic bit of fluff formally known as "eyebrow". Soon he's sailing off into very strange waters to retrieve the second fragment of the Will, with a heavy heart, a broken leg and almost more problems than he can bear.

Exciting and imaginative, although sometimes a tad long on description, Nix wraps this one up rather quickly at the end, and gives a tantalizing glimpse into Wednesday's woes. A must-read if you've completed your Monday reading.

Amanda Richards
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on 30 April 2005
This book takes you in from the start. you can't stop! the grim has the key to making stuff out of some stuff called nothing. but this pollutes the enviroment. it is also very dangerous. creatures form from the nothing and can nothingize (if thats a word!) you. the grim makes wonderfull things but can only copy human or other art, not make his own. this will prove key to the story. the grim has a legal claim to the first key. arthur has to get the grims key before the grim gets his. this book draws you in till the last page and leaves you lusting after the next one, drowned wednesday. 5 stars, READ IT PLEASE!!!!
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This is the second book in Garth Nix's series The keys to the kingdom.
This book sees the return of Arthur Penhaligon; an orphaned, asthmatic teenager; his friend Suzy Blue, and what can only be known as his "mentor," the Will.
The book takes off only hours alfter the exusting events of the day before, Monday.Grim tuesday has found a loophole in the agreement signed by The Morrow days and is exployting it to get at Arthur and the Lower House.
This book is very well written, though i think it doesn't quite get to the same level as the first. It delves deeper into the strange and twisted world of the house. This time the dangers that face Arthur are much more dangerous, though sadly seem easyer to overcome. As mentioned before by another reviewer the problems are all solved by fantastic coincidence. For example he is cornered by an evil bloodthirsty monster that is almost impossible to kill. But, suddenly he learns that the only thing that can kill it, silver, is in a box right next to him. this is a shame for the more avid and reflective reader, but will probably not trouble the less avid readers.
Also, this book seems to be aimed at a higher age groupe than the first book. some of the move violent action sequences are writted so descriptivly that younger readers may get frightened.
Hovever this is still a great book an worthy of comendation.
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on 27 May 2009
After just returning from the House, Arthur finds he is in more trouble as the servants of Grim Tuesday threaten his world and soon he must return to the House to battle The Grim for control over the second key to the kingdom.

The sequel to Mister Monday brings back the asthma sufferer and new ruler of the Lower House Arthur Penhaligon, and once more author Garth Nix brings his strong imagination to a sharp tale that excites and thrills, if overexerts itself on information too frequently.

Mister Monday was a wonderful introduction into the seven part series. The first novel brought about a vivid depiction of magic and adventure with a fine central character and a set of wonderful challenges and discoveries. It was perfect.

Grim Tuesday therefore had a lot to live up to given the predecessor's success and it certainly maintains the surprises right from the opening chapter.

Arthur has just returned home and was promised a few years rest before he returned back to the House that had almost killed him yesterday when he receives an urgent notice from The Will. A series of unfortunate events unfold and we have an almost thriller on our hands as the central protagonist runs into Tuesday's servants in his world and he is chased by a terrifying quick creature known as a Scoucher. This chase sequence is perhaps the best part of the novel, a wonderful way to get the novel moving from drama into thrilling action and with the return of a friendly face along the way the chapters play like a perfectly strung violin. It's blissful yet exciting reading.

Soon we are back in the House and Garth Nix once more expands his knowledge and vividness into ways that humans shouldn't be allowed to.

There are numerous terrifying creatures, unfathomable places and activities of demoralisation that reflects human nature in a sharp and almost controversial way. The complexity of Nothing and how Nix looked at the arrival of mankind in the previous novel was shocking enough, and sadly there isn't too much in the way of revisiting that concept as such. We continue to see deadly formations of Nothing but nothing more into Nix's look into the arrival of the universe per say, but then again this again demonstrates how unique Monday was.

Where Tuesday falls is the descriptive nature of the plot. With Nix's previous releases Sabriel, Abhorsen etc we saw he knew how to tackle fantasy with a flick of his pen. But here we are seeing too much information thrown at us. There are too many rules and regulations.

Arthur is continually asking questions surely for the readers benefit and therefore we are straining to remember every little detail.

However despite this, Nix never let's go of the fact the book is an adventure and we are treated to numerous challenges and chases that make for a great read and if this isn't to your fancy, bring on Wednesday!

