Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Museum of Thieves by Lian Tanner

Museum of Thieves (The Keepers #1)Museum of Thieves by Lian Tanner

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The fact that it took so long for me to finish listening to is in no way a reflection on the overall quality of this book. I had some issues with my CD player in my car, which is how I listen to audiobooks, and I started The Left Hand of God and wanted to finish that up first.

This is a book that I would say I liked, but did not love. The ideas in it were quite interesting. I love the concept of a place that is more than it seems, much like the TARDIS for Doctor Who fans. The Museum of Thieves is very much that sort of place. It has a mystical element to it that makes it a fun, and even scary place to hang out. And only the right persons can serve as the caretakers there. The Museum sees into a person, and it chooses its caretakers wisely. The Museum chose Goldie.

Goldie is a girl that seems rebellious and stubborn, but she's just a normal little girl. She yearns to be free in a world in which children are actually chained to their parents and city custodians called Blessed Guardians. Sadly, while the parents do love and wish the best for their children, the Blessed Guardians don't seem to like kids at all. In fact, they seem to go out their way to torment them in small ways.

Separation Day, the day on which Goldie is to be freed from her guardian chains, a horrible catastrophe occurs, and a person with a deeper agenda uses this to make even more restrictions on the city and to the children, putting off all the childrens' separation. Goldie can't take it and she runs off. She ends up in the Museum, and so begins her very important role in changing her city for the better.

Ms. Tanner has written an enjoyable story that has good messages that children and an older person who appreciates children's books would appreciate. She writes about the themes of responsibility, confronting and fighting fear, personal freedom, and doing what's right, even if it doesn't seem to match what others consider as right. If I had a child, I would let my child read it, and I'd discuss some of the events in the book, and use them as an opportunity for entertainment and education. Parents should be warned that there is a fair amount of violence, and that stealing is condoned, but for particular reasons that made sense to me. The villains are particularly heinous, and it is disturbing that they are so cavalier about children's lives, and perpetuate deliberate acts of emotional cruelty to them.

This book didn't blow me away, but I found it a very entertaining story. Claudia Black, who starred on Farscape and Stargate, did a great job as the narrator. She does a whole host of voices and accents, and they illustrate this story beautifully. It's a short listen, and I think that it's worthwhile if you enjoy this sort of book. Three stars seems like a low rating from me, but it reflects the fact that while I enjoyed it, it wouldn't be a favorite of mine, and I wouldn't listen to it again. That doesn't mean that you won't like it more than I did.

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