Read for the 2009 YA Reading Challenge.
Arthur Penhaligon is a normal boy who was never meant to be a hero. In fact, he should have died, except his life was saved by the sudden arrival a key that’s shaped like the minute hand of a clock.
Arthur discovers that this key belongs to Mister Monday, a stranger with a number of nasty minions that try to take the key back from Arthur, and in the process, bring a plague of sleepiness to his town.
To try and save his town from the plague, Arthur goes to a strange house that has appeared there, a house only he seems to be able to see. He quickly discovers that this house is much more than it appears, and contains not only the cure to the town’s plague, but many, many more secrets.
This is the first book of the Keys to the Kingdom series, and is a great opening to the world of the House. I’m very much looking forward to reading more. This book definitely skews younger than my favorite Garth Nix books (Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen), but like those books, introduces an interesting world (which in this case intersects with our own) with a unique system of magic. I’m quite sure I’ll enjoy these books as much as I’ve enjoyed the rest of Nix’s work.