|Title: Keys to the Kingdom: Mister Monday
Author: Garth Nix
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Format & Pages: Paperback, 361
Publication: Scholastic, 2003
Arthur is safe-but his world is not. Along with the key comes a plague brought by bizarre creatures from another realm. A stranger name Mister Monday, his avenging messengers with bloodstained wings, and an army of dog-faced Fetchers will stop at nothing to get the key back-even if it means destroying Arthur and everything around him.
Desperate, Arthur ventures into a mysterious house-a house that only he can see. It is in this house that Arthur must unravel the secrets of the key-and discover his true fate.
Arthur Penhaligon is an asthmatic, adopted son of a medical genius and rock legend. Unknown to him, forces are working that turned him into the executor of the Will of the Architect, creator of the secondary realms. This puts into motion a flurry of events that pushes Arthur to his limits.
Nix introduces us to the fantastic world of The House, a combination of locations each ruled by separate Trustees. These Trustees have control over one day in the secondary realms, such as Earth. Beyond the House and the secondary realms is Nothing, the deadly substance that the Architect used to create the House and the secondary realms.
Arthur is forced to fight his way to the House as he is attacked at school and a deadly virus quarantines his town. He has to face his fear of a viral outbreak, which took the lives of his biological parents. He has to fight Mister Monday along with his Noon. But he is not alone, he has Suzy, one of the Piper’s Children that followed him into the House.
Nix has created an extremely creative and colorful world within the House. Not only is it filled with wonder, but also danger. This is exhibited in the form of Nithlings, living blobs of Nothing that have taken on a human-esque form with elongated limbs and odd proportions. It quite reminded me of the Dead from another of Nix’s work, Sabriel.
Nix also follows the pattern of seven trustees with control over the seven days of the week. As I read, it was made apparent that Mister Monday became lazy, exhibiting the deadly sin sloth. There are seven deadly sins, so I am going to assume that each trustee will embody one of the sins.
Prediction: Grim Tuesday’s sin is Greed.
Overall, this is a great series to get into. It has imagination, creativity, and laughs. It really kept me reading as I hope the rest of the books in the series will do. Though it is for a younger audience, so I did find it a bit easy to figure out how the story was going to.