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Museum of Thieves by Lian Tanner
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Unexpectedly fun, yet solid fantastical adventure. It's creepy, and the fantastic elements are a mixture of a twisted social setting, plus some wondrous magic - none of the standard fantasy elements here. I liked the imaginativeness of what's going on, and the weird Museum is definitely something I feel the urge to explore more. I also enjoyed the characters and their arcs (a bit simplistic, but it IS a children's book!) and found the writing skipped along smoothly and plump with character. ( )
  Shimmin | Feb 23, 2016 |
This book is very imaginative, one of the best coming of age/fantasy adventure books for kids I have ever read. As a woman who was once a precotious tween who never felt that adults understood me I imediately related to the heroine, and I was compelled by the story line. I had to know what happens next.

I also HIGHLY recommend the audiobook which is read by Claudia Black. So much fun with my sons, who are 7 and 9. We can't wait to read the next one. ( )
  AngelaGustafson | Jan 25, 2016 |
Description: Welcome to the tyrannical city of Jewel, where impatience is a sin and boldness is a crime.

Goldie Roth has lived in Jewel all her life. Like every child in the city, she wears a silver guardchain and is forced to obey the dreaded Blessed Guardians. She has never done anything by herself and won’t be allowed out on the streets unchained until Separation Day.

When Separation Day is canceled, Goldie, who has always been both impatient and bold, runs away, risking not only her own life but also the lives of those she has left behind. In the chaos that follows, she is lured to the mysterious Museum of Dunt, where she meets the boy Toadspit and discovers terrible secrets. Only the cunning mind of a thief can understand the museum’s strange, shifting rooms. Fortunately, Goldie has a talent for thieving.

Which is just as well, because the leader of the Blessed Guardians has his own plans for the museum—plans that threaten the lives of everyone Goldie loves. And it will take a daring thief to stop him. . . .
Museum of Thieves is a thrilling tale of destiny and danger, and of a courageous girl who has never been allowed to grow up—until now.

Thoughts: There seems to be a new trend in literature where authors are writing about AMAZING buildings, buildings with personality and hidden depths. This year alone I've read A Discovery of Witches that has an amazing house, The Grimm Legacy that is set in the wonderful New York Circulating Material Repository, and I'd even count The Night Circus with it's ever changing tents and exhibits. And now, The Museum of Thieves, which focuses on The Museum of Dunt.

I happen to really like all of the buildings (or circuses) in each of these books. They are all places that I would readily and eagerly explore. And the descriptions of these places are usually rich and detailed and leave you dying to know more. The problem, however, in every instance- save The Night Circus- is that the stories don't seem to ever really live up to the places.

This is certainly the case in The Museum of Thieves. While the main characters of Goldie and Toadspit, and even Broo, are well fleshed out, the rest of the cast is pretty one dimensional. There are good guys and bad guys and people who are loved and people who are feared/resented but there is no depth at all. There is no explanation as to how The Keepers are, well, the Keepers. The reader has no real reason to like or trust them except that we're told they are the good guys. They have almost no discernible traits. Not that they aren't interesting, because they are, but it just didn't feel like enough to carry a story.

While the world building was intriguing, the overarching plot didn't have enough substance. I finished this one feeling a little flat. The standout character of the museum couldn't hold it all together. And, from what I've read about the next book in the series, the museum isn't really going to be a factor in the story since the action takes place away from the city. Which means I most likely won't be following up.

http://www.librarything.com/topic/134084#3323775 ( )
  leahbird | Jan 13, 2015 |
This book messes with your mind, time, and place in a way that almost feels unhealthy but turns out as a great reading experience. 4Q3P The cover art is awesome and I'd recommend this to middle school and high school students. I chose to read this book because I wanted to read a book about crime and this is the next best thing I could find. AustinN
  edspicer | Aug 10, 2014 |
A very satisfying read. I am looking forward to the next book in the series. ( )
  asomers | Apr 20, 2014 |
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In those days, the museum had four keepers:- Herro Dan, Olga Ciabolga, Sinew and the boy Toadspit.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385739052, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, October 2010: In the city of Jewel, safety and temperance are prized above all other virtues. Goldie, an impetuous girl with a talent for petty thievery, is eagerly awaiting her Separation, in which her silver guardchain connecting her to her parents for safety is finally cut. When tragedy strikes and the city’s sly and deceptive ruler, the Fugleman, cancels all Separations indefinitely, Goldie decides she’s had enough of safety and runs away to the fascinating, mysterious Museum of Dunt. Yet this museum is no dusty educational edifice, as Goldie soon learns: it has moods and feelings like a living being. Its shape-shifting rooms house not historical artifacts, but great and terrible powers that, if unleashed, could destroy the city. In the museum, Goldie meets a quirky cast of misfits, including Toadspit, an Oliver-Twist-like ragamuffin living in the museum; Sinew, a harp-toting spy; and Broo, a talking dog with secret powers of his own. Before long, however, the Fugleman discovers the secret of the museum and tries to use its powers to tighten his control of the city, and it’s up to Goldie, Toadspit, and Broo to stop him. Lian Tanner’s Museum of Thieves is filled with characters who are oddball but meaningful, a dystopia-for-beginners plot that is at once serious and silly, and a pace fast enough to draw in even reluctant readers. The thrilling conclusion teaches that courage and freedom are virtues, too, even if they mean a few scrapes along the way. --Juliet Disparte

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:50 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Goldie, an impulsive and bold twelve-year-old, escapes the oppressive city of Jewel, where children are required to wear guardchains for their protection, and finds refuge in the extraordinary Museum of Dunt, an ever-shifting world where she discovers a useful talent for thievery and mysterious secrets that threaten her city and everyone she loves.… (more)

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