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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Free the Children!
This new fantasy is something of a parable, which can be a didactic choice. But Tanner mostly gets away with it, thanks to some colorful world building and equally colorful characters.

In the city of Jewel, people are so worried about the safety of their children that kids are basically leashed, hooked to the Blessed Guardians by day and their parents by night...
Published on October 1, 2010 by Kate Coombs

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy & Adventure Fun
I love dystopian stories, especially when they have a little bit of fantasy thrown in. (Or a lot!) This one is written for the middle grade age range and it would be pleasing to boys or girls. The main character is a girl, but she quickly teams up with a boy around her age as well. The Museum itself has magical properties and it can feel and change where rooms are located...
Published on October 25, 2010 by Book Sake


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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Free the Children!, October 1, 2010
By 
Kate Coombs (Utah, United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: Museum of Thieves (The Keepers) (Hardcover)
This new fantasy is something of a parable, which can be a didactic choice. But Tanner mostly gets away with it, thanks to some colorful world building and equally colorful characters.

In the city of Jewel, people are so worried about the safety of their children that kids are basically leashed, hooked to the Blessed Guardians by day and their parents by night with fine silver chains. (The harassed children have invented what they call fingertalk for communicating with each other). If children misbehave, they are chained more severely, in heavy Punishment Chains. When children reach the age of twelve, their chains are unfastened. Think of the chains as training wheels, preparing kids for sensible behavior. Only--how awful!

But just as Goldie Roth is on the brink of freedom in the public ceremony known as Separation, conducted by the city's kindly Protector, another official called the Fugleman bursts in with news that his office has been bombed and a child hurt. It is decided that Jewel is unsafe, and the Separation is canceled. Goldie, whose silver chain has been replaced by a white ribbon for the ceremony, can't bear the thought. She impulsively cuts the ribbon and runs away.

Her parents are jailed in the House of Repentance for what she has done, and if Goldie is caught, she will be placed in a reform school called Care. Before that can happen, though, she is taken in by the odd crew of the seemingly decrepit Museum of Dunt--admitted only after they have happily concluded that she is a thief!

And so Goldie starts learning the mysteries of the museum, assisted by a begrudging boy named Toadspit, the other three keepers, and a terrifying yet loyal dog called a brizzlehound. She discovers that the museum contains more than it seems, including swamps and lands and hidden places, and that even its exhibits are in disguise. The museum not only shifts its rooms around, but must be kept quiet and happy, or else it will let its darker contents out into the city. (The place is partly a Pandora's box.) Goldie begins her training to be a museum keeper, which means learning to be a special kind of thief. In one of Tanner's best passages, the girl studies the three kinds of concealment: Concealment by Sham, Concealment by Camouflage, and Concealment by Imitation of Nothingness.

Meanwhile, the Blessed Guardians are hunting for Goldie, helped and directed by the Fugleman, who is one of those handsome smiling villains. The Fugleman wants to take over the city, and he sees the mysterious museum as a means to that end.

I was left with a few minor plot questions unanswered, but the story flows nicely and comes to a full stop (which I appreciate), while still leaving room for another book. Goldie is a determined, courageous main character, and you'll no doubt enjoy watching her make her escape and defeat the bad guys in Museum of Thieves.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy & Adventure Fun, October 25, 2010
This review is from: Museum of Thieves (The Keepers) (Hardcover)
I love dystopian stories, especially when they have a little bit of fantasy thrown in. (Or a lot!) This one is written for the middle grade age range and it would be pleasing to boys or girls. The main character is a girl, but she quickly teams up with a boy around her age as well. The Museum itself has magical properties and it can feel and change where rooms are located and where stairs will lead you to. There is an entirely different world once one goes to the right places within the museum.

