"You're in the Museum now and anything can happen!"
Goldie Roth lives in the city of Jewel, where impatience is a sin and boldness is a crime. But Goldie is both bold and impatient. She runs away to the mysterious Museum of Dunt, where she meets a boy named Toadspit and discovers dangerous secrets.
A monsterous Brizzlehound stalks the museum's corridors, and only a thief can find the way through its strange, shifting rooms.
Goldie and Toadspit have a talent for thieving, which is just as well because the treacherous Fugleman - leader of the semi-religious order of The Blessed Guardians - has his own plans for the museum, plans that threaten the lives of everyone Goldie loves. It will take a very bold their to stop him.
The first in a series, this is a stunning introduction to the world of Jewel... or is it Dunt... since they are one-in-the-same, yet worlds apart... Dunt came first and later became Jewel, but not entirely... the Museum has a few more secrets than anyone would ever guess at first.
The characters were well developed, though some were quite sketchy at first... this turned out to be quite appropriate as it was a function of their nature as thieves and keepers of deep secrets, it just took a little while to become apparent.
Though this tale is clearly an unambiguously aimed at younger readers, I still found it very enjoyable and would say it is easily suitable for kids aged 10+ with a good level of reading skill. There are a few 'dark' patches, particularly nearing the end, that may worry the younger ones, so a bit of adult supervision or pre-reading may be advisable.
Though it is obviously the first in a series, as evidenced by it's title, I found the story wrapped up pretty well and could easily be a stand-alone. The 'open hook' at the very end that allows for attachment to a sequel is small and lacking that 'cliff-hanger' that would have made it impossible to ignore the next book... depending on how you judge this book, that could be a blessing, or a seriously overlooked marketing error.
Overall, a very appealing opening gambit... and I am very much looking forward to seeing what becomes of the next tale in the series.
Random listing from 'Books'...
Illustrated by Stevie Mahardhika, Sung by Pio Terei and Maori Lyrics by Kotuku Tibble. An illustrated children's picture book with CD of song sung in English and Maori.
If you're happy and you know it...
join in with a bunch of Kiwi Critters as they sing a song, flap their flippers, dig for worms and strut around!
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Paul Valery (1871 - 1945)