Monday, May 7, 2012

Kane Chronicles

I'd previously reviewed the first book in the series, but since I just read the third book, I'm going to go ahead and put all three on here.

The Red Pyramid
By Rick Riordan
Disney/Hyperion Books, 2010. 516 pgs. Middle Grade/Teen fiction

Carter Kane has spent his life being dragged around the world by his father, Dr. Julius Kane, a famous Egyptologist. Meanwhile, his younger sister, Sadie, has lived with their grandparents in England. However, when Carter and his dad go to visit Sadie at Christmas, their lives change completely. Their father takes them to a museum where he tries to summon an Egyptian god. However, he releases five trapped gods, including Set, who sets out to wreak havoc on the world and traps Julius inside Osiris' coffin. Carter and Sadie learn that they are actually powerful descendants of ancient pharoahs, and it becomes their responsibility to restore order to the world--and rescue their dad.

The first book in the Kane Chronicles, this book was a somewhat darker tone than the author's Percy Jackson series, and many readers will likely be less familiar with the Egyptian mythology of this series than the Greek mythology of the Percy Jackson series. However, the action and adventure are still well-written; the book is fast-paced, and both spunky Sadie and somewhat more reserved Carter are interesting characters and I look forward to watching their development in the upcoming books.

The Throne of Fire
By Rick Riordan
Disney/Hyperion Books, 2011. 452 pgs. Young Adult

In book 2 of the Kane Chronicles, Sadie and Carter Kane have 5 days to save the world. Apophis, the god of Chaos, who has been bound for many years, is struggling to get free and even has magicians working to help him. Sadie and Carter have to locate the pieces of the scroll of Ra, the sun god, and use the spells contained in them to locate and revive him in order to balance out Apophis. At the same time, Carter is determined to find Zia, who was hidden somewhere by the world's most powerful magician before he died, and Sadie is dealing with her feelings for Anubis, an Egyptian god, and Walt, one of the Kanes' magical trainees, who seems to be hiding something from them.

The Serpent's Shadow
By Rick Riordan
Disney/Hyperion, 2012. 406 pgs. Young Adult

Carter and Sadie Kane have only a few days to save the world from Chaos. Apophis, the god of Chaos, is determined to wipe out the entire world. He has already killed or converted many magicians to his side, leaving Carter, Sadie, and their young magicians-in-training to try to save the world. The only option open to them is to trust an evil dead magician to lead them to a secret spell that will allow them to trap Apophis's shadow and then execrate the god. As if that's not enough, they need the help of the gods, particularly Ra, the senile old sun god, who might not be ready in time. With the fate of the world in their hands, Carter and Sadie face their most dangerous quest yet.

I have to say, Rick Riordan's books seem to be very similar--kid finds out he/she has magic powers, kid has to battle several demons/evil forces, kid ultimately triumphs. It gets a little repetitive, and yet, I think it still pulls in a lot of readers. And, for some readers, that can actually be a comforting thing--because they can jump into the story, supported by the familiar structure, and read a long book and feel like they've accomplished something. For some readers, that might get a little old, but most readers will still have fun following sarcastic Sadie and more serious Carter on their adventures. As can be expected from Rick Riordan, this book is thrilling good fun. Readers will be swept along with Sadie and Carter as they move, top-speed, to try to save the world. There's a dash of romance, a fair dose of humor, and extra helpings of action and adventure.
I have a harder time following this series than Riordan's other series, but that's probably because I'm not as familiar with the Egyptian gods as the Greek ones. Consequently, I probably don't like it as much as his other books--but I still like it plenty and am happy to recommend it to anyone looking for a super fun series.

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