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VINE VOICEon 13 March 2008
Barcode: 9780007175031

So, having finished the simply awesome Abhorsen trilogy i was eager to read more of Garth Nix's books and thought where better to go next than the Keys To The Kingdom series. I was quite surprised for a number of reasons but thanfully, it was a pleasant kind of surprise.

My first recommendation is that make sure you read the first novel, Mister Monday, first as there is a lot of stuff you need to know about like the Will, the keys, the days, the house etc. the list goes on. You kinda get thrown in at the deep end and it can all seem a bit random and disorientating at the start but onhce you get into into it the world of the Keys To The Kingdom series is just as magical as the Old Kingdom.

Nix's ingenuity is amazing as he depicts our real world living alongside a mystical 'house' which contains vast areas of land. This particular novel details Grim Tuesday's pit, a kind of vast quarry miles wide. The imagery is fantastic and his legal-esque spin on magical themes is just spellbinding.

Main character Arthur comes across well as the everyman who reluctantly takes up his role of venturing into this world in order to save his family. He is accompanied by the ever-charming Suzy who i think goes on to become the star of the book.

In its feel, Grim Tuesday is perhaps aimed at a younger audience than those used to his other books, but i assure you regular readers will enjoy it just the same. Things never get overly dark and morbid and there's always some lighthearted humour round the corner to make you smile and the semi-immortal characters create a very interesting outlook as it dampens the sense of threat leaving you to focus all the more on the wonder of Nix's world.

My recommendation is to go into this book with an open mind and you are sure to totally enjoy it. I found it an inspiring tale and yet more evidence as to why Garth Nix is one of my favourite authors ever.
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on 2 June 2013
After finishing book 1 I went straight onto this one, this one follows on directly and carries on where book 1 left off. Although I did find a continuation error. At the end of book 1 he returns to his house at 1:35 and says he has 10 hours before he can set up the magic cure to be ready for Midnight, which he does. But then at the start of this book his magic phone from the House rings with an emergency and he comments that "It was less than eight hours since he'd defeated Mister Monday,..." (page 24) which of course is not right. Only a slight fault but it niggled me! But I will put that behind me.

This one seems a little bit darker than the first, Grim Tuesday is trying to claim Arthur's Key and take over the Lower reaches of the house, he starts some underhanded tactics to try and get Arthur to hand it over, threatening his whole family and friends. Arthur has no choice but to make his way back to the House and face Tuesday himself.

The only problem is, the House isn't where it used to be and he has to find another way to get in.

Once there he comes out in the Far Reaches, a dark and miserable place run by Tuesday himself, think great big Mine shafts only dirtier, more dangerous and filled with 'Nothing' and 'Nithlings' (creatures made from dark nothing)

Trapped down in the Far Reaches a few steps away from The Pit, Arthur has no choice but to join the workers as they make their way through, but he has to find a way out before Tuesday hurts his family.

Enter Suzy Blue again, I was so glad to see her back again, she seems to light the page up and brings a lighter side to the story.

There is quite a dark part to this story when Arthur meets 'The Old One', he is chained to a giant clock and every time the clock strikes 12 these 2 mechanical beings come out and try to cut out his eyes. That was pretty gruesome so I would warn against that. Apart from that the book is just overall exciting and fast paced.

At 374 pages it's slightly shorter than the first book and I read it in a few short hours.

These are the sort of books that you struggle to put down, something just draws you in.

It's great to see how much the characters have grown since the first book and I look forward to reading more of the series.

Certain details of this book came back to me whilst reading, more that book 1 did. But it didn't spoil it for me, I still enjoyed it.
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on 2 April 2004
This book is maybe not as brilliant as its predecessor, Mister Monday, but is an original compelling fantasy that draws you into the book within the first few pages.
Arthur Penhaligon, owner of the First Key and heir to the keys of the Kingdom is threatened by the evil Grim Tueday, who will take not only the First Key but also his home and his families jobs and money if Arthur doesn't return to the house and fight him.
The Nithlings are joined by Grims Grotesques, a giant ships captain, Sunsprites, a huge 'eyebrow' and many others in Arthurs search for the Second Key.
This is a brilliant book for any fantasy lover and I can't wait for Drowned Wednesday
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