Monday, May 15, 2006

Grim Tuesday by Garth Nix

Grim Tuesday is the second book in Garth Nix's The Keys to the Kingdom Series. After defeating Mister Monday and taking control of the First Key, Arthur leaves the House to return to the secondary realms leaving strict orders to be left alone for at least six years. Within minutes of the new day, Tuesday, Arthur is summoned back to the House, this time to defeat Grim Tuesday. The Lower House is in serious debt to Grim Tuesday, who is calling in the money that is owed. He will stop at nothing to claim what is owed to him, even reposessing Arthur's home on Earth. Can Arthur brave the Pit, free the second part of the will and defeat Grim Tuesday?

Garth Nix is superb writer. I have read his Abhorsen series with great delight and thoroughly enjoyed the first installment of this present series, Mister Monday. Although Grim Tuesday was well written unfortunately it suffered the curse of the 'second book' to some degree, it was not as good as the first one. I was not as gripped by this storyline unlike the previous book, perhaps because in some ways it is a repeat of the format of the first book. A mortal trying to outwit the Denizon of the Day to free a piece of the will. Despite this, Nix still manages to keep the scenarios fresh. I think perhaps I found this book hard to get into because of the fact much of the initial action in the House is in the Pit, which is best described as a coal mine with London smog and the trappings of the Industrial Revolution (but sadly no canaries). In other words Nix has placed a lot of action on a backdrop of nothingness almost. A hard thing to do!

I would definitely encourage people to read this series. Ok so Grim Tuesday is a slight let down after Mister Monday, but it's not a disaster. I'm definitely looking forward to Drowned Wednesday.

3 and a half stars

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