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The Keys to the Kingdom #1: Mister Monday [Kindle Edition]

Garth Nix
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (178 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Best-selling author Garth Nix creates a magical world and an intriguing mystery in this new blockbuster series.

Seven days. Seven keys. Seven virtues. Seven sins. One mysterious house is the doorway to a very mysterious world -- where one boy is about to venture and unlock a number of fantastical secrets.
This is another thrilling, triumphantly imaginative series from Garth Nix, the best-selling author of THE SEVENTH TOWER, SABRIEL, and LIRAEL.

Books In This Series (7 Books)
Complete Series


  • Editorial Reviews

    From School Library Journal

    Grade 5-8--This exciting and gripping reading of Garth Nix's fantasy novel (Scholastic, 2003) is filled with lots of dramatic action. During a running exercise at school, Arthur Penhaligon collapses from an asthma attack. Upon awakening, he meets a stranger, Mister Monday. Monday hands Arthur an unusual key which begins a wild adventure. Using the powers of the key, Arthur travels to another realm and battles many evil creatures in a struggle to save his world from a mysterious disease. There are several violent episodes, and the fast-moving and imaginative plot and strong characterizations capture listeners' attention. The text is rich in descriptive language. Background music begins and concludes the reading. While there are no sound effects, Allan Corduner's dramatic narration splendidly brings the book to life with his many character voices. The story concludes with a lead in to the next book in the series and leaves listeners wanting more. This dynamic recording will be popular with fantasy fans.â€"Lynn K. Vanca, Akron-Summit County Public Library, OH
    Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Review

    puzzle-like and visually ornate an original re-imagining of a classic sci-fi theme' - US Publishers Weeklyan epic journey of the imagination' AB&P9/03bursting with fascinatingly original characters and concepts has the potential to take the young adult fantasy crown from Harry Potter', ACYL newsletter No. 3 Sept 2003.captivating from the start has the lively inventiveness, breathtaking suspense, and intriguing use of the ordinary that are characteristic of Nix's previous work.' Viewpoint Vol 11 No 4 Summer 2003

    Product Details

    • File Size: 374 KB
    • Print Length: 370 pages
    • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; Reissue edition (June 29, 2010)
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B003U4VO4O
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Lending: Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,225 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    4.3 out of 5 stars
    (178)
    4.3 out of 5 stars
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Holds a "Key" July 3, 2003
    Format:Mass Market Paperback
    Dark fantasy writer Garth Nix expanded his readership with his excellent "Seventh Tower" series. Now he expands further, in a darker, grittier, more realistic fantasy set in our world, where a confused young boy has to escape dark forces that want to use him for their own ends -- or kill him.
    Arthur Penhaligon has asthma. As a result, he ends up in the hospital regularly. But one day he encounters a strange man called Mr. Monday and his creepy butler, who leave him with a Key shaped like a minute hand and a little book with dancing letters. When he returns home after another stay in the hospital, Arthur finds that the Key seems to be attracting unwanted attention -- a statue of a Komodo dragon comes alive, and a winged man-dog tries to come into his house. What's more, a House has appeared -- one that is also inside the little book.
    Soon Arthur is being pursued by more dog-faced Fetchers, and a strange plague is sweeping his town -- and somehow the Key is keeping him alive, even though he was supposed to die of an asthma attack. His answers lie inside the House. But what lies beyond it is like nothing in our world, where ghastly nithlings roam and the Piper's children run wild in the streets. And the sinister Mr. Monday wants the Key back.
    Garth Nix takes his focus from high fantasy (such as the Abhorsen trilogy or the Seventh Tower series) to a more modern fantasy that takes place in our world. Though Arthur skips to another world, he's clearly from our own world. But Nix doesn't downplay his brand of horrific fantasy either; stuff that would seem silly for most other authors is magic in his hands.
    As in his other books, he melds an exceptional, original fantasy world with elements of horror.
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    16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars He Was Never Supposed to Be a Hero! August 19, 2003
    Format:Mass Market Paperback
    Arthur Penhaligon dreaded his first day at his new school. His family had just moved to the area and he was starting two weeks later than everyone else because he was in the hospital with a severe asthma attack. His PE teacher thought he was just slacking off when Arthur told him that he couldn't run so Arthur thought it was best to just go with the flow and joined the other kids. Arthur knew it was a mistake when he felt his lungs start to shut down in the middle of the park - far away from help. Not even his inhaler seemed to be giving him oxygen. When he saw a cadaverously thin man with terrible teeth pushing the most beautiful man Arthur had ever seen in an old fashioned wicker wheelchair, Arthur was sure that he was having a weird, oxygen-deprived dream. Then the beautiful man gave Arthur a key and he could breathe again. After Arthur recovered from his asthma attack, he discovered that the key was actually the key to a clock and that it came with a book, the Compleat Atlas of the House and Immediate Environs, which shows pictures of how to use the key to get into a big house on the block that only Arthur can see.
    Arthur doesn't know what to do, but he knows that he cannot stay at school when an army of dog-faced Fetchers show up to get the key from him. Even more frightening than the Fetchers is Mr. Noon, who is just as beautiful as the man who gave him the key, and just as deadly. When a deadly virus strikes Arthur's new town, he knows that he has no choice but to go into the House. When he passes through the gateway, Arthur is immediately plunged into a strange world where people collect paper and writing and the children the Pied Piper lured off are trapped.
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    14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book by Garth Nix: July 3, 2003
    Format:Mass Market Paperback
    I think Keys to the Kingdom is my new favorite series by Mr. Nix. Once again, he has created a deep, detailed and believable world that leaves readers hungry for the next book. The story of Mister Monday begins in the normal world, where Arthur is starting his first term at his new private school. During a PE endurance run, his asthma leaves him gasping for breath, and he collapses. Just when he's about to pass out, he meets two strange men, who give him a small book and a key shaped like the minute hand of a clock. Once Arthur touches the key, his asthma attack suddenly stops as if it had never started. The two men begin to fight, and then they vanish, leaving a confused Arthur with the book and key, wondering if he had been seeing things. Things escalate from there, and as Arthur realizes the extent of the key's powers, he finds that lots of intruders from the House, another world, would be willing to kill to get it. Left with no other options after a mysterious plague sweeps his town following an attack by intruders, Arthur travels to the House to unravel the mystery of the key and the book. It's really amazing how, over and over again, Nix can imagine new, perfectly functional, interesting societies, with suspenseful and enthralling plots to match. I think Mister Monday is a great book for people of all ages, not just for teens and young adults.
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    8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Hope it gets better June 15, 2011
    By sitka1
    Format:Kindle Edition
    I like Garth Nix on the basis of the Abhorsen trilogy, so I bought this with some excitement. I was dissapointed. I too found it confusing, vague, and dreamlike in an unpleasant way. It has a wierd mix of Alice in Wonderland and Arthurian legend (Arthur Penhaligan, Arthur Pendragon). The characterizations and settings are such that I found my mind's eye failing to "see" it, which was also unpleasant. Forgive me but the quality of a writer is not based on his or her imagination so much as the ability to create a cogent image in the readers' mind, Mr. Nix fails here--I found myself just waiting for the scene to end so as to get passed the confusing blankness.

