Great Reads brings you book reviews on teen books that parents will love from such great young adult authors as Garth Nix, Clare Dunkle, DJ Machale, Stephanie Meyer and many more.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Garth Nix: Mister Monday, Keys to the Kingdom, Book One

Arthur is just an average kid, with not a lot going on in his life. His first day of school doesn't go well. He suffers an asthma attack that nearly kills him, but when a stranger gives him a key shaped like an old clock hand and a small book, his life suddenly changes and becomes much more dangerous. A mysterious illness falls over his town (and his family), and a strange house appears out of nowhere. Arthur soon learns that he has inherited part of a will, though it is actually the Will of the Architect, broken up into seven pieces and given to the Trustees named for each day of the week. But the Architect is missing, her will has been separated into 7 pieces, and now Arthur's got one, and to make matters worse (or better) the Will has a mind of its own, and its own agenda as do the Trustees. He must enter the House and figure out what to do with the Will and how he can save his family.

Now Arthur, who has become the Rightful Heir of the Will, with help from a denizen of the mysterious House, must keep Mister Monday from obtaining Arthur's part of the Will and find the other pieces of the Will to join them together.

"The Keys to the Kingdom" series, of which there are 4 books so far, is a great series. It is fast paced, smart and contains a mystery that's held my attention over four books (book 5, "Lady Friday", is due out in March...ack!) and even has me buying hardcovers because I'm too impatient to wait for softcovers. I'd recommend this for ages 10 and up, and while it certainly does a have a religious theme to it (the Architect is obviously God, and her nemesis, the Old One is not), it is not overtly so and doesn't distract from the book if you aren't the religious sort.

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