This volume is half a book, to be followed by the ‘sequel’, Arthur and the Forbidden City. Usually the first book in a two-part story or a trilogy is complete in itself, regardless of events to come. Not so here. Arthur and the Minimoys breaks off abruptly in mid-story with the words ‘To be continued…’ and nothing even provisionally resolved. This is bad practice, and we must hope it does not catch on.
The story so far sets in motion a double plot, with ten-year-old Arthur and his lost grandfather as the linking figures. In the normal world Arthur’s loving grandmother and guardian is threatened with eviction from her home by the evil entrepreneur Davido. Almost penniless (or centless), her only hope is the treasure secretly stashed by her lost husband. In search of hidden rubies Arthur finds his way to the miniature world of the Minimoys, who live under his grandma’s garden. Reduced to their tiny size, the boy becomes another Arthur, one who can pull a magic sword from a stone. The Minimoys too are threatened, by the evil Maltazard, whose name must not be spoken. As these details will suggest, this semi-book is not just a fantasy adventure but a pastiche. It is a lively narrative with many clever touches, but as the pace of events hots up the quality of writing goes down, which does not bode well for what is called the ‘sequel’. The author is a film-maker of note, and the books are to be filmed.
On this evidence, they badly needed an editor and publisher with the skills of a continuity girl.