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Grim Tuesday by Garth Nix

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Keys to the Kingdom

Book Review

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
Keys to the Kingdom, Book Two
Publisher: Listening Library, Audible Audio Edition, Release Date: March 31, 2004, Listening Length: 6 hours and 52 minutes (336 pages), ASIN: B0001ZZ054

Grim Tuesday, the keeper of the Second Key is threatening Arthur’s family and the only way Arthur can protect them, and himself,  is to return to the House. The House is the center of the universe and the source of all creation. Arthur has only been home a few hours, but once again he must leave earth, and with Susie’s help, he must defeat Grim Tuesday in order to save his family and stop the universe from unraveling.  In Mister Monday, Arthur defeated the holder of the First Key, became the Lord of the Lower House, and has started to repair the damage that has occurred to the House and the denizens. He left some capable and trustworthy people in charge for several years so he could return to Earth and have some time to grow up.  However, Grim Tuesday has his own plans, which include retrieving the Key and Lordship of the the Lower House.

Garth Nix has written numerous young adult books and series including: The Old Kingdom series, The Seventh Tower series, and The Keys to the KingdomGrim Tuesday is the second of seven books in The Keys to the Kingdom series and it is a fantasy story that is told in the third person narrative primarily from the point of view of the main protagonist, a 12 year old boy named Arthur Penhaligon. This book is good for grades 5 to 8, can be considered a Young Adult fantasy, but it can also be enjoyed by adults.

I enjoyed this story, but I did not think it was as good as the first book because it followed the same format. There were some engaging characters, like Tom Shelvocke the Mariner, who is the second son of the Architect, and Suzy Turquoise Blue. Overall, the story was interesting and kept me wondering how it was all going to end. The beginning started with plenty of action and then the story progressed with steady momentum until the final conclusion. There were plenty of obstacles along the way and the ending was quite exciting. I was intrigued with the concept of nothing, where globuals of nothing floated around and destroyed whatever they touched. This nothing is also at the basis of  creation, with the concept that first there is nothing and then it turns into matter, creating whatever is required.

The story has a good and satisfying ending, but it is clearly just part of a bigger story. The end introduces Drowned Wednesday, the next book in the series as well as the holder of the Third Key.  I recommend Grim Tuesday as a good read, and I am looking forward to see where this story is going. I am planning to read the next book in the series.

To Purchase: “Grim Tuesday” from Amazon, click here or on picture above


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Mister Monday by Garth Nix

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Keys to the Kingdom

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Keys to the Kingdom, Book One
Publisher: Listening Library, Listening Length: 8 hours and 9 minutes (368 pages), ASIN: B0001ZZ04U

 

Arthur is close to death from an asthma attack when he notices two strange men who seemed to appear out of nowhere. One of the men, Mister Monday, gives Arthur a key and a small notebook because he thinks Arthur is about to die.  However, the key has healing abilities which help to restore Arthur to good health.  When Mister Monday realizes this he tries to recapture the key. Arthur does everything in his power to protect himself and the key from these evil men.

Garth Nix has written numerous young adult books and series including: the Old Kingdom series, The Seventh Tower series, and The Keys to the Kingdom.  Mister Monday is part of The Keys to the Kingdom series and it is a fantasy story that is told in the third person narrative primarily from the point of view of the main protagonist, a 12 year old boy named Arthur Penhaligon.

Mister Monday sets the premise of series by introducing the characters and the world that the story revolves around. As Arthur learns about the key he received, both he and the reader learn about the Keys to the Kingdom, which are the keys to the House. The House is the center of the universe and anything outside the House, like the earth and the solar system are part of the Secondary Realms. There are seven keys for the seven territories within the confines of the house, with each key governed by a master named for a day in the week. This first book covers the Lower House and is ruled by Mister Monday. Arthur’s adventure takes place both on earth as well as in the House.

This series is great for children of all ages, starting from age 7 and it is very well written.I really enjoyed this book.  I loved all the characters and found Arthur to be a likeable protagonist, who shows compassion to those around him. Garth Nix has a great writing style, creating an interesting universe and a unique concept of creation.  The house is the center of creation and the idea of the seven days of the week each ruling one part of the house alludes back to the seven days of creation in Genesis. Throughout the book there is a big emphasis on the written word and its impact on creation.

This is a standalone book, but it is also just the beginning of a bigger story. It ends with an introduction to the next book in the series. I recommend Mister Monday as a very good read and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Grim Tuesday.

To Purchase: “Mister Monday” from Amazon, click here or on picture above


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Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

Book Review: 1 Treasure Box
Publisher: Alcazar AudioWorks, Listening Length: 11 hours and 32 minutes (368 pages), ASIN: B000VDNAE4

Gulliver’s Travels details Lemuel Gulliver’s four journeys to paranormal lands. First he goes to Lilliput, a land of tiny, six feet tall people, then Brobdingnag, a land giants, then Laputa, a land that has a flying island and a backwards idea of technology, and finally, he goes to the land of Houyhnhnms, where horses speak and rule. There are humans there, but they are slaves, savage and very crude.

 Gulliver’s Travels is considered to be the greatest satire ever written in English. It was first published in 1726 by Jonathan Swift who wrote numerous poems, essays, and several novels. The story is told from a first person point of view by Lemuel Gulliver as he narrates his four journeys and describes his observations of the people he meets and the lands he visits.

There are numerous political references throughout the four books, but the story can be read and enjoyed by people of all ages. I thought the various different rules within each of the lands were interesting. The first two books are fun to read. However, throughout the book humans are not portrayed in a good light.

I recommend the first two books which I enjoyed. I also enjoyed the first half of the third book, but I would not recommend the third or fourth books.  There was not as much action in these two books and thought there was too much commentary on the ills of human nature.

To Purchase: “Gulliver’s Travels” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

 

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Gregor and the Prophecy of Bain by Suzanne Collins

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series The Underland Chronicles

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Second Book in the Underland Chronicles
Publisher: Listening Library (December 15, 2005), Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 6 hour(s) and 32 min. (304 pages), ASIN: B000DN5UQ8

Things are rough for Gregor and his family, but at least his dad is home now even if he is really ill.  Gregor takes his baby sister Boots to Central Park to go sledding, she is kidnapped by The Underlanders and Gregor has to go back to save her.  Once there, he gets drawn into another prophecy and is forced to go on another dangerous adventure.

This is the second of five books in The Underland Chronicles. It is a fantasy book aimed at 9 to 12 year olds, but can also be classified as Young Adult. The story primarily takes place on earth in the Underland, far below New York City. The story is told in the third person narrative from the point of view of the main protagonist, Gregor. Suzanne Collins has also written The Hunger Games plus a couple of other books written for youths.

I was hooked from the first page and found the story captivating, exciting and sad. The prophecy was interesting and the story had a number of twists.  There was lots of action, some of it a bit gruesome and frightening. This is a standalone story and it came to a good conclusion, but it also hooked us to read the next book in the series.

I recommend this book, but it is for older children as it is quite scary. I am going to read the next book in the series: The Curse of the Warmbloods because I am curious to find out what happened.

To Purchase: “Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

 

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