September 07, 2008

Superior -- Envious-- Inhuman: It's Saturday

Poor Arthur.
The boy is just having a bad week.
According to a garbled message he's received, the national army is going to complete a nuclear strike on his hometown in order to stop the spread of the plague that's immobilized Earth. Arthur uses the Fifth Key to stop time -- so he can figure out what to do next.

Meanwhile, the watch that Dr. Scamandros gave him is showing that he's a lot less human than he used to be. The bursts of haughty rage he has to fight down show that he's well on his way to being a Denizen, but ... but it's just too bad. There's still too much to do, and the Will is making itself felt as it urgently demands that he find the rest of its pieces, which are scattered among the Morrow Days. Arthur needs to figure out how to get to the realm of Superior Saturday, the envious Trustee of the Upper House who is also the oldest Denizen, and responsible for so many of the weird things that have started happening in the Upper House. It is she who is responsible for the Bathroom Attendants; those Denizens who brainwash the Piper's Children. Saturday wants to control all intelligence -- and Envy is Saturday's deadly sin.

Unfortunately, Saturday's envy causes her to invade Sunday's realm, the Incomparable Gardens, and she's blocked access to the Upper House. She has spies among the Piper's Children and watchers constantly watching them, just in case. Arthur had Suzy to help him figure things out, but she's been attacked by a group of Artful Loungers -- and suddenly, Arthur's on his own. He's having to draw more and more often on the power of the Keys -- and this time, it just might not be enough.

Arthur is an ordinary kid whose life is turned absolutely insane by the presence of a world outside of his own -- which he's been told is his inheritance. Superior Saturday is the sixth tumultuous adventure in Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom series, and readers must start with the first book in the series,Mister Monday, to get the beginning of Arthur's tale, and to understand the basic story. Readers will them be clued in to many of the quirky elements mentioned in this novel, including Nothing, Nithlings, Demenses, Upper and Lower Houses, the Trustees and The Architect of the Will. The seven houses, seven days of the week and seven keys which Arthur needs are the entry to a richly imaginative and strangely symbolic new world.

Despite the fact that the novels are largely episodic and action-driven, there's enough characterization to keep readers going. The success or failure of Arthur's attempts to do what the Will wants keep the pages swiftly turning.

Buy this book from an independent bookstore near you!


Anonymous said...

Sounds fun, I'll have to check these books out as I loved the Abhorsen books by him.

Anonymous said...

These are SO weird and SO cool that I surprised myself by how quickly I jumped in and got to reading them. And you're LUCKY -- if you start at Mister Monday now, you'll hardly have any wait time 'til the very last one! It's quite a satisfying series.