I was a bit lost as the story didn't ever explain why those that worked at the Museum felt that Goldie (the main character) was needed there, a plot point that seemed to have been overlooked. But, as that didn't really seem to matter in order to move the plot along, it wasn't a major issue. The story did have good moral values, which is another plus for the younger readers and I expect that they will enjoy the powers of the Museum as well.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!, September 28, 2010
This review is from: Museum of Thieves (The Keepers) (Hardcover)
I enjoyed this book!!
Goldie lives in the city of Jewel, where people are overprotective with their children. All children are guardchained to the Blessed Guardians. The Blessed Guardians are suppost to take care of them and protect them. Until Separation Day.
As Separation Day arrives, Golde finds it has been cancelled. She runs away. She eventually finds the Museum of Dunt, wth its own mysteries and secrets. Follow Goldie and her new friend Toadspit(just gotta love that name) as they uncover secrets and villianous plans. Plans that threaten everyone.
Magic, Friendshp, danger, mystery, and self discovery---this book has it all!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars `But these were not ordinary times.', November 17, 2010
This review is from: Museum of Thieves (The Keepers) (Hardcover)
In the city of Jewel, children are precious possessions. They are kept safe, attached to either their parents, the Blessed Guardians, or to their bed at night until their official Separation Day. The dangers of freedom, for children, include slave-trading pirates or death from terrible diseases. We meet our hero, Goldie Roth just as she is about to be undergo Separation. The age of Separation has just been lowered from 16 years to 12, and not everyone is happy about this. Alas, just as Goldie is about to be freed from her mother, an explosion causes the ceremony to be cancelled and Goldie runs away without thinking of the consequences.

Thus begins Goldie's adventure. In the chaos following, Goldie finds herself in the Museum of Dunt: an unusual place filled with strange objects from the past, and a mind of its own. Here, Goldie meets a boy named Toadspit, makes new friends and discovers some dangerous secrets. As one of the Keepers of the Museum, she joins Herro Dan, Olga Ciavolga, Sinew and Toadspit in a mission to protect the Museum from evil forces seeking its destruction.

In this fantastical world, within the shifting rooms of the Museum, there exists danger. Can Goldie and her fellow Keepers establish a balance between freedom and protection while representing the force of good against the evil around them? The characters are interesting and engaging, and I enjoyed the story and the wonderful accompanying illustrations by Sebastian Ciaffaglione.
This novel is the first in a planned trilogy, and I'm looking forward to the second instalment. The series is apparently aimed at children aged between 9 and 12, but that's a guide not a rule. As a child I'd have enjoyed the story, as an adult I still did.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GIFT TO GRANDSON, November 16, 2010
By 
Nick Savage (Monarch Beach, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Museum of Thieves (The Keepers) (Hardcover)
I gave this book to my 7 year old grandson who devours books like peanuts. He thought it was great, finished it in 3 days, and can't wait for another by Lian Tanner!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mild Introductory Fantasy, May 29, 2012
By 
Pop Bop "Pause and Reflect" (Denver, Colorado, United States) - See all my reviews
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This book has a great deal going for it, but the missed opportunities may weigh down your enjoyment of it.

Goldie starts out as a fine character - spunky, independent, alert and common sensical. She has some real spirit, and after the first chapter you feel she may be able to carry the whole book. But then she gets overwhelmed by the other characters, who are not nearly as compelling as she is, and by a clunky plot.

In a nutshell, things are so good and calm and safe in the City of Jewel that everyone is afraid of everything. Adults are controlled through a cult of fear of injury to their children. The Guardians of the children exercise tremendous power, and the most repressive measures are always justified by reference to what is best and safest for the children. The head guardian has designs to take even greater control, and acts villainously to grow and consolidate his power. Now, this is a pretty sly commentary on our excessively safety conscious culture and on "helicopter parenting", but it wears a bit thin as the main driving force of the action in the book.

Goldie ends up in the "Museum", which is peopled by strange keepers and seems to be a living organism, the repository of all of Jewel's suppressed dangers. O.K., you can have a lot of fun with this as a metaphor, but it gets very clunky very fast as the framing magical fantasy idea of the book. These keepers are never ever developed. What exactly the Museum is and what all it contains are never really addressed. There are a few brief set action or intrigue or fantasy pieces, but none of it hangs together and none of it withstands any thought.

And that, of course, marks the book's strength and its weakness. It is a light, quick, undemanding read. It is intro level dystopia and fantasy. Even the marketing blurbs emphasize that it's easy to read, strange and entertaining. That's fine, but it is not going to be engaging or satisfying for an advanced middle grade reader who has already done some Riordan or Nix or Delaney.

So, a fun introductory read with no big problems, and a heroine who may just be appealing enough to make the trip worthwhile.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We love this series., February 15, 2012
This review is from: Museum of Thieves (The Keepers) (Hardcover)
We love this series. Museum of Thieves is better than City of Lies but as City of Lies was only part I of the story, I hope part two will be better.
Best children's series I've read and enjoyed with my children for a long time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun adventure, October 24, 2011
By 
Alyn (The Land of the Fey) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Museum of Thieves (The Keepers) (Hardcover)
I loved this book. This book intrigued me right off the bat with the interesting society, almost dystopian but not quite, where in order to keep their children safe, the people had them in chains. But the main character, Goldie, is a rebellious child who longs for adventure and the day her chains will be taken off. I loved Goldie; she felt so real to me with her fears, her courage, and her daring heart that dares to dream. I loved the friendship between her and Toadspit; it was developed wonderfully. The rest of the characters are intriguing, kooky, and unique.
This book was a wonderful adventure to read and I cannot wait for the next one! I recommend this to people of all ages, not just to young adults :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Creative, wonderful adventure..., August 11, 2011
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I first found the game on my IPad and then realized that there was a book. As a middle school teacher I found this book to be a wonderful read with a strong female character and twisted adventures. I could see both boys and girls enjoying this story.
My only concerns, why I didn't give it 5 stars, were the lack of a visual of the museum rooms and the perpetuated idea of liars and thieves. The idea of a map of the museum seems ironic since the museum is ever changing but it would have made events that occur clearer to the reader to have a list of rooms and what they usually contain. The novel has a central theme of liars and thieves which seems horrible if taken literally. As long as readers understand that children liars and thieves exist only in the fictional world of the museum of Dunt to escape the oppression of the Blessed Guardians and manage the unusual rooms of the museum. Goldie and Toadspit are courageous and obviously lie and steal only when necessary. At no point does the text encourage lying or stealing for personal gains that would harm others. Overall, this story creates a world for young readers to escape to and shows how one person, no matter their age, can make a difference by listening to their conscience, being brave, and believing in themselves. Looking forward to the second and third books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Yearning to Read Review, December 26, 2010
This review is from: Museum of Thieves (The Keepers) (Hardcover)
The children of Dunt are well protected; too well protected. They all look forward to Separation Day, when they will be separated from the Blessed Guardians. They will be able to make their own way in the world. And no one looks forward to this day more than twelve year old Godlen Roth, who is full of life and boldness. When she makes a grand escape from Separation Day after something goes terribly wrong, she finds herself drawn by shadows to the Museum of Dunt, where she is taken in and promised protection...at least, protection from the Guardians and their evil plans. However, the Museum, as small as it may look on the outside, has much more to it than anyone could ever imagine on the inside. More secrets, more life, more terrifying discoveries. And to stay alive, Goldie must join Toadspit, Herro Dan, Olga Ciavolga, and Sinew in their quest to keep this museum under control, and away from prying eyes.

______________

When I find an original book amongst the many unoriginal books out there (some good, some not), it's like receiving a trophy. I discovered this one, bought it, and my sister got to it first. It's so good, Sierra, she kept telling me. It's so original! Soon after I began reading it, I found that it truly was original. Now, I've read similar books, Incarceron by Catherine Fisher being one of them. (Read my review here.) However, what made it original was the air it gave off. I've never felt the way I did while reading it in any other book. Which brings me to my one-word description: strange. Yes, strange. This book is strange, in all the best kinds of ways. Strange ideas, strange buildings, strange world, strange characters - all to carry you away and make you a part of their story.

Speaking of the characters, I do have a favorite character in this story. The Fugleman. But I won't say anything else or I'll spoil some surprises! However, while I did love the characters and wish the best for them, some of them, including the lead, were flat. Goldie, Herro Dan, and the Grand Protector lacked the life I wish they had. However, Olga Ciavolga, the Blessed Guardians, Toadspit, Sinew, and of course the Fugleman were all wonderful.

And while I wasn't as drawn to some of the characters as I'd hoped, it didn't bother me one bit. I didn't even notice it until the end, actually. The reason? The writing and story line. They were so amazing that the story didn't need revolutionary characters to fill in. The story line twisted and turned and led me to exactly where I should be - waiting for the sequal, City of Lies, which I happily plan on reading as soon as it is released.
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Museum of Thieves (The Keepers)
Museum of Thieves (The Keepers) by Lian Tanner (Hardcover - September 28, 2010)
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