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on 24 February 2005
The Creature in the Case is a short, but oh so sweet, spin off to Nix's thrilling Old Kingdom trilogy. For those who have yet to read Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen my advice is that you do NOT start your journey into the Old Kingdom here. Not only will it spoil those book enormously, but you will not enjoy this little treasure in all it's glory. However, if like myself you have fond memories of your time in the Old Kingdom while reading of the adventures of Sabriel and later Lirael (the heroines of Nix's adventures) then this will be a truly unmissable event!
Although the book feels more like a booklet, it certainly does not read like one. For all those who may be resentful towards Nix for not giving us the much longer fix we all desire (or need if you will) I ask you to remember that this was written for "World Book Day", and should thus be treated as a gift, a precious one, all 108 pages of it.
Although the story doesn't revolve around either of the two heroines from the previous adventures, or even take place across the wall in the magical lands of the Old Kingdom, the story and the writing are infused with the same brilliance that resonates so strongly from the trilogy. This is clearly felt in the ease with which you feel yourself slipping back into this world Nix has so elaborately created.
This is truly a fabulous book. Despite it's length I am sure those who read it will remember it very fondly. And when you consider that it's only £1, then you really can't help but give it full marks.
For those who've never ventured into the Old Kingdom this will still be a lot of fun, but enormously under appreciated. For those who've already been blown away by the trilogy, this will bring it all back and take it a step further.
You MUST buy this, quite simply because there isn't a single good reason not to do so...
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VINE VOICEon 21 March 2005
Garth Nix's style is clear in this book, which is good. It is atmospheric and hooking, similar to the Abhorsen Trilogy. Although I enjoyed reading it, I was disappointed at the lack of familiar characters; the book focuses on Nicholas and we only get a small glimpse of Lirael and a mention of her nephew, Sam, at the end.
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on 10 March 2005
It was a good short story, that really kept the reader interested in finding out what was going to happen next. The plot was good, and it was great the revist Nix's best books (The Old Kingdom Trilogy).
I would have personally liked the see Sabriel and Lirael feature a bit more but this is just a minor point. It left me wanting more, I would really like to see Nix write a full novel
and not just a short story.
Overall a very good read, but its just a taster for the upcoming collection of short stories based in the world that Nix created so well, due to be released later this year for those lucky Americans, add to the fact its all going to a good cause. Well worth the £1 it cost, I would recommend it to every fan of Nix's writing and especially Fans of Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen.
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on 16 March 2005
This book is all about nicholas sayre, although features lireal right at the end. Despite the fact that none of the main characters are featured largly in this book, it is a good reminder of the abhorsen trilogy and i would reccomend you buy it.
The Story- I dont want to give too much away so all i'll say is that nicholas wishes to return to the old kingdom now he is almost fully recovered but to get a pass his uncle first makes him stay at the base of a secret service of some kind to represent the sayre family, however he soon discovers there is something odd going on.
9/10 (well worth the price)
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on 4 July 2006
This SHORT little book really doesn't let you breathe!! I read it all in one night...but it leaves you a bit "on the edge" at the end. You just WANT it to continue...but it doesn't. Anyway, it's really good, Garth Nix's style, who is an exceptionally good writer.

5 start well earned!!
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on 21 August 2006
I would like to review this for the older audience. The book is short, and actually starts quite well, but it soon degrades into some giant monster wandering about and eventually being brought to a stop as it tries to enter the old kingdom.

To be honest, the old kindom trilogy ended reasonably well in Abhorson, though the books got worse as he went along, a similar blight which currently afflicts his current series starting with Mr Monday. So I do not see how he can possibly justify this little 'add on' to the series. It adds nothing to it at all, the series should have been left alone and not milked in this manner, but that's up to Nix I guess.

This book is a cash-in basically. I'm sure none of you will find my review 'helpful', but would you rather I overrated it, and you bought a book which was an utter disappointment? I can only review it from my point of view. Maybe this is a good read for kids, but adults avoid.

p.s - The revolution against over generous reviews rolls on.
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on 6 March 2005
for only £1, this is a great read. its set 6 months after Abhorsen , and is obviously part of the Lireal "trilogy". its only 100 pages, but they are very good pages at that. not an essential raed, but good nonetheless
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on 29 November 2014
This is a short-ish story but had me hanging off my seat at certain points and I could not put my kindle down. It's definitely kept me sated for the moment and has me now impatiently waiting for the next book by Garth Nix which will continue with Nicholas and Lirael's stories!
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Poor Nick Sayre. First he gets enslaved by evil necromancers, and now even house parties go horribly wrong.

In fact, almost everything goes wrong for this much-abused teenager in "The Creature in the Case," a novella spun off after the ending of Garth Nix's classic Abhorsen trilogy. It's a brief little story, but Nix's fantastical horror, odd humor, and suitably gruesome little conspiracy make it absolutely brilliant.

Nicholas Sayre is still recovering from his horrible ordeal, but before his uncle will let him return to the Old Kingdom, he must attend a country house party, and confer with the wealthy, eccentric Dorrance. Nick hates the idea, especially since the people there don't believe in magic or necromancy. Even worse, they have a strange creature in a display case.

But then things take a horrific turn when Nick is kidnapped, and his Charter-infused blood is fed to the creature -- which promptly goes on a rampage, drinking blood from random people. With the Abhorsen days away and no way to stop a savage, incredibly strong Free Magic monster, what can Nick do to stop Dorrance and "the creature in the case"? (Or more precisely, the creature FROM the case...)

"The Creature in the Case" sticks pretty close to the dark, horror-tinged fantasy of Garth Nix's past work, especially with all the Free/Charter Magic and nasty beasties running amuck. But Nix weaves in some other styles as well, particularly the horrible weekend parties of PG Wodehouse and the sinister conspiring of vintage spy fiction. Surprisingly, it all meshes well.

And Nix comes up with a pretty compelling, creepy idea -- a Free Magic creature loose around ordinary people, in perfectly normal, pleasant surroundings. Along the way, he unfolds some truly horrific moments, such as the hallucinatory "transfusion" scene, or the revelation of Dorrance's adoration of "Her." But he does lighten things up with a bit of Wodehousian humor ("I say! Wait a moment. You can't just hit a man and run away!").

Nick himself gets to take center stage for the first time -- while he's been important before, he was never the star. This time, he's worn out, psychologically scarred, and still kind of nervy. But his capable handling of a disastrous situation tells us a lot about the person he is now, and shows that Nix's heroes can be ordinary people as well as special necromancers and mages.

Best of all, Nix leaves the door open for future adventures involving the Abhorsen's family and the Old Kingdom. Here's hoping for more.

"The Creature in the Case" may be short, but it's a hard-hitting, darkly fantastical little novella. Funny, creepy and mildly gruesome -- definitely one to check out.
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on 2 May 2008
This is the same as the first story in "Across the Wall". This stupid system won't let you enter your comments without "rating" the book in question, even if that's irrelevant.
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