Lord Sunday, by Garth Nix

Finally, I’ve read the last of the Keys to the Kingdom series, which I started reading during my first Summer Reading Project back in 2006. I would link to the page, but it is a horror of Dreamweaver that is best left locked up, lest it bite someone.

I have to admit that I went to Wikipedia before starting the book, because I had forgotten pretty much everything that ever happened, and I was still confused when I read it. So I’m going to recommend just reading these all straight through if you ever do — they’re super short and it’ll only take you a couple days.

It was still a good story. Lord Sunday picks up where Superior Saturday left off, with Arthur having just grabbed the Sixth Key and begun falling through a big ol’ hole in the floor. It continues on in the same vein as the other books, by which I mean he goes to find the Seventh Key and the corresponding part of the Will, and gets in trouble along the way, and then totally finds them. But this one’s harder to get because Lord Sunday really really really doesn’t want to give the key up for some reason… and that part of the book was so close to being spectacular! So close. Suffice it to say that there is an unexpected (to me, anyway) reason for the Will’s existance, and that Nix could have gone with a really cool ending but went with a sappy one instead. But I suppose, this being a book for kids and all, that it’s the only ending the publishers would have allowed. At least, that’s how I’m going to defend it. 🙂

All right, guys, what weird little kids book series should I get addicted to next?

Rating: 7/10
(Countdown Challenge: 2010, Support Your Local Library Challenge)

See also:
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Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.

Superior Saturday, by Garth Nix (15 September — 20 September)

This is the sixth of seven books in the Keys to the Kingdom series, and as such it’s hard to talk about this one in particular without spoiling the others. So. The general idea of the series is that a 12-year-old boy called Arthur Penhaligon is whisked out of his normal life and charged with saving the world.

To do this, he must go to a world called the House, built by one called the Architect, and free the separated parts of the Architect’s Will. He must also defeat some upstart Trustees and take control of their Keys (hence the series title). Each Trustee rules over one of the days of the week on Earth, though that period of time is much longer in the House. As the Trustees mess with the house (essentially tearing it down in their need to fight with each other), things on Earth aren’t going so well, either.

In this one, obviously, Arthur is out to rescue part six of the Will and wrest the Sixth Key from Superior Saturday. There is also a plague in Arthur’s hometown, and Superior Saturday is readying to attack at the stroke of her midnight.

These books are meant for younger YA readers (I found this one in the children’s section, sigh), so they are very short and very formulaic. I quite enjoy them for both of those reasons, and because they are entertaining.

Superior Saturday irks me a bit because, as the penultimate book in the series, it breaks from the mold and does not resolve the capturing-the-keys part of the story, leaving that for the next book, Lord Sunday. I’ve waited a while for this book to come out, but if I’d known it would have that ending, I’d have waited a while longer — there’s not enough story in these large-type 250 pages to really satiate me.

Rating: 6/10
(Countdown Challenge: 2008)