    But there were worse things. First the endless reminders that Arthur has asthma; at some point I found myself saying "OK he has asthma, it's brittle, not compatible with life, I get it...", how many times do I need to be reminded and how many words were expended on reminding me. I am not a kid but I love these sorts of books, even if I was a kid I would be annoyed by this. It gets to the point that you begin to think that the goal is to teach kids that kids with asthma are good kids too. Really.

    Finally, every new step in the journey is difficult, relentlessly, joylessly, incompatible with life difficult. On some level this poor kid is endlessly, hopelessly stuck in the plot equivalent of 'Mississippi Mud' struggling for breath and you just wish you could pluck him out, give him an inhaler and go home to watch some cartoons, but you can't because then everyone will die. That image my mind's eye could see. Awful.

    Having said all that, I will buy the next book hoping that it will get better.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    1.0 out of 5 stars Maybe for a younger audience
    "Arthur Penhaligon's school year is not off to a good start. On his first day, he suffers an asthma attack while running cross country and dreams that a mysterious figure hands... Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Rebecca
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Liked it. Let's do "tuesday"
    Published 1 month ago by Portia Dannenbring Larsen
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Great jumping off point to introduce my kids to Fantasy Fiction.
    Published 2 months ago by Chris Homen
    4.0 out of 5 stars Liked it.
    My nine-year-old son enjoyed have this read to him at bedtime.
    Published 4 months ago by Handy Guy
    5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
    Excellent book, love the plots, twists and sub plots. Especially love the snide humour. Garth Nix is a fantastic writer.
    Published 7 months ago by Daniel Kossen
    4.0 out of 5 stars A bit abstract but builds nicely
    Arthur is a severely asthmatic 7th grader. But when he finds himself in the woods on the edge of suffocating to death, two Victorian-style men appear and once is tricked into... Read more
    Published 7 months ago by Scott Wozniak
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great Unique Fantasy
    Even as an adult, reading the story was amazing. The author did not dumb things down for the reader thus making no one feel stupid. Read more
    Published 8 months ago by Meio Setsuna
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great series
    good read
    Published 8 months ago by TJR
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
    This was a gift and it was shipped in a timely manner. From my understanding it was a great book!
    Published 9 months ago by Kimberly Craft
    4.0 out of 5 stars Not a great start to the school year
    Arthur Penhaligon is starting a new school year at a new school and has all the typical worries of fitting in. Read more
    Published 9 months ago by Jamie W.
    Search Customer Reviews

    More About the Author

    Garth Nix has worked as a bookseller, book sales representative, publicist, editor, marketing consultant and literary agent. He also spent five years as a part-time soldier in the Australian Army Reserve. A full-time writer since 2001, more than five million copies of his books have been sold around the world and his work has been translated into 40 languages. Garth's books have appeared on the bestseller lists of The New York Times, Publishers Weekly (US), The Bookseller(UK), The Australian and The Sunday Times (UK). He lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and two children.

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