Saturday, July 2, 2011

[Review] Museum of Thieves (#1, The Keepers) by Lian Tanner

Title: Museum of Thieves {goodreads}
Series: #1, The Keepers
Author: Lian Tanner
Publication (dd/mm/yy): 27/06/11 (AU PB)
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Source: Publisher for review
Age: 12+ Moderate violence.
Pages: 340
My Rating:

In the city of Jewel, impatience is a sin and boldness is a crime. Goldie Roth is impatient and bold. When she escapes the clutches of the Blessed Guardians to find haven at the Museum of Dunt, an unforgettable adventure begins that will unlock hidden mysteries, dark secrets and awaken dangerous enemies. The thrilling first book in The Keepers trilogy.
My thoughts: 

The presentation of this book is top-notch. The children on the cover look a BIT younger than I'd imagine twelve year olds to be, but the background and word placement - well, I couldn't have dreamed up anything better. It looks great. 'The Keepers' is embossed; 'Museum of Thieves' is shiny and neat; and the book as a whole has a nice feel to it. Inside, it gets better ...

MUSEUM OF THIEVES is the first book in a new MG fantasy series. In the city of Jewel, all children below the age of 16 are tethered to their parents and the Blessed Guardians at all times. That might suit some children just fine, but when the 1st annual Separation Ceremony (where children become no longer bound by silver chains) where the Separation age was promised to be lowered to 12 is stopped, Goldie Roth runs away in frustration. With nowhere else and no one else to turn to, Goldie is drawn to the museum as shadows lurk in the dark. As she learns the secrets of the museum, trouble is brewing in the city, and the museum is in danger.

From the moment this came in the mail I knew that I had to read it. I don't read a lot of MG fiction, but hey, Harry Potter was MG and look where that went? What I found within the covers of THIS book, was a thrilling and unreal story.

I loved that the museum assumed an entity all its own - its rooms shift, it sings, it breathes and reacts to its surroundings. Every room is different, and as Goldie discovers and explores, so too did I. The museum was never boring. It felt like I was there; Tanner does a great job creating vivid images and fantasy environments.

Goldie is such a great heroine - bold and impatient, smart and independent. Even when she gets into a seemingly hopeless situation, it doesn't take long before she snaps back into place and starts thinking of a way around it. With the four Keepers of the museum, I hope that there is more backstory in the next book. While we do get to see them a lot, we don't actually know an awful lot about any of them. Snippets of the past are indicated, but aren't fleshed out and are instead given a backseat while the action plays out.

Broo was a really interesting 'character' and I hope to see more information on his kind, as well as what happened to the rest of them and whether there are any more around. I really don't want to give any more away about him, but Tanner introduced him in a great way. I didn't see it coming!

The Blessed Guardians especially Guardian Hope, and the Fugleman really annoyed me. And if they didn't I would've been really concerned, because they were written to be despised for their constraints and ulterior motives. Again, I wanted to know more about them, and what their "normal" life would consist of - surely they would have some other attachments, you know, other than being pains in the butt?

The plot is fast-ish moving and the writing is simple and easy to read. I really enjoyed it and I can't wait to continue the series! The book ended at a good place - NOT MUCH OF A CLIFFHANGER, but something to go on by.

Vivacity in colour and action, MUSEUM OF THIEVES is a great start to a mysterious and curious new fantasy series. I could easily see the events in MUSEUM OF THIEVES unfold like a film when I was reading it. That's how a good book should be.


First lines
"Goldie Roth hated the punishment chains. She hated them more than anything - except perhaps for the Blessed Guardians. As the heavy brass cuffs snapped around her wrists, and the weight of the chains fell on her shoulders, she stared sullenly at the cobblestones.


"'The people of Jewel,' said Olga Ciavolga, 'treat their children like delicate flowers. They think they will not survive without constant protection. But there are parts of the world where young boys and girls spend weeks at  a time with no company except a herd of goats. They chase away wolves. They take care of themselves, and they take care of the herd.... And so, when hard times come - as they always do in the end - those children are resourceful and brave.... They do not give up easily.... Of course, I am not saying that it is a good thing to give children such heavy responsibilities. They must also have a childhood. But they must be allowed to find their courage and their wisdom, and learn when to stand and when to run away. After all, if they are not permitted to climb trees, how will they ever see the great and wonderful world that lies before them?'

(pp. 200-201, ellipses provided to shorten quote)

"They wanted to be completely safe and happy at all times. The trouble is, the world just isn't like that. You can't have high mountains without deep valleys. You can't have great happiness without great sadness. The world is never still. It moves from one thing to another, back and forth, back and forth, like a butterfly opening and closing its wings.

(p. 215)



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I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